The five stages of grief consist of denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. This is the way humans cope when a loved one is lost (at least that’s what Google says). What happens when you lose yourself? This isn’t your typical dealing with grief, it’s a loss of identity, loss of life. I grew up in church (sort of), I’m of a Hispanic upbringing and I grew up going to church on Sunday’s in my best clothes. My mother taught my brothers and me, to pray every night and be thankful for all that we had. Even at a young age, it blew my mind that there was someone listening beyond the four walls of my bedroom. I couldn’t comprehend how there was a God who loves me, yet all these bad things kept happening to me… This seed of doubt sprouted into my teens and took on a life of its own. I became an atheist. Like everyone, I’ve been through my share of difficulties and saying I had a hard life would be an understatement. On the outside things seemed great, I got good grades, had some good people in my life and a good head on my shoulders. Everyone around me thought I was fine, but there was something inside me that didn’t allow me to move forward. I’ve never shared this publicly and until recently I didn’t realize how much this thing was eating me away inside. I like to think that my life would be easier if it wasn’t for this one big event in my life. I know I’m not the only one who’s thought this way. But I digress, this one big thing in my life seemed to have a domino effect and everything else that came after that crashed into me like a ton of bricks. I went into my teen years being called “the goody two shoes Jesus girl” to a complete atheist who bashed God and damned everything in existence. I was in a downward spiral and resulted to drug abuse that led me to an overdose in 2014. Now I know what you’re thinking, this isn’t that big event I was talking about, you see when it comes to my life, I had to learn that it comes in seasons, seasons of confusion and doubt, seasons of questions and decisions, seasons of depression and battling the war within and seasons of acceptance. There are times where I wish I knew then what I know now but in this season of acceptance I understand that the process was necessary. Everyone goes through things, and ultimately everyone has the choice to believe that God hasn’t created someone He doesn’t love and although times are hard, and they seem to just be getting harder, never forget that your weaknesses are made perfect in His strength. I lost myself and if you’re out there, feeling like you’re losing yourself learn that this life comes in seasons and the only thing that is unchanging is God. Trust in His love and even when it hurts, when it doesn’t make sense learn to trust this process. God had to mold me into the person I am today and I am confident that He is going to continue to mold me into the woman of God He wants me to become. I’m no longer a slave to my fear or to the things that happened to me. If it wasn’t for God, I wouldn’t be able to learn life’s greatest lessons, like forgiving the person who took away my innocence or realizing my self-worth and loving myself, flaws and all. You see, this one big event caused a series of turmoil’s in my life, but God has been more than good. I’m happy and have become a person with ambition and that’s something I never thought I’d be able to say. I lost myself for a while but I serve a God so relentless, while I pushed, He pulled, I wept, He embraced, I bled, He repaired, I faltered, He shushed, I was a disaster and He still had the audacity to say that I was beautiful. I lost myself and He found me.


Paola Acosta
Paola Acosta is 20 years old, originally from Miami, FL, currently residing in Orlando, and relocating to Lakeland, to continue her Junior year at SEU. Paola is a double-major in Elementary Education and TESOL. Her dream is to travel the world, leaving bits and pieces of God’s love everywhere she goes. Some of Paola’s loves include reading, writing, and photography.


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