Kristina Varela’s Story

My story is about how God transformed my view of myself and my view of Him through my relationship with my soon-to-be husband.

I had grown up in the church and around the church but never was fully invested, I just listened to what everyone told me the Bible said. Because of this I only knew of Jesus secondhand, and because I only knew Him secondhand, I believed my worth was determined by who I was with. I don’t remember thinking this specifically, but through my behaviors it was clear where I had misplaced my identity.

I had recently moved back home after following a guy I was dating to California. My (now) fiancé, Charlie, came in to my father’s company, where I worked to get back on my feet, looking for a job. Our relationship started out exactly how the world told us relationships should start. First we go out, we party, we “hook-up”, he starts staying over more and more frequently, and before you know it, 6 months later we are getting an apartment together.

After about a year, I kept getting the feeling I needed to go back to church. I fought it for another year because I didn’t want to be told that everything I was doing was wrong. God continued to pursue my heart, and finally I asked Charlie if he would want to find a church with me. To my surprise, he said yes.

We found Valley Creek and, during the Whisper Series, I heard God speak to me. This was different than my other church experience because it was firsthand. I was hearing God for myself, instead of through others. He told me that I was worth waiting for, and the way I was living wasn’t the best that He had for me. It made me confront all of the lies I had told myself about my identity and worth. Was I really worth waiting for? Was I worth the inconvenience Charlie would experience walking through this with me? Did I have enough faith to move past my fear of losing him and everything we had built in our relationship?

Thank God I was only given one next step at a time, because I wouldn’t have been able to process starting all over in my relationship in order to do it God’s way. I felt like God was asking me to move out of the apartment we shared. MY apartment! I wrestled with God for 6 months on this, and during a baptism class it was actually Charlie who asked our leader what God would think of our living situation. I was shocked! We talked through it with our leader and decided that this was not God’s best for us.

That night Charlie asked me to marry him and I moved in with my mom over the next week.

I spent my entire life performing for love, when all I needed was to receive God’s love as His beloved daughter. God continues to show me that anything less than God’s best is barely even good, and I only want His best!