Today, Cheyevna speaks to us about healing and forgiveness and intetionally seeking connection.
Tell us a bit about how you grew up and your childhood: I was born and raised in Brazil. My parents got divorced when I was 6 years old, and it was pretty much just my mom and I moving forward. I used to see my father every other week, but I was really traumatized and broken by my parent’s divorce and abusive relationship. Both sides of my family were Christians (protestant), and I used to go to church occasionally, but never had a good foundation of the Gospel growing up.
Inspiring biblical passage of the moment: “Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.” Revelations 14:12
Spiritual growth focus at the moment: Perseverance and obedience. God has deeply speaking to my heart about enduring trials and growing a steadfast devotion for him regardless of the circumstances that surround me. I have realized that being a “good Christian” has nothing to do with how intense you are in your faith or how much you work, but how obedient and hopeful you are when you do not see things happening.
Profession: Full-time student (Senior at Suffolk University – Political Science and Legal Studies B.A., Concentration: International Relations)
If you wrote a memoir, what would the title be? The one who endured
When did you first encounter God and how did you encounter Him? Although I had a sense of the Gospel since I was a child, I could say that I only had an encounter with God during my first year in college (19 y/o). I was in a broken relationship and later found out that it was only motivated by inner issues I had with my father. God started to personally show me His grace and used people to prophecy over my life.
How has your relationship with Him changed you? I started to seek God more deeply and was radically changed by Him. After two years of building a consistent relationship with God, I had the opportunity to meet with my father and release forgiveness over the things that happened in my childhood. This was a game changer in my life. My emotions have been healed, and I have grown to be a confident and bold woman since then.
“This was a game changer in my life. My emotions have been healed, and I have grown to be a confident and bold woman since then.”
What has been the darkest time in your life, and how did you see God in it? I believe the darkest time in my life was when I was in a broken relationship during my first years in college. I gained about 25 pounds in a year, I was in a toxic relationship, I had a bad relationship with both my parents and although I was still going to church, I was not truly able to change. That’s when God first encountered me, and I truly got to know His grace. God has been always kind, loving, patient throughout the process and never accused me of all the wrong things I was doing. He found me in the darkness and was able to smoothly take me out of there. It took me about 2 years to be free, healed and grow. But in the process, I could see God’s hand at work and turning clay into a masterpiece.
“He found me in the darkness and was able to smoothly take me out of there.”
What has helped you grow spiritually in this season? Being intentional and connecting with friends and family (we need one another, mostly now!); Fighting against distractions and putting effort into building a extravagant devotional life unto God (reading and praying the bible daily, occasionally fasting).
Just read/currently reading (and what has it taught you?): Letters to the Church by Francis Chan. It gave me a deeper sense of what is the meaning of “loving one another” and how important it is to pursue a Biblical perspective of what the Church is supposed to look like.
Top three essentials: Caring for my body, soul and spirit (pretty much discipline in each of these areas. Exercising 3-4x a week and having a healthy diet; Making sure my emotions are aligned with God’s heart; Putting effort into a constant devotional life).
How did God speak to you recently? Listening to a prayer and worship set from International House of Prayer. God has its own way of speaking to my heart through His word and through music.
Hobby: Edit photos, sing and play keyboard, travel.
Top three practical tips for staying spiritually strong: Persevere and do not walk on your own. Find mature people to help you walk through your weaknesses and be humble to repent and let God work on whatever needs to be transformed in you. No matter how hard and dark it may be.
Favorite person in scripture? John, the beloved disciple.
What do you want people to learn about God when they look at you? To be faithful and obedient.
How do you engage with your community? I used to be active and serve at church before the pandemic. Now, I am mostly engaging in watch parties (house meetings with small groups to watch the service) and online community groups. Our church is often trying to find creative ways to be connected and reach out to the city in the middle of the pandemic.
Favorite holiday? Christmas
A goal you have? Law School
A special tradition you and your family engage in or keep: Christmas dinner at our grandma’s house. Quality time with the family.
Question you will ask when you get to heaven? Why me?
Thing you want to raise awareness about: Racism
What does your morning routine consist of? Devotional (reading and praying the Bible), protein shake or some light snack, classes.
What is on your nightstand? Too many books.
Define Christianity in a sentence: To love God with all your mind, heart and strength, and love your neighbor as Jesus loved you.
For more Cheyevna:
Prayer, Bible Studies, Training Resources: ihopkc.org / @ihopkc (24/7 livestream prayer and worship)
Until next time, keep witnessing!