I was eight years old the day I stepped foot on American ground.  My first impression of this great country was the evening lights peppered across the Los Angeles vicinity.  I had no idea as I sat there on my TWA flight, and watched the plane descend, what landing in America truly represented to my life.

Having been born in Cuba I experienced firsthand the destruction that communism and socialism brings to a nation and its people.  There isn’t a day that goes by that I am not grateful for the privilege it is to live in this great country.  It’s really upsetting to me when I hear people that live in America bad mouthing our nation.  And then I am reminded that the reason they can say whatever they want is because we live in a country that is free.

A country where opportunity awaits, and dreams come true.  Yes, America where freedom reigns.  Where we can speak our mind, and worship God freely.   America founded with God at the core.  We are a lighthouse!   A country drenched with ethnic diversity and culture.

What has made America so great?  FREEDOM!  And it is that very FREEDOM that is in danger.  May we never forget the cost of freedom, and that it is a gift from God.  The United States of America has prospered because God was at the center  –  of the establishing of this great country.   But, piece by piece this country has wavered from keeping God first, and the freedom’s we have enjoyed are slowly diminishing right before our eyes.

I can’t help but take what is happening to our country seriously because I have lived through this before.  The signs are rampant.  May God help America.  And may We the People do our part to protect and preserve the foundations of our country.

Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, The people whom He has chosen for His own inheritance. Psalm 33:12 NASB

Without God, democracy will not and cannot long endure. Ronald Reagan

If we ever forget that we are One Nation Under God, then we will be a nation gone under.  Ronald Reagan

Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.    Ronald Reagan

Just some thoughts from an American citizen who is so thankful and concerned for this country…HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY!

God Bless…





© 2011 By Marta VanGerwen

How many times have you been lunged into a new course in life?  The unexpected comes.   The loss of a loved one, a sickness overtakes your body, a job change,  or having to move to a new place.  Or a relationship is crushed as the imperfections of our humanness take center stage. Life can be very hard and painful.  It is filled with continuous change.  And I resist change.  I am a control freak.  Yes, I admit it.  I like to be in control.  Or should I say I live with the notion that I am in control.

I wonder if there is a sense of comfort in thinking we are in control.  And yet when the largeness of life comes, I am continually reminded just how much I am not in control.  I certainly did not have the power to control my exit from Cuba.  Or in the case of my amazing 17-year-old daughter who was diagnosed with MS four-years ago.  If I was in control I would not have willed her to be diagnosed with this terrible disease.

When my life set sail literally on a new course out of Cuba I had no idea what awaited me on the other side.  My heart resisted the change with everything within me.  From that point on I developed the pattern of wanting to control my own life.  I embraced the perception that if I could just control the situations of my life, I would never again have to feel the pain that had infiltrated my heart.

But something remarkable has happened in my life that has carried me from the passage to pain to the passage of freedom.  For as much as I have strived to be in control I have miraculously discovered the joy of letting go.  My journey out of Cuba not only provided me with the right to freedom as a human being versus the grip of communism and or socialism.  But it was also to be the catalyst that would unfold the path to the freedom for my soul,  whereby I would experience the life saving grace of Jesus Christ.

What’s on the other side?  The beauty in life is really found in the continuous metamorphosis that surrounds our journey.  A journey filled with new beginnings and new seasons and the adjustments that come with the ever-changing scope of our life.  God has placed us in this world infused us with the ability to love, hurt, feel, think and even doubt, and sets us on a journey of grand mystery.  The unpredictable looms every day.  And yet we are to trust, have faith, and move forward in the unseen.

Quite often, it may seem that staying in the current situation we are in is easier than facing where God may want to take us.  When God rattles our world, we can suddenly be hit with sticky fingers clutching the very life we have grown accustomed to having, yet knowing how desperately we need to let go.

I never could have envisioned what that painful passage of change from Cuba to Spain to America would provide for me.  That I would have the privilege to live in this great nation, to be blessed with everything I need and to experience learning a new language and a new culture.

You see on this side of change it’s hard to see all that God is up to.  But this is where letting go of the illusion of control, and allowing the powerful hand of God to move in our lives comes to play.  There is a peaceful confidence to life when we are being guided by Someone much greater than us.  Someone that knows the beginning to the end of our journey, and knows what is best for our life.

What is awaiting us on the other side of change?  What is God asking of us today?  Let go, trust Him and watch and see what God does in your life as you surrender to Him.

“Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within in us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever.  Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21

© 2011 Marta VanGerwen

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