Today, Jenny speaks to us about her journey through a tumultuous childhood, her blog Heavenly Treasure, leaving atheism behind and hope.
Tell us a bit about how you grew up and your childhood: Where to begin? Let me not drag this on and give all the juicy details, eek. Suffice to say that I really loved my childhood up til around 9 years old. In retrospect, there were quite a few things that led to my becoming atheist, but, let me see where I can pick up the story from. Up until about 9 years old, I was born and raised in Reno, NV by Colombian parents. I love them so much but I gotta tell ya, they were going through some tough times in their marriage and settling into life in America. They often held 2-4 jobs between the 2 of them to make ends meet. I remember going on rides with my dad delivering stacks of newspapers, then he would do nightshifts in hotels, at one point he was a taxi driver, worked construction, dishwasher, and even a Spanish radio host. Once he modeled for a watch store. A few buses had the huge ad of his hand. “Look, it’s papi’s hand!” My brother and I would squeal with excitement! My mom would work in restaurants, hotels, and even as a nanny. Even still, they made sure to always provide for us and take us on family trips.
We saw lots of fighting, anxiety, anger, and only now do I understand it all and forgive them. After we left Reno, my brother (1 year older) and little sister (9 years younger) and I were left for 6 months in Colombia with my grandparents while my parents tried to sort out their lives. We ended up moving with family in Miami, and my parents had to start all over there and pick up the pieces of their marriage. It left us to kind of fend for ourselves in a new city, new family, new schools. We changed school every year until high school and that’s where my anxiety and questioning began.
Questioning love, kindness, people, the world. Those were pivotal years. My parents were going through so much they barely had time to help us figure our own lives out. I had no idea how to function as a preteen let alone figure out puberty, emotions, friends, and all that comes with growing up. I started leaning more towards the occult, the darkness, and even fantasizing about my own death. It sounds silly but maybe those who grew up with pets will understand. When my 12 year old dog died when I was about 14, it was like a sibling passed, a comrade through all the crazy. And then, my uncle passed in a traumatic event that shook our entire family. Too much was going on, and I had nothing to turn to, I claimed atheism and looked for other ways, manifestation, Wicca, anarchy/punk, and began filling the lack of love with lust. And so it went and worsened with drinking, drugs, partying from high school to college and university, till I was about 21-24 years old when The Most High began working in me, and I began surrendering little by little.
Tell us about your blog Heavenly Treasure and the mission behind it: My husband wanted me to stay home after we got married and began our life together as newlyweds and soon-to-be parents. He had SOOO many ideas of how I could work from home; I couldn’t keep up! One of the things that really stuck for me was creating a website and blogging. I fell in love with it. Our mission is to share how we can store up our treasures in heaven by how we live our lives. From testimonies, birth stories, DIYs, homeschooling and even our travels, we share all the things we have learned along the way. Going on almost 10 years and still keeping it going thank God!
What has been the darkest time in your life, and how did you see God in it? I haven’t yet talked publicly about the darkest time in my life. It is truly a miracle how I saw God in it. To me and to a few who know the story. It is truly a miracle. They say to me, but shouldn’t that have made you stick to atheism even more? Yes, I can definitely see that. And If it wasn’t for the series of events before that, things could have gone drastically different. That event led to much depression, drinking, spurts of madness. I was supposed to be studying to get into the Master’s program I worked so hard to attain and yet the darkness and sorrow cut me so deep all I could do was work to survive, drink to numb the pain, and party to forget the wickedness I had partaken in. BUT GOD! He washed me with forgiveness over time. Slowly the disgust in myself began to turn to light, to see the word for the beauty God had created it to be. I began to have a glimmer of hope. I knew the only way was to move away and start fresh. I dropped out of the Master’s program I had reluctantly started at a university I didn’t even want to be at, my test scores weren’t even a stones throw close enough to get me into the program I was really aiming for and completely missed. I left to New York, and yes, stumbled a few times until finally, I stopped smoking, stopped drinking, and stopped partying. Finally, I was able to see clearly, sober! it was like veils were slowly being lifted from eyes one by one. First, the skies looked brighter, nature was beautiful again, then people were amazing to me, worthy of my love, finally I learned about Christ, imagine? I had no idea!
“He washed me with forgiveness over time. Slowly the disgust in myself began to turn to light, to see the word for the beauty God had created it to be. I began to have a glimmer of hope.”
Top three essentials: Bible, self-care routine, and non-pharmaceutical health supplements
Hobby: To name a few– (hahaha!) let’s see: watercolor painting, crochet, sourdough baking, gluten-free baking, and basically anything creative!
What do you want people to learn about God when they look at you? I wish they can know the whole story just by looking at me. What I do hope comes across is that I’m different, and I hope that difference can spark interest to ask me why I don’t look, dress, talk a certain way. Hopefully, the curiosity can lead people to look more into their own spiritual journey.
A special tradition you and your family engage in or keep: We have been diving deep into learning about the Biblical Feasts and Holy Days from Leviticus 23. My children love love love Purim!
What is on your nightstand? Bible, journal, agenda, rose quartz, linen spray, essential oils, and probably random little things my children leave behind!
For more Jenny:
FB group Women’s Essential Wellness Facebook.com/groups/intlcommunity
Until next time, keep witnessing!