A Life Lived Beautifully: Ida Alarcon
One thing that God continually amazes me with is the work He is doing in the hearts of women around the world. He is using social media and the internet to shine light into the darkness, and it is a beautiful thing! It is a joy to meet so many women through social media who are faithfully seeking to make much of Jesus. I found Ida through a hashtag and have been so encouraged by her posts and heart for the Lord. I know you will be as well! Grab a cup of coffee and meet Ida!
Introduce yourself like we are having a cup of coffee together. :) What kind of coffee/tea would you drink?
Hi! I’m Ida and I’m really blessed that you would have me here! I’m 25 years old in body but an old soul at heart. I love reading, knitting, writing and cooking for people. I was born in the Cape Verde islands off of the west coast of Africa and came to America around the age of 7. I’ve lived in New England ever since and unless the Lord calls us elsewhere, will be here always. I’m wife to a wonderful husband and mom/stepmom to three dear children. I’m a tea girl but if I’m incredibly tired you’ll find me drinking a dark roast coffee with coconut cream and a side of dates. Strange you say. Yes. Delicious, you ask? YES!
What is your definition of a "life lived beautifully"?
I would have to say a “life lived beautifully” is a life WITH the Lord and FOR the Lord. I can’t imagine any true beauty in a life without the Lord and I can’t imagine truly living life without it being a life dedicated utterly and totally in service to the Lord.
When did you start following Jesus?
I believe the Lord began drawing me to Himself around the age of 14. I made a profession of faith early on but I don’t believe I had been truly saved yet. I was looking for a Savior to save me from an abusive household and not necessarily to be saved from my own sin. Although the Lord worked in me throughout those years, I read my Bible and attended church, in many ways my heart was far from God. It was about four or five years ago where I truly gained an understanding of the weight of my sin and the grace and mercy in salvation by faith in Christ Jesus. God gave me a new heart and I have not been the same since.
What are some verses you constantly cling to and bring life to your soul?
I love many accounts and verses from God’s word but these are especially dear to me:
“Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance.” Psalm 42:5
"Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:12-14
"And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28 (emphasis added)
“But if a man finds a betrothed young woman in the countryside, and the man forces her and lies with her, then only the man who lay with her shall die. But you shall do nothing to the young woman; there is in the young woman no sin deserving of death, for just as when a man rises against his neighbor and kills him, even so is this matter. For he found her in the countryside, and the betrothed young woman cried out, but there was no one to save her." Deuteronomy 22:25-27 (emphasis added)
"But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive." Genesis 50:20 (emphasis added)
"Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." Hebrews 12:1-2
"So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten." Joel 2:25
How do you integrate sharing the Gospel with creativity?
I have come to really love Instagram for the great tool that it is in reaching people all around the world with the click of a button. I enjoy using photography and text to display both God’s life changing word and quotes of godly Christians who have served God faithfully throughout time and history. I also enjoy writing for my blog on topics such as theology, motherhood, depression, abuse and anything else the Lord places on my heart.
How did God direct you to create the Press On journals?
The Press On Journals came about out of a need of my own soul. Having been sexually abused as a child by my father, many areas of my life were severely damaged. One of those areas was emotionally. For many years I was either ruled by them or consumed in controlling them with apathetic numbness. I went through many seasons of deep depression and anxiety. After attending months of biblical counseling to deal with the abuse of my past I realized I needed to change the way I dealt with my emotions. I have always loved to journal my thoughts and I realized that in some ways it had become a trap for dealing with hard emotional days. I would write all the terrible things I felt and I would wallow in those thoughts and sometimes read and reread terrible things I recorded about my life. There wouldn’t be any encouragement or any way of redirecting those thoughts to something that would help deal with how I felt. I realized that as Philippians 3:13 says I needed to “forget those things which are behind and reach forward to those things which are ahead”. That verse is how the journals came about and there are two separate journals for a unique reason. The “BEHIND” journal is for hard emotional days, to acknowledge thoughts and feelings but also to point them to a better understanding of what God’s word says about those things. I have found that this journal often either convicts me of my own sin or corrects my wrong thinking according to what scripture says instead of just what I think and feel. The “FORWARD” journal is for storing encouragement and remembering the wonderful things that God still does in the midst of trial and suffering. With there being two I can deal with hard things, set it down and then pick up and read and remind myself of encouraging testimonies of how God has worked in my life.
What is the vision behind the journals?
The vision behind the journals is that through the hope of Christ and God’s word women would know that our God is a God who “restores the years that the locust have eaten”. That He makes people whole again no matter how deep or how wide the suffering. And that God’s restoration goes as deep as every thought and feeling.
What are some books you are currently reading?
I just finished reading “Spurgeon’s Sorrows” by Zack Eswine on depression. I was able to do a 5 day series on my blog about depression and it was such a blessing to my soul to read his book and then share it with others. I also recently finished “Practical Theology for Women – Knowing How God Makes a Difference in Our Daily Lives” by Wendy Alsup. Wonderful, wonderful book and I highly recommend it for anyone who wants to know why having a full understanding of who God is affects daily life in practical ways. I’m getting ready to start Spurgeon’s autobiography and am looking forward to reading them.
If you could tell every woman reading this blog one thing God has laid on your heart, what would it be?
If I could tell women one thing it would be this, God is sovereign. He is in control of every molecular detail of your life. From the 1 A.M. diaper change that has you walking around like a zombie to the deep pain of your past or present that has you feeling broken and destroyed. He does all things in His timing, for your good and for His glory. As Spurgeon said “If you can’t see His way past the tears, trust His heart.” Trust God, He will carry you.