HE KEEPS YOU
By Inside Out with Courtnaye
oin me as I sit down to chat with Chiquita Estavan, a very passionate lover of Jesus Christ, debut author, educator, and single mother of two. Grab a cup of coffee or relax as we talk about her story, God's keeping power in the midst of pain, and purpose.
Courtnaye – I am here with Chiquita Estavan, who is a new author of the book, “From Pain to Purpose.” Chiquita is very passionate about helping young girls, but also women to embrace who God has called them to be, beyond their pain or struggles in life. Welcome Chiquita and congratulations on your new book!
Chiquita - Amen, glory to God! Thank you for having me, Courtnaye.
Courtnaye – You're very welcome, Sis. Okay, so let’s dive in. Chiquita, the Lord has given you a story. Tell us about how the Lord kept you through the pain of losing your mom while you were only 15 years old to a life of drug addiction.
Chiquita – Absolutely. I’ll say, during that experience, before my mom passed away, my siblings and I were exposed to so much. There were people coming in and out of the house, all the while witnessing my mom do drugs. Yet, through all of that, God covered us and never allowed those things to touch me or my siblings. I know without a shadow of a doubt that God kept His hedge of protection around us, because we could’ve been taken away. We could’ve been placed into the system - due to the lifestyle that my mom had, but God is so good that He shielded us and protected us from that. So I’m grateful.
Courtnaye – He shielded and protected you. Wow! Amen! Like a fortress.
Chiquita – Yes! Because I could’ve very well gone down the same path as my mom, but I didn’t want any part of that. I saw the destruction of what that lifestyle could do and how it could bring you down and how it could just ultimately destroy you. But again, God is so good that He had a purpose and a plan for my life that would take me on a completely different route in life. I’m actually a first-generation college graduate. And that was a big deal, because neither of my parents graduated from high school. I talk about that in the book. But I wanted to give college a shot. It was a personal goal for me that I wanted to accomplish. Actually, it was then, during my undergraduate experience, when I began working with the youth.
Courtnaye – Amen. Tell us more about that.
Chiquita - God led me to work with them. I just connected with them instantly and there was an immediate connection with these kids. They would open up to me and tell me about things that were going on at home and the struggles that they were facing. Things like their parents being incarcerated or on drugs. There were all of these different things happening and that’s when the lightbulb went off. I said, “Oh, my God! Their stories remind me so much of mine.”
Courtnaye - You were discovering your purpose.
Chiquita - I felt like, if they could see what God did for little old me and see that I didn’t get on drugs, go to jail, or turn to prostitution, then He could do the same thing for them. And so from that point on, I was on a journey to empower these kids and to let them know that I am a living witness – a walking testimony.
Courtnaye – I love it! Okay, so today, how are you helping young girls overcome their pain and struggles?
Chiquita – Currently, I work with middle school-aged girls who are still very impressionable. Of course, we’re living in a world driven by social media. But I tell these girls, “God has uniquely made you and that He has placed gifts and talents inside of you and has set you apart from the next person. So there is no need to compare yourself to others, because you’re already gifted to be who God has called you to be and be good at it!”
Courtnaye – So good!
Chiquita - In the book, I target younger women, but I just want young girls and women to know that even though you go through adversity, challenges, or even what people view as mistakes, you can still turn your life around. You still have the power to move forward in your life and make better decisions and better choices for yourself.
Courtnaye – Good stuff. Now, as we prepare to close, what Scriptures have helped you stand strong in your faith?
Chiquita – Oh my gosh! I have two in particular that have literally changed my life and have kept me, but also allowed me to increase my faith over my life span and they are Proverbs 3:5 and 6 and Isaiah 40:31. I actually had to learn them on my own regarding how to trust in God and allow Him to direct my path, because that was not instilled me. This was something that I had to adopt on my own. I also had to be patient. Isaiah 40:31 says, “Those who wait…” I had to endure the obstacles in my life for years, before things started coming to pass - before things got better.
Courtnaye – Amen. I hear ya!
Chiquita – Ultimately, losing my mom along the way due to her addiction (in my 10th grade year in high school), I experienced a lot of emotions. There was so much from the past that was so unsettled. There were so many things that I wanted to say. I wanted her to overcome that addiction and to be the woman that I knew she could be, but unfortunately, her life was cut short. Again, that was a very hard and very difficult time in my life - going through that grief process, but I came out victorious and stronger. Now, I can see the plan that God had for my life unfolding during that pain.
Courtnaye – Wow, there you have it ladies! From pain to purpose! And that is actually the title of Chiquita’s NEW book, “From Pain to Purpose.” It is available on Amazon NOW! So grab it TODAY! Also, if you would like to learn more about Chiquita’s endeavors or to reach out to connect with her for a speaking engagement for your youth group or college-aged ministry, you can email her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you so much ladies for joining us and remember that God is able to keep you and know that He is working everything out for your good as Romans 8:28 encourages.
God will not allow any circumstance, or any person, to hold us back from his promises. He will not waste our pain, but instead, use the difficulty of what we walk through for our good, and to be a blessing to others. I am so grateful that God had a plan/purpose for my life. The difference between an obstacle and opportunity is our attitude. Grow from your pain and use it to flow in your purpose.