As soon as I got married, I left Brazil and stayed abroad for 20 years. It wasn’t because I wanted to succeed abroad but in order to serve God. There is a big difference between going to another country for personal gain and going to save souls. You don’t make plans, you don’t know when you’ll see your relatives and friends again, and many times you suffer prejudice for being a foreigner and wanting to help the locals. And it was out there where God took me through personal deserts, in my marriage as well as with my son and the Work of God.
For some, I was seen as Bishop Macedo’s lucky daughter who got married to a pastor and immediately went to live abroad. There I was having to deal with the expectation’s others had about me while in reality, I was just a young, insecure and immature 17-year-old. Sometimes they would see me as silly, because I didn’t know how the world worked. Other times, spoiled because I didn’t know what it meant to suffer. These were the set of eyes I had toward me and every time I would open my mouth to speak about the Word of God and they already knew it. I would blush and even more eyes looked upon me, those of which saw me completely unprepared to be in that place.
It was in this desperation, immaturity, and even insecurity, that God carefully prepared me to be the Cristiane Cardoso that I’m known as today. I continue being a nobody, but when I look back, I see how much my insignificance, through my own eyes and the eyes of others was so important for me. Because of that, the Holy Spirit was able to work in me. I would’ve never had this structure if I started out big in the beginning.
I was disappointed, I was slandered, I was mistreated, I was ignored, I was disrespected, mocked, was put to the side, persecuted, misunderstood and many times within the church, by people who I never imagined would hurt me. But God was so marvelous with me, that in my loneliness, He was enough. His Spirit comforted me, consoled me, and gave me strength not only to forgive, but to keep looking forward.
This is why I identify with this passage so much:
“Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, and let not the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches; but let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who exercises lovingkindness, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, says the Lord.” (Jer. 9:23-24)
Even when we don’t have the wisdom or strength we expect from ourselves, if we know the Lord Jesus, we have the structure we need for our life.