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Who told you that you were naked?

For most of my life, I’ve had a mental checklist of everything that’s wrong with my appearance. My skin is acne-prone. One of my eyes is smaller than the other. My arms are too hairy. My body isn’t exactly “thicc” (is that a weird word to use here?). The list goes on… And I don’t think I’m alone in having a list. When girls go to the bathroom together and look in the mirror, it seems like protocol to make one negative comment about ourselves before looking away. A few months ago, God showed me this passage of Genesis in a way that I’ve never seen it before:

And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. But the LORD God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.” He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?”

Genesis 3:8-11

Who told you that you were naked? Surely, this was God pushing them to admit that they were feeling shame because they sinned against him. But still, I wonder if it was also God’s heart breaking for them. I wonder if God was also asking, “Who told you that the way you were designed is anything to be ashamed of?” To create the universe and everything in it, only to find your most prized creation covered in fig leaves. Wouldn’t your heart break too?

May each pound of fat be a reminder that you’re fed. May each stretch mark be a reminder of your resilience. May each pimple be a reminder to be humble. May each wrinkle by your eye be a reminder of everything that’s made you smile.

What if we just saw God when we looked in the mirror? I pray that we will. I pray that we will know that we are created in His image just as much today as we were in our mother’s wombs. I pray that we will walk with the understanding that we are a purposeful piece of God’s favorite creation.

The key here is picking out the sin. Gluttony and laziness are both sins. If you struggle with either of them, it’s likely affecting your body. But, your body is not what’s wrong with you. If you’re covering yourself with fig leaves, you’ve missed the point. This is not a body issue. It’s a sin issue. And as with all sin issues, you’re going to need to repent and turn from it. And you’re probably going to hit a lot of bumps along the way. That’s what grace is for. I think we’re all in for the shock of our lives once we’re able to look back and see how beautifully our lives transformed and how miraculously our sins were separated from us, all while believing the truth about our bodies the whole way through.

No matter how many pounds you lose or gain, how clear your skin gets, how much you whiten your teeth, it’s never going to be enough. The world is never going to run out of things to tell you to do better. But, our sweet Jesus—he never runs out of adoration for you. There is not one flaw that makes him take a step back from you. Heaven celebrates you every time you see God’s prized creation in the mirror. Heaven mourns when you see anything less. Rather than seeing our mental checklist as things to fix, let’s see it as insecurities that we need to let go of and be free from. And let’s check off all of the boxes.

From Him to me to you,

Tatiana Soriano


What is our role in other people’s sin?

What do people think of when they think of today’s church?

Many think of criticism, xenophobia, hypocrites, and hatred. How can a loving God call gays an abomination? How can pastors preach sexual purity while they’re having several affairs? Why are Christians so judgmental? Sure, this doesn’t describe every Christian. But it describes enough. That’s why we have this problem. Something I struggle with is the line between biblical discernment and trying to take God’s place as lawgiver and judge. I begin to obsess over details and taxonomy. Is this technically a sin? How bad of a person are they for doing that? I start to pray that so-and-so would just stop doing such-and-such and being the way that they are. I claim to love them, but only give them conditional respect.

Here’s the danger in that: I’ve now put myself in a position where I have the arrogance to believe I have any place to choose what is and isn’t sin, who is and isn’t righteous, who is and isn’t right with God. James warns us, “There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?” (James 4:12). Only Jesus sets the law. And only Jesus gets to judge who’s in line with it. And only Jesus is able to save and destroy. It is only because of Jesus that we can be saved from destruction in the first place! We as Christians must humble ourselves so deeply and remember that not one of us is righteous apart from Jesus.

I don’t say any of this to claim that we don’t have a role in the spreading of Truth. We are called to be the salt of the Earth (Matthew 5:13) and to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19). Everything we do should stem from the desire to make Jesus known! If we see sin in someone, we should absolutely want them to be free of it. We can pray for people and for them to go and sin no more, and those prayers might just get answered! But, here’s where we stumble. If we’ve prayed the whole world into solid morals and good behavior, things would sure be a lot nicer down here, but what have we really accomplished? Everyone could have the time of their lives and live in loving kindness, but what for?

Jesus said, “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:4-5). The truest forms of peace, salvation, and joy come from Christ alone. Before we allow ourselves to get caught up in fixing those trapped in sin, we must make a priority of getting God into the picture. There’s nothing that anyone needs more than to know that there is a great God that loves them and cares for them. Introduce them to Jesus first, then let Jesus do what he does best. How backward is it that we try to save people in order to eventually introduce them to the One who actually saves them? We really ought to bench ourselves and let the Real Deal steal the show. We are far too broken to take the lead when one’s eternity is at stake.

Minute by minute, led the Spirit guide you. If you’re paying close attention, the Spirit probably isn’t guiding you to start any sentence with “If you’d only…” or “You really should just…” to anyone caught in sin. He probably isn’t guiding you to confide in anyone that doesn’t need to know. He probably isn’t guiding you to use someone else’s sin to feel better about yourself. That’s probably your own imperfect human interpretation of His perfect guidance. Before you pounce on someone else’s sin, slow down. Ask God what your role is in all of this. You may not even have one, and that’s okay. Don’t act based on reason or even on advice from spiritual leaders. Jesus will make known to you exactly what he wants from you. He doesn’t call you to do what makes sense or what seems like the most Christian thing to do. He calls you to live in obedience, which flows from faith. Truly, the best thing you can do for others is whatever flows from your own personal faith in Jesus.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5

“For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” 2 Peter 1:21

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23

From Him to me to you,

Tatiana Soriano


The Dialogue of Shame

Sometimes, usually suddenly, there’s this movie that plays in my head. There are clips of everything I’ve ever done wrong, everything I still fall short in, and every way I predict I’ll mess up in the future. I like to think that all of our feelings have their own dialogue. When we feel grateful, we are telling God that we appreciate the ways that He’s blessed us. When we feel worried, we are asking God for direction. This begs the question that might just change the script: What are we telling God when we allow ourselves to live in shame?

Hebrews 4:15 says that “we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are…” Jesus is recorded weeping three times in scripture. Although Jesus never committed sin, he definitely experienced sin and felt its weight. He knows what it’s like to feel weak. But when we allow ourselves to live in shame, we are saying:

“Although you empathize with my weaknesses, you could not possibly understand what I’m going through.”

When Jesus died for us, that was a big deal. Imagine this: You are the creator of the universe and you can do anything. Willingly, you are born as a helpless baby into unprivileged circumstances. After living your life perfectly, serving those around you, you are killed unjustly. You bear every sin of the past, present, and future, as you descend into hell. Then, because you and only you can defeat death, you leave all of that sin in the depths and ascend victoriously. You are even sure to defeat the sins of those who killed you and those who will dedicate their entire lives to cursing your name. You then, some two thousand years later, come across a beloved one who is crumbling underneath the weight of their sin. They look up at you, tears in their eyes, and say this:

“What you have done is just not enough.”

This is the message we send to our Father in heaven. There’s still more to this dialogue. God isn’t the only one listening. He isn’t the only one completely invested in your life. We also have an Enemy, who pays very close attention to his victims. When we allow ourselves to live in shame, we tell the Enemy:

“My worth is measured by your standards.”

“All you know how to do is steal, kill, and destroy. But, I trust you anyways.”

It’s a script that’s difficult to wrap your head around. But, this script is the cold reality of shame. All too often, this is the script I follow. Friend, I invite you to reflect with me in this moment. What is true about our God? What is true about our shame? Which narrative is worth following? With prayer, write a note to yourself on your phone or a piece of paper of what is true. Refer to this note in times that it’s challenging to separate lies from reality. Here’s mine:

Right now, you may be experiencing thoughts from the Enemy. And they may feel true. But, they only feel true because the Enemy watches you closely and has mastered the exploitation of the most vulnerable parts of your heart. Anything that isn’t from God is from the Enemy. The Enemy isn’t capable of anything but lying and twisting. If you feel the lie that you are a disgrace, that must mean that you are truly clean and redeemed. You are not defined by your sin in any capacity. Jesus did not die for you to live in shame. Nothing can separate you from God’s grace.

Let God write your dialogue, so that the other guy doesn’t get to.

From Him to me to you,

Tatiana Soriano


A Tribute to a Song Bird

To Amanda—

Today, we tearfully celebrate the 21st birthday of Amanda Nicole Korbas. And I mean tearfully. Amanda was loved deeply and widely by her fellow choir members, girl scouts, sorority sisters, classmates, and the many others that she connected with throughout her life. A quick scroll through her Facebook page will confirm the suspicion that there are very few that have met Amanda and haven’t been drastically better for it. Having earned her pilot’s license and being set to graduate a year early from UC San Diego this June, she had the most spectacular life lined up for her. She was even accepted into Disney’s College Program so that she could work her dream job in Disney World. To me, Amanda was a big sister. I never thought I’d have to go a day that she wouldn’t be there for me. Although we did grow apart as she left for college, I always knew that she would love me and make herself available when I needed her.

The reason Amanda is no longer with us today is that of a lack of sufficient signage and lighting on a confusing stretch of road in Puerto Peñasco, Mexico. More information on the accident can be found here and here. The Korbas family has courageously and compassionately made the decision to raise funds in order to fix the road on which the accident occurred to prevent more lives from being taken unnecessarily. There are few families that love the Lord the way that the Korbases do, so I am not surprised at all that they were so quick to take action on Amanda’s behalf. They have been a perfect example of how Jesus would want us to mourn. Seeing the light that they have brought into such a tragic situation has truly changed how I’ve been able to handle it and has changed how I view tragedy in general. I know for certain that people are seeing the way that they mourn and longing for whatever it is that gives them such a peace. The past week has been such a beautiful picture of God using the darkest of times for His glory. From our glimpse into Heaven, we can know: “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away” (Revelation 21:4). May we collectively be grateful for the hope that Christ brings in times like this!

If you would like to contribute financially to the renovation of the most dangerous road in Puerto Peñasco, click here. If you are not able to do so, please pray for healing in a community that has truly lost an angel and for God to be glorified every step of the way.

From Him to me to you,

Tatiana Soriano


6 Reminders for When You Feel Disqualified

When I launched Him to Me to You, I was anxious. I was overwhelmingly afraid. I was not afraid of people not liking my writing. I was not afraid that God wouldn’t give me inspiration. I was not afraid of going unnoticed. What I was afraid of was something that challenges me in every aspect of my faith. I was afraid that people that have seen me make mistakes and have seen my character at its worst would read what I had to say and write it off as absolutely fake. Fake is a terrifying word. Fake is the word the Pharisees will face at their judgment. Fake is the word that anyone can use against someone if they want to completely undo any ounce of self-assurance that they may have been carrying. Nobody, not even truly fake people, wants to hold true to an identity that they really believe about themselves and have someone write it off as ingenuine. The obstacle that I am consistently facing is wanting to take a few steps forward for the Lord, but shying away. Not because I’m afraid of anyone judging me for my faith, but because I’m afraid of people disqualifying me for doing God’s work before I’ve even begun.

I’m sure we’ve all been here. It looks different for everyone. Maybe you’ve wanted to raise your hands during worship, but you don’t because others might wonder why you of all people would do something so godly. Maybe you’ve felt uncomfortable with how your friends are talking about others, but you don’t speak up because they could easily give you an account of every time that you’ve gossiped. Maybe you’re in a relationship that isn’t healthy, but you’re afraid to make things right because your partner will wonder why you suddenly want something different than how things have always been. Maybe you genuinely want to reach out to someone and love on them, but you’re afraid that they won’t want anything to do with you because you must just be acting fake.

If you’ve been here, I’ve made a list of six things you should absolutely remember in these times of feeling disqualified.

  1. We were made for this. Each and every human being was crafted fearfully and wonderfully to carry out God’s good work. Every cell in our bodies was designed to submit to the will of the Lord and follow His calling on our lives.
  2. From an eternal perspective, obedience is always more important. In a world of immediacy and wanting to at least put on a good show until we die, it’s easy to forget that this world is not our home. We are called to believe in what Christ has done for us so that we may dwell in heaven with him for eternity. When the end of this extremely temporary world approaches, we are going to want to hear the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant!” We don’t need to succumb to the pressure of other people because their judgments will wash away. When it comes to eternity, all that matters is serving God.
  3. If someone disapproves of you following Jesus, they are not someone you need the approval of. It feels so natural to get caught up in people-pleasing. We love to be liked and to feel approved-of. But, we shouldn’t be quick to assume that everyone around us knows what’s best for us and has any sort of authority to judge our actions. Of course, we should have people in our lives that help us walk in the right direction. But, if it seems as though the people you seek the approval of are leading you against the Word of God, they are not a good choice for counsel.
  4. God will never call you into something that He hasn’t fully equipped you for. If God is calling us somewhere, He is never going to just plop us down and hope we can figure it out. He has equipped us with His Spirit and has had us written into His plan from the beginning. He has prepared us for each step forward that we take in His name and will never abandon us in the treacherous journey that following Him can be. If you are following a call from God, you never need to be afraid because He has every intention to carry you through every step of the way.
  5. The more you align yourself with God’s will, the more you become like Jesus. Jesus lived perfectly sinless and never let anything stand in between him and following his Father. With each “yes” that we give God, we are one step closer to living as Jesus lived. Our lives will always become more fulfilling and purposeful as we learn to walk in Jesus’ footsteps.
  6. Jesus has already won the fight. Every thought that runs through our heads that makes us feel disqualified to do the good work of God is a direct attack from Satan. When Jesus rose from the grave, he defeated sin and death. Satan has already lost, he just wants to bring as many of us down with him as he can. When you feel tempted to remain quiet about the goodness of Jesus, that’s probably when you should be your loudest. Satan would not feel the need to tempt you into silence if he didn’t feel threatened by you and the light that you could bring into the world. Jesus has already won. You are living in victory through him, and it is your responsibility to bring everyone else up with you.

My prayer for each and every one of you is that you never let fear stop you from running towards the Lord and living each moment for Him. Regardless of what anyone on this earth might think or say, we have a forever home waiting for us and a forever God that can’t wait to congratulate us for our steadfastness. Everyone’s eternity is at stake, so shine as brightly as you can and hold true to what you were made to do.

From Him to me to you,

Tatiana Soriano


Putting Faith in its Place

There are a lot of things that we call God, holy being one of them. While I wouldn’t necessarily say that the word is thrown around too often, I would say that it’s thrown around too lightly. Holy means perfect. When the Bible says that God is holy, it means that God holds each and every galaxy and its functions in the palm of His hand without a single miscalculation or shortcoming.

It means that while we are abundantly imperfect, He sees the beginning of our lives and the end of our lives all as one single moment in His abundantly perfect plan. He knows what our pasts have been and what our futures will be. He knows the heart of each and every one of us deeply and incomprehensibly, whether we are living, dead, or have yet to be conceived.

We are unreliable, inconsistent, and ridden with mistakes. We all too often cannot see past our circumstances or rise above our imperfections. God is supernaturally constant, and the only One we can truly rely on. All that is corrupt and broken in our lives is the result of the Enemy dwelling upon mankind. And yet, time and time again, we put our faith in lesser things. We choose to trust numbers, formulas, and practicality to get things done, then add a sprinkle of religiosity by saying “God is good” if it happens to work out for us. We allow ourselves to be consumed with stress and take pride in our hustle. All too often, we’re competing with each other in our boasts of how little sleep we got last night or how much harder our lives are than others’.

A prayer that I have for myself is to stop relying on worldly factors that will always let me down and then excusing it by calling it practical. What’s so practical about putting my strongest resource at the bottom of my list? About exhausting every option before I drop the act and admit to God that there are trials that only He can carry me through? God is always on the move, waiting for us to just let Him pour into us and give us all that we’ll ever need. Before we turn to our best friends or pastors or WikiHow, we must turn to God. Who you go to first in the midst of struggle will indicate who your faith is in.

While a community of people is necessary for healthy godly counsel, they are not where our faith belongs. When you put your faith in people, people let you down. Together, let’s stop confining our prayers to make them manageable enough for God. Let’s stop only giving God the unimportant prayers out of fear of being disappointed. Let’s stop only giving God the larger, vague prayers because we think the smaller details aren’t worth His time. Let’s start trusting God based on His track record, not on our circumstances. Let’s lay everything we’re grasping for control of down to the Lord, for He is holy.

From Him to me to you,

Tatiana Soriano


Cut Straight to the Grace

Grace isn’t, never has been, and never will be easy.

There is heartbreak that you couldn’t have anticipated. There is trauma that could have been prevented. There are ongoing circumstances that drain you of your means of living life as it hits you. Days have become one disappointment, one step at a time. Surely, I do not mean to make a far-reached claim such as everyone deserves a second chance. They don’t. Then again, none of us do. In a world without a gracious God, who’s to stop you from giving everyone who’s hurt you exactly what they deserve? Who’s to stop anyone else from giving you what you deserve? But, we are so fortunate to live under a grace that transcends any sort of eye-for-an-eye logic. Each and every one of us is unforgivable. But through our sinless Christ’s voluntary separation from God on behalf of our sin and also through his ascendance from death to defeat that sin, the unforgivable suddenly become forgiven.

During Jesus’ ministry on Earth, he traveled through Samaria on his way to Galilee. In his famous conversation with the Samaritan woman, recorded in the book of John, there lies a prominent message about grace and how we should respond towards others’ mistakes. On one layer, grace lies in the fact that Jesus, a Jew, was even interacting with her. Samaritans were biracial, descending from both Jew and Gentile, and condemned by both Jew and Gentile. They were not spoken to by the “pure” race, and certainly lacked respectability if they also happened to be a woman. This woman in particular also had a poor reputation. At the time of her conversation with Jesus, she was on her sixth round of living with a man outside of the covenant of marriage. Her race and sex had set her apart from the world, and her lifestyle had set her apart from those closest to her. But, Jesus had no concern with the world’s means of determining who deserves acceptance.

He didn’t submit to the fact that she’s simply an outcast or prompt her to feel shame. When he could have asked if she was ashamed of herself or planning on getting it together anytime soon, he called her to drink of his living water and never thirst again. He called her to leave her sin behind and step into the eternal life that he’s providing for her. He cut straight to the grace. Jesus doesn’t shame us for where we are. He calls us to where he wants us to be, and loves us immeasurably every step of the way. His love is not restricted to the new-and-improved version that we might become. If we are to live by Jesus’ example, then we are to extend the same kind of grace.

To the person on the street who is ridden with obvious outward sin, we extend grace. To the person that drives us crazy with their seemingly perfect life, we extend grace. To the person that always knows just the right things to say to get under our skin, we extend grace. To the person that has hurt us in deeper places than we ever knew existed, we extend grace. Grace is a continuous decision, a constant battle. But, the decision to extend grace is one of the many decisions that can set us free to live out of the fullness of Christ. We are called as the body of Christ to not even speak if our words do not build up and extend grace.

From Him to me to you,

Tatiana Soriano