Name: Pilar Stevens
Occupation: Doula, Homeschool mom
Spouse: Cary Stevens
Children: Stephanie 20, Isaac 18 and Aaron 14
Place of Birth: Cali, Colombia
I can’t believe I get to be warrior of the week! Thanks Lou for the opportunity to share my story.
I was born in Cali, Colombia to a single college student who choose to give me up for adoption. My aunt and uncle could not have children, so they legally adopted me. They (Humberto and Adiela) gave me the most wonderful childhood and I’ll be forever thankful that I was able to be their little girl. My birth parents kept in touch through cards and letters but they never played a big part in my life.
In the summer of 1984 my birth parents invited me to visit the US. I jumped at the chance of possibly meeting Linda Carter, Charlie’s Angels and others stars I followed on TV. The reality of where and how they lived was completely different from their letters. I came from a life of privilege in Colombia to a ghetto in NYC. To say that I was shell shocked is an understatement. I call those the dark years. I don’t talk about them in public very often. All I can say is that, my biological parents took my passport so I couldn’t leave. My world was turned upside down. I started down a path of death and destruction. If Jesus hadn’t found me and saved me, I would either be six feet under or serving a life sentence.
While my parents were too busy dealing with their addictions to parent, God sent me Mrs. Schlossberg. My 9th grade English teacher took a special interest in me. Without her, I don’t think I would have finished high school or gone into banking after graduation. She pushed me HARD! She transferred me from ESL classes to main-stream so I could learn the language. While my class mates took home economics and music, Mrs. Schlossberg filled my schedule with extra English and Math classes. I knew that she was checking on my progress, so I worked very hard to make her proud. The Lord gave me Mrs. Schlossberg to keep me on the straight and narrow and to show me that education is the only way out of the ghetto.
Fast forward a couple of years and I’m living on my own in Farmingdale, Long Island, working at a bank. I decided to join my church’s young adults skiing trip where I met my husband. He’ll tell you it was love at first sight but I had to be convinced. He proposed after only 4 months of dating and by then I was convinced that he was the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. We were married on June 11th 1994. Stephanie, with her bright eyes and curious mind, joined us in 1995. Cary had his first heart attack, April 1997, while I was eight months pregnant with our son Isaac. He made a quick recovery and was able to be my labor coach. In 2001, we were once again blessed with another child, whom we named Aaron. We found ourselves in the cardiac unit of Stonybrook Hospital in 2011 and 2015 with two more “widow makers.” In case you’ve lost count, my husband has had three heart attacks and he is only 52 yrs. old. His saving grace? God’s mercy of course and having the heart of a horse. His heart is so strong that it has grown capillaries to bypass the blockages which prevented any permanent damaged.
My life can easily be a soap opera or a made for TV movie (can Linda Carter play me?) but I’m grateful. Through the good, the bad and the ugly, the Lord has been faithful to me, providing me with what I needed, when I needed it.
I’ll leave you with this last thought. Running came into my life after my husband’s second and worst heart attack (medically and emotionally). I didn’t know it at the time but running has helped me cope with my fears and anxiety. After all, you can’t watch your pace, form and breathe properly while considering death, widowhood and losing someone else I love.
“Life with God is not immunity from difficulties, but peace in difficulties.” C. S. Lewis