Growing up as a Puerto Rican in urban Philadelphia, I often wondered why my name was so different from my peers: Grace. It isn’t a common Latina name, and neither was it common for girls my age in the 80s. It was common among elderly American women. I felt as though my name didn’t fit.
As I continued to grow, I learned about a God who sent His only Son, to die in place of my sins. And all I had to do was believe and accept that gift, and I could inherit eternal life. (John 3:16)
My younger brother had gone through a miraculous experience with cancer at the age of 2. My Seventh-day Adventist grandmother encouraged us to pray and believe that God would heal him. I didn’t know much about God except that abuela had faith in Him and she taught us to pray to Him to thank Him for our food and for safe-keeping before we went to bed. But the more I learned about God, and His gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ, I wanted to learn more. I wanted to know what could be so special that the Creator of heaven and earth would become a man Himself and experience the most cruel death, just for the chance of me saying “Yes, Lord, I’ll trust you. I’ll follow you.”
Having seen my baby brother nearly on his death bed was painful. I saw my parents at their most helpless, stopping at nothing to make sure their son would be okay. My father started putting his faith into practice. My mother prayed earnestly, and I could tell she felt as though her heart was outside of her body. I was a child myself. I couldn’t do much. But I did learn to pray and to trust that God was going to take care of my baby brother. As time passed, I didn’t think of death or funerals. I thought of my brother being healthy again and playing with him.
Sure enough, by God’s grace, my brother’s cancer was cured and doctors had no explanation. There was never any remission, and the side effects the doctors were sure would affect my brother due to chemotherapy, were nonexistent. I could go into details about the whole thing, but I may save that for another time. What I will say is that, I learned and grew to know and love a God who loves me unconditionally and extends His grace to me on a daily basis.
My life has truly been full of grace from the time I was in my mother’s womb. No other name would apply to my life better than… Grace.
It is my hope that you, too, can experience God’s grace personally.
The following video was performed by my baby brother, whose life has been devoted to sharing his testimony of God’s grace and ministering through music.
Enjoy and God Bless!