Imagine you are 15 years old and you are the typical teenager who has a difficult relationship with their parents, especially your mother. You aren’t getting along, in fact it is quite bad and the communication factor and respect are non-existent. You are then invited over to your friend’s house to do homework, while you are there you ask to get a glass of water and as you make your way to the kitchen you walk by a room filled with ladies who seem to be having a meeting. You then overhear one lady say to the group, “The evil wanted to attack your relationship with your mother because that is in fact the way God shows you His sweetness, love, and delicate nature. Through a mother’s love.” What would you think? Was she speaking to me? Or was it meant for someone else? How would she know about my life? Does she know my mother? Maybe it was spoken so you could hear and upon hearing such timely words it would be revelation to your heart? It would definitely make you stop and think. These words had the potential of softening your heart to what God wanted to do in your life.
The story above is about a 15 year old girl, Angelica, and the moment in time that was so designed and orchestrated just for her. It was a moment that would change the course of her life, but it would be the fuel she would need to walk through the journey that lay ahead. So let me tell you a portion of her story.
I first heard about the miracle she experienced when she shared it to a group of young adults. I hadn’t known this about her, as she seemed like a girl just going about the business of life, yet she held this amazing miracle inside of her. When she shared it with the group, it was as if it wasn’t anything extraordinary, because to her, the way the miracle came about was from simple faith, expectation that it would happen, and living life the way she wanted it to turn out.
Angelica, an only child, grew up in Colombia in a Catholic family. At 2 years old she started to experience hallucinations and they came in the form of seeing rabbits but there were no rabbits, walls and yet the walls weren’t there, seeing no walls, yet walk right into them. Her parents became concerned and took her to a Psychologist and he explained that Angelica must have been experiencing some sort of stress at home, that she was creating a false reality for herself. The hallucinations turned into seizures and she was diagnosed with having Epilepsy at the age of 2. This was her life until age 7 when one day for no apparent reasons it all disappeared.
When Angelica, 15 years old, was standing in the kitchen overhearing the lady speak about a relationship with a mother, she paid attention. Angelica started crying, she felt for some reason that a higher Love had stopped time to speak to her situation, to the cares of her heart. Those words revealed how she felt, empty and alone. Becoming aware of the state of her heart, she desired something more. She desired hope. Days following she decided she needed a deeper relationship with God; she purposed in her heart to walk with God in her everyday.
At 17 years old, Angelica was attending her cousin’s wedding when she went to the washroom, after that she remembers nothing. The story goes: she came out of the bathroom, danced one dance with her uncle, then collapsed and was unconscious. They rushed her to the hospital where she stayed unconscious for 8 hours, then fell into a coma for 15 days. When she awoke from the coma she had amnesia for 2 weeks and was ordered bed rest for 3 months.
Rewind a little bit, before all this happened Angelica was in one of the best Accounting programs in Colombia. Normally a student would take 6 courses a semester, however Angelica was taking 10 courses. Her workload was huge, putting her under a lot of pressure and stress. She wasn’t living life; there was no enjoyment, no excitement and no joy. She didn’t enjoy life, it was just work for her every day. All this stress she was living with, living under, manifested itself in her health. So, after she came out of the coma and was home recuperating, her doctors advised her to take 6 months off of school. She listened. Soon her friends started to fade out of her life and isolation became Angelica’s life. However, in this loneliness she took solitude in her relationship with God. Her dependency on His presence became a reality to her. He was all she had. Angelica spent most of her time praying in her room. She knew He was in the process of making her stronger. They were very difficult years for her, but now she looks back and knows that it was this time that shaped her faith and determined who she was and what she believed.
Angelica became stronger over those months, so she was able to go back to school. One day Angelica started to experience pain in her back and thought that it was due to stress. She put off going to the doctor but the pain became worse. She finally went to a specialist and they ordered a test. After the tests were looked over, Angelica was diagnosed with having Arthritis. Can you imagine? At the age of 17 you are diagnosed with having a very painful illness. Angelica couldn’t believe what she was hearing. When her general doctor saw the results he wanted to send her for more tests, as he wasn’t confident in the first diagnosis. After enduring more tests, Angelica was diagnosed with having 3 conditions: Antiphospholifed Syndrome, Shrogen’s Syndrome and Fibromyalgia. All of these affected her skin, hair, her body’s hydration, sleep, energy, mood and the list goes on. (You can find more out about these conditions at the Mayo Clinic). Angelica’s body was so swollen that she couldn’t even sleep with a blanket, as her skin was so sensitive. She lost 8lbs in one month, had a butterfly rash on her face and her mood was low. She fell into depression. She began the process of taking medication and injections.
During this time, during her depression, Angelica desired to be a woman of faith and believed that she could be healed. One day she looked in the mirror and said to God, “You can heal me. If You want to heal me then heal me!” She didn’t want to take more medicine; she wanted more faith.
Two years went by living with these symptoms when her Dr. asked her to come to his office, along with her parents. Angelica knew something was wrong. He began the conversation saying that Angelica would need to stay away from certain foods, be very careful with movement, she couldn’t play sports and that she had Lupus. He didn’t pause but continued speaking; informing her that she had about 5 years of life left. The whole while Angelica was thinking, “What did he say? Lupus? 5 years? I’m only 20 years old.” Her parents began to cry and Angelica was still processing words that were spoken so coldly, so matter of fact. They walked out of the Drs. office that day and Angelica knew she had a choice. She could both live under the diagnosis and give in to the words that were attempting to steal her life or she could choose to live and believe for a greater outcome. She decided that if she only had 5 years of life left, they would be the best 5 years of her life. She was going to live them to the fullest!
This is the part of the story that Angelica loves to share, she lights up! It’s the fruit of this season that she can now use to plant seeds in other’s lives. She lives and breathes hope and she desires to communicate it to everyone she meets.
At 21 years old Angelica decided to change careers. She had always wanted to be an artist but knew her parents would not be ok with it, so she pursued accounting. She thought to herself, “I’m going to die anyways, might as well become an artist!” She quit school and went to art school. The craziest thing happened once she started doing art; her symptoms started to disappear! No more rash on her face, her muscles relaxed, her energy came back, and her body wasn’t swollen and sensitive; but most of all she was happy again. She had a joy that those around her could see.
One of Angelica’s dreams is to go around the world telling people that she believes art can heal. God healed her through art. She fully believes He created music, photography, painting, and writing to be moments of happiness in people’s lives and He can work through these moments to heal.
At 24 years of age, the Lupus has gone into remission. She sees no symptoms of it and believes that God has healed her. She does not expect to see it return!
Currently Angelica is living in Calgary, Canada with her husband and she is a photographer who takes the most incredible photos and captures magic in the making! You can see her amazing work at The Jar Photography .
When you meet her you see the joy that is in her, she has an appreciation for life that some struggle to find. She was diagnosed with death but her faith fought for life and she made the choice to do what her heart had always wanted to do! She values the time she has and the people she is in relationship with because at one point in her life, it was all challenged and a thief was looming close by.
She wanted to be known as a woman of faith, well she clearly is a woman of faith!
Angelica. Sweet Angelica. Powerful Angelica.
I met Angelica when she moved to Canada from Colombia about a year ago. Her husband is a friend of mine and lives in the same city. Angelica and Juan dated long distance, were an engaged couple long distance and even did long distance after they were married. I can’t imagine! (I will share their amazing love story in another post!) She is a beautiful friend of mine and I value her mandate in life.
Photos by Angelica Rodriguez.
Please note I am not a doctor, nor do I have any medical training. Anything written above regarding Angelica’s medical history was communicated to me by Angelica. If you have any questions regarding the medical component of this post, please speak with your doctor.