Just Call Me Milagro
Nancye F. Rivera
Copyright 2020 by Nancye F. Rivera
going to live to 103," I prophesied as a six-year-old. Now at
65, I’ve added “a strong life” to the mix so I can
finish well. Actually, it is a miracle that I am alive, and I often
joke that I should change my name to Milagro, which means miracle in
upbringing was cold, loveless, and fearful. I am the middle child of
11 children and my parents divorced when I was 10. We were poor,
lived on welfare, government food, and second-hand clothes. Life
obstructed all light of hope until I was accepted at DePaul
University, Chicago at the age of 16. The family was quick to disown
me, claiming that I thought I was better than them. That was fine by
me. However, they still found ways to infiltrate their
finished my bachelor’s in three years and fled to San Francisco
to work on my MBA in Accounting where I started my career and
discovered sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll. They quickly became my
evening, a married co-worker, who was my lover, and I drove to
Oakland where he introduced me to crack. I do not recall getting back
to San Francisco where I awakened the next morning in my bed with my
lover roommate. So, although I cared about my education and career,
my social, spiritual and physical life was a shamble.
these years, the contact with the family was minimal as it was always
very stressful and negative. However, in my late 20’s because I
was single, they summoned me to Puerto Rico to take care of my ailing
father. I went as it was an escape from my high-risk lifestyle. I
never did return to San Francisco. After my father passed away, I
moved back to Chicago, where I still live today.
pursued another master’s degree and implemented a career change
to communications. However, I continued my addictions, which
eventually forced bankruptcy. In the depth of my soul, I was
miserable and desperately seeking the purpose of my life that would
fill the void in my existence.
had received the Lord Jesus Christ as my Savior when I was eight, but
I had shelfed Him for over 30 years. One early Sunday morning, while
drinking a beer, I was watching a TV ministry program. The minister
was teaching and suddenly he pointed his finger and shouted, “You,
with that beer in your hand, the Lord is calling you.” I almost
choked. At the end of the program, he presented the salvation and
recommitment call. I dropped to my knees.
took nine months before I was drug-free and changed my lifestyle. I
began to learn how to take care of myself and nurture my spiritual
life. The discovery of God’s love for me and learning how to
love myself was the turning point. I was tying the laces to my
running shoes one afternoon when it seemed like heaven opened with
the revelation and I exclaimed to the Lord, “you love me!”
I knew it was Him working in me.
was 25 years ago. It has taken diligence and discipline to overcome
addictions, cancer, other odds, and to remain steadfast. Today I am a
very grateful, happy and strong woman who takes great measures to
safeguard my life of peace. One extremely important safeguard is I do
not tolerate the familial caustic and cynical remarks, “Are you
a millionaire yet? I would think by now….”
in prayer for the family, the Lord said, “I cannot come down
there and tell people how to treat you.” So, I did! After a
couple of “You are not going to speak to me that way,”
their calls stopped.
never married and I am not lonely. I feel complete and dedicated to
fulfilling my calling in the field of Christian communications. I
also teach at the Hispanic Bible School and have mentored hundreds of
students emphasizing how to take good care of themselves in all
still prophesying that I will live to be 103. Self-love,
self-respect, and knowing your identity in Christ are keys that lead
to a long and strong life. The routines of exercise and nutrition are
critical. Remembering the outcome of overindulgence of chocolate and
Italian foods provides the necessary temperance. When I saw the
number on the scale creep up to 180 pounds, I said, “no más!”
tough love and surrounding yourself with like-minded and positive
individuals creates a healthy social, emotional and intellectual
life. Establishing goals that keep your dreams alive provides
happiness and the ability to share meaningful experiences with
others, while being an example especially for the next generation.
challenges and disappointments arise, the scriptures are my guard
rails and medicine. Staying close to what makes me happy and keeping
the vision before me provides strength and compels me to run the race
to the finish. I have learned that the words I speak have the
greatest authority and determine the manifestations in my life.
redeemer’s constant guidance, wisdom and promise of a
long-satisfied life guarantees and creates the faith that I can live
to 103. After all, I am Milagro.
her love of writing in grammar school and was told by many teachers,
in college as well, that she was a good writer. But when she
discovered that writing exposes the self, fear temporarily
victory. However, she realized that the one thing she must do before
she dies is write. So here she is!
Nancye got her
master’s in arts from Columbia College Chicago and is currently
working on her Doctorate in Preaching and Media Ministry. She is a
passionate communicator of the transforming power of the Word of God.
Called to preach the gospel in Spanish, she also teaches at the
Hispanic Bible School in Chicago.
of the message
won't know where to send it.)
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