Featuring Ada Almendarez
Ada Almendarez was born and raised in the Cayo District. She grew up with 4 sisters, 1 brother, and her parents.
Ada describes her younger self as “the bright idea sister and the one who got everyone hurt at some point after my “bright plans” were carried out. At some point, I was quite a leader but not for the good things.”
It is an honor to feature Ada in this week’s blog post. Her story is one of courage, resilience, faith, and miracles.
The Diagnosis . . .
I was diagnosed with Rheumatic Fever (joint pains) at the age of 9, I had to get monthly medication for 2 years and was told by doctors I wouldn’t live past 21 years of age. Life came with many lessons and experiences, including living in a domestic abusive home, sneaking out of our home late at night, running away when things escalated to a neighbor’s house at the vulnerable age of 11 years old.
My mother became a single parent, who earned $200 a month to feed 6 kids, send us to school, pay rent and bills, and tried her best to give us a normal life as possible. I struggled with inferiority and an identity crisis of not knowing who I was and feelings of not being wanted.
Jesus helped me to cope. . .
I met Jesus at the age of 12, I accepted Him into my heart on the very day our electricity was turned off. I had also just begun my high school journey, having acquired a full four years scholarship because of my good grades. Giving my life to Christ has been one of the most pivotal moments of my life because I was also introduced to a church family and the Holy Spirit. Jesus and the Holy Spirit never left me and began teaching me who I truly was and not who I was struggling to be. Jesus helped me to cope and taught me to face other hardships of life such as going to school without lunch money and staying in class crying while other students enjoyed their desired meals. God taught me then and changed my perspectives from earthly things to the eternal.
Miracles happen . . .
My life journey was a difficult one physically but when I met Christ and knew who He was and all He could do for me I had a thirst and went full-on in pursuit in service for him. In that spiritual journey, I learned one revival night that He could heal me by just stepping up and inviting Him into my situation by just believing. At the age of 15, by faith, I was completely healed from every pain in my body; 6 years after being diagnosed. It will be 15 years of receiving that miracle in my life, next month.
Life-Changing Investment . . .
In about a year after that season of my life and I found my full passion for what I am presently pursuing right now – my passion for art and creativity. An investment into my life from a missionary forever changed my life and my life was given color and purpose. I became a self-taught artist and from there lessons and mistakes in art life have made me who I am regarding art today. That season in my life was pivotal in me finding my true identity and what I wanted in life. From there I became confident of my identity and knew exactly how I wanted my life to look and pursued it.
Rocky times . . .
Nothing has rocked my spiritual foundation like when I lost my mom in 2011 at the age of 20. It was difficult when I didn’t allow myself the process of grieving and letting go. It became particularly more difficult when I tried to reason and understand God’s grand plan in it all. I learned then, I could never comprehend God and what it was to humble myself and submit to His will for my life.
Another life-shaking moment would come when my 1 year old was diagnosed in the year 2019 with a severe skin condition and numerous allergy issues. Lost was the best word to describe how I felt when all I wanted was answers; answers I wasn’t getting from my husband and God.
In that season, however, God showed me His mighty hand and power to shift and open doors and grant blessings in the midst of hardship no one else can give.
I know who I am because I know who He is . . .
As a soon to be 30 year old, the years I’ve lived has taught me who I am, how strong I am, who Jesus is, what He can do, how His word remains throughout time, prayers work; from college years, dating, being married, having kids, building a business, relocating several times in life and watch God be my provider.
I don’t claim to know all and am far from knowing everything but from everything that I have been through in life; I can say with a smile on my heart that God is wonderful, mysterious, faithful because in the moment when He seems hidden, His mighty hand is still at work.
Today I’m still learning the depth and extent of who God is and what He is able to do in our lives. I cling to Him because I know I can fail in an instant and fail miserably. That, however, reminds me that I’m truly dependent on Him and I don’t want it any other way for my days are like grass, here today and gone tomorrow so I try my best to make much of every day and opportunity.
What are you most passionate about?
I’m most passionate about the salvation of people, being a helping hand to others, nature, quality time and cuddles with my family, a warm drink, and of course my art. My business has been existing since 2016 officially. It has grown from where it all started; creating greeting cards to now doing mostly commission work. I’ve also grown from being solely an acrylic artist to now expanding my skills to doing watercolor. Expanding my skills has enabled me to offer more to customers. I find true joy when my art blesses the heart of people and speaks to them in a way, I couldn’t have done any other way.
How has your faith grown over the years as a business owner?
My faith has been pivotal as a business owner because there have been moments, I feel inadequate to sell my art and make a difference in the world but when I’m reminded of what God has called me to; I find my foot and ground again.
There have been times I needed to believe God for provision to invest and I pray and see God release and provide. My faith has helped me regarding areas I have not been taught in before like finances, marketing, customer service, telling your story, etc. . .
As a self-taught artist, everything comes on a self-taught basis up to now, so I had to stand in faith and believe God to send me people in life who will teach me and be courteous and kind to show me the ropes. Thankfully He has blessed me with a handful, and I can trust the voices I hear or need in that aspect of my life.
What Scriptures help you stand strong in your walk with Christ?
From the moment I accepted Christ in my life, Scriptures have been my comfort. These are some of them:
- Though the promise linger/tarry, wait for it (Habbakuk 2:3)
- I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13)
- All things are possible with Christ. (Matthew 19:26)
- Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. (Romans 12:2)
- The plans I have for you is to prosper you to give you a hope and future, not to harm you . . . (Jeremiah 29:11)
- I will never leave you or forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:6)
- He is Father to the fatherless. (Psalm 68:5)
- Psalm 34, Psalm 27, Psalm 23, Psalm 91, Isaiah 54, Isaiah 55
- The Armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18)
- Romans 8
What encouraging words would you like to encourage our readers with?
Whew, allow yourself the processes of life, don’t be impatient and rush to the finished product. Stop and smell the roses. We often don’t allow ourselves to bask in the glory of God when we pray and ask for miracles and He answers. We become signs and wonders addicts, we forget what God just did for us and we run off to the next to-do and checklist. That mentality will always leave a void and emptiness in our hearts.
Cling to God in your weakness and allow Him to lift you up in His strength, not yours.
Pray and declare His truth and promise even if it’s every second of the day.
Don’t be a slave to fear, anxiety, depression, condemnation; that’s the will of the devil for your life, not God’s. In Christ, you are able to be fully free from them all and live God’s abundant life.
Don’t hustle and strive in life; thrive in Christ not yourself. Pray for your next business idea, be willing to take the baby steps, let God know you will do your part as He keeps His part.
Ada lives with her husband and two children in San Ignacio.
You can find out more about Ada’s business and connect with her on social media.
Facebook: Abris Inspirationals