Hi, I'm Maricarmen.
I'm a stubborn and adventurous free spirit who is passionate about life, people, and above all God. A long time ago, when I was seventeen years old, I promised myself I wouldn't settle for anything other than finding my true identity and purpose in life. I wanted to bring wholeness to my life and my family’s. At that point, I had a lot of growing up to do, but I never stopped my quest to be truthful to myself and my call in life.
Since I was a kid, I've worked on my spirituality. I have an extremely theological mind and love sharing my spiritual beliefs in simple and relevant ways. My biggest challenge was my family, and I thought I needed a neutral place and a new beginning in order to discover myself and my life purpose. I strongly believed that I wasn't going to reach my life goals if I stayed in Brazil, where I grew up, so I left.
Looking backwards, I am able to clearly see God’s fingerprints all over my life journey. Leaving Brazil was the beginning of the most amazing journey to grow. Seeking to find ways to connect with the life within, my core existence, and my surroundings while creating significant value in life was my new challenge. The process was awesome and I had a ton of failures and successes. It wasn't until recently that I've been able to accept my own strengths and limitations when it comes to how I live out the fresh expressions of my faith.
Recently, I came to realize that I’m strong when it comes to it––faith. What's more is that my faith reaches out to others in very powerful ways. I can exercise it to help others do amazing things!
Another benefit of my faith practices is that I have a ton of experience counseling and coaching people in their spiritual journeys.
Because I can exercise faith and stay tall and bold in the midst of evil expressions, and at the same time claim the victory I have in my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, I can teach you to do the same.
To find out more about how I can help you, visit this page.
From Struggle to Success
I struggled like crazy! I tried other things first but had no positive results. Just to mention a few examples: I was born in São Paulo, Brazil, and down there we have a different kind of Catholicism; Protestants in Brazil try to convert Catholics to Christianity! Anyway, I was raised catholic and wanted to join a Convent, but was told by a priest that I was “not nun material.” Also when my Protestant friends learned that I was Catholic and was trying to be a nun, they started a campaign to convert me. In their efforts, they did nothing but scare me even more. So, confused and lost, I ended up joining the predominant Spiritism movement. When my Protestant friends learned about the fact that I was channeling spirits, they left me alone saying that surely I belonged to the devil and was destined for hell already.
Anyway, I tried to find myself in all sorts of spiritual stuff; nothing worked! Looking back, I really made a big mess of my life. My family was also involved with Umbanda and Candomble. It was really messy! God had to bring me to the other side of the world to help me. I never ever would have been able to surrender my life to Jesus Christ if I were kept in Brazil. The life of my family in Brazil is still a mess, but my life couldn’t be better.
It was hard and very upsetting. It took me a looong time to figure things out. My Protestant friends were really scary! My interactions with the spiritual world were even scarier. But my restless heart was finally found and able to rest in my Lord.
And that is how I figured things out. Jesus and His love and acceptance, His total embrace, is how I went from being a big mess to finally succeeding in all the different aspects of my life (not only spiritually).
I am an ordained Presbyterian (PCUSA) Teaching Elder and a missionary to the world. I hold a Bachelor’s degree from University São Paulo and a Master of Divinity from San Francisco Theological Seminary. I have also studied Early Childhood Development at University of California Los Angeles, and have further theological studies from Princeton Theological Seminary and Candler School of Theology.
I am passionate about spiritual formation and have completed the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius in Daily Life at the Cenacle, in Houston, Texas.
I have been a chaplain and a pastor in Los Angeles, Houston, and Huntsville; and for more than thirteen years have taught Bible and the spiritual disciplines.
From the far ends of Northern Spain to the concrete jungle of São Paulo, I have encountered amazing love expressions of God all over the world. I have traveled extensively in Latin America, Europe, Africa, and the Mideast. I maintain an active schedule of speaking in churches across our nation, as well as throughout the world. I have participated in conferences as a speaker and have led several workshops in the United States, Brazil, Mexico, Israel, and South Africa.
Random Facts About Me:
I love to help people! Nothing like witnessing the awe moments God’s revelation brings to people’s lives.
I love to dance! When I was a child I used to be in front of the mirror, with my two sisters, dancing all day long. I got a scholarship from a Classic Ballet Dance School in São Paulo and could have been a famous ballerina if it wasn’t for an unfortunate injury. To this day I love to dance and my favorite style is Swing.
I love fencing, and saber is my sword. I’ve learned épée and like it, too.
I love tennis, running, and the outdoors.
I also love to spend time at home with my beautiful daughter and handsome grandson.
I love homemade tomato sauce but dislike fresh tomatoes.
Although I speak several languages, I am terrible at French.
You already know this one: I AM CRAZY ABOUT JESUS! :)
What It's All About for Me:
The freedom, peace, and joy resulting from forgiveness were only possible because I chose to believe in God’s love for me. I choose to believe that God IS good and has wonderful plans for my life. I got to know the promises of God for my life, and I learned to claim and receive them. I understood then, and understand today, that the spiritual battle was fought and won by Christ and in THAT is my victory. All I needed to do was, and is, to believe and receive the precious gift. I’m talking about real incarnation of the promises.
I’m talking about the understanding with all my heart and mind—with everything I have (or do not have)—that I am totally forgiven, accepted, and loved, that I am God’s child! I belong to God and I’m part of God’s family forever.
I believe that the enemy is real and is a defeated fool. He has neither power nor authority over my life. I’ve declared victory, and I received victory!
I also believe that we all deserve the truth and the freedom only God brings.
It is possible to be all that your Creator purposed you to be! And I am here to help you!
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If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.