My name is Maria* and I am Deaf. Growing up, I thought I was an outcast. Now, I know I am the Lord’s daughter, saved by grace!
Throughout my youth, I experienced many dark things. As a young woman, no one ever told me I was created and loved by the Creator. My life felt empty and alone, so I filled it up with things like promiscuity and poor life choices. Emotionally, I was failing, but I thought if I made my body the center of attention, somehow, that would fill me. But no matter what I did, my heart remained empty. I remember a time when I became desperate, and I thought I needed to end it all. Gratefully, at my lowest point, I met God.
I first learned about God through a pastor, and then from a missionary who knew my sign language. Even though Christianity is considered a major religion here in Colombia, growing up, there wasn’t a lot of Biblical resources and content for Deaf people. It wasn’t until I was older that I was introduced to Scripture in my sign language and saw the open arms of Jesus. I learned about Lazarus, a man who was ignored and passed over by his own community. I resonated with the desperation of Lazarus; no one seemed to care – no one offered him help. However, when he died, Lazarus immediately fell into the arms of people who loved and protected him. Through these teachings, I saw myself, and I understood my sin and repented. No longer did I feel trapped in my guilt and shame. I was set free!
It’s taken me some time, but I have seen my life transform throughout the years. It’s not always been an easy journey, but as I keep learning and practicing God’s Word, He gives me strength. I still struggle with worldly sin, but I remind myself of what Scripture in my sign language says about standing firm and resisting the things of darkness in this world.
I thank God for His Word – He saved my life – both my earthly and eternal one. And, now, to honor Him, I tell others in my community my story, which I’m confident is connected to His story.
“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.” Ephesians 2:4-5