As I reflect on my life, I am thankful for this incredible journey. My childhood had its share of trauma. My grandmother took me to Catholic Church weekly as a young girl. There, I learned the concept of God as my Heavenly Father, but I had no idea how to relate or draw near to Him. My childhood was less than ideal and included abuse, physically, emotionally, and sexually. The trauma I experienced caused me to spiral until the age of 24. Until, one day, I accepted an invitation to attend a bible study at a local church, at which point I gave my life to Christ. My eyes were opened to see how flawed my character and moral standards were. I needed Christ. God showed me how distorted my thinking was as a product of the way I grew up. I was very insecure; the verbal abuse I had endured was intense; it affected me the most. My identity and self-concept were utterly distorted. I realized how much of a cynical pessimist I was; with that, I was always a victim. The Lord has continually walked me through each season of my life to work on these deep-seated issues. He began the work and has not stopped since.
In February 2018, my husband hurt his back, making it difficult to walk for several weeks. During that time, he was unable to perform the most minimal tasks. The chiropractor told us the reason for this was that his lower spinal disks were damaged, and his core was unable to sustain him. The essential things were too difficult for him to do without my help. During this season, the Lord showed me that when my natural CORE is weak, it affects my entire body. So as with my inner core, it affects my moral standards or character when it is weak. It also affects my mindset and how I think and perceives things. Am I pessimistic or optimistic? When something devastating or paralyzing happens, how do I respond? Having the ability to recover and continue is resilience. Lastly, if my inner CORE is weak, I won't have the desire to excel or live a life of excellence, which God intended me to live. He desires that I go from glory to glory and faith to faith.
God loves us to our CORE, and because of that great love, he also convicts us to our CORE. He wants us to make the changes necessary to build our inner core, which will sustain us. Having a solid CORE means being mature and being able to endure. I often wonder what my life would have looked like if I had mentors in my life to help me strengthen my CORE from the inside out. I desire to help those experiencing or who have experienced the trauma I did. Thus, CORE International was born. CORE International exists to educate and empower women of all ages to build their CORE from the inside out.
CORE stands for CHARACTER, OPTIMISM, RESILIENCE, and EXCELLENCE. To develop these traits, we must begin from the inside and work out. Firstly, we surrender our lives and allow the Lord to heal us of the brokenness that life can and will bring. Secondly, we become equipped and able to mentor other women on how to build their CORE, CHARACTER, OPTIMISM, RESILIENCE, and EXCELLENCE. Women who build their core from the inside out in the image of God will learn to flourish, live life to its fullest, and overcome every obstacle with resilience! God is not finished working in us, but I know, "He began this good work within us all, and He will continue this work in us until the day Jesus Christ returns." Philippines 1:6 (NLT)
Teresa Alvarado is the founder of Core International and Core Magazine. She is a national and international speaker and co-pastor of The Life Center in Santa Ana, California. She and her husband Nati have been married for 29 years and have six adult children. One of her greatest passions in life is seeing the lives of women transformed.'
We strive to foster a generation of women to embrace their God-given destinies. Core stands for character, optimism, resilience, and excellence.