If you were to ask Teresa the one thing she wishes to be known for; it would be that she loves God, and she is excited about His handiwork in the lives of His people. Before she was a wife, a mother or an author – she will tell you, “I know I am a daughter of God.”
Teresa grew up on the Southside of Chicago in the Woodlawn neighborhood, in a one-bedroom apartment with her parents and four siblings. Not only was their living arrangement challenging, but her family’s lifestyle was dysfunctional. Love was understood but seldom expressed. Her father often neglected his family responsibilities for gambling, alcohol and other women. Her troubles intensify with a tumultuous relationship with her mother for most of her childhood. In spite of the difficulties she faced, her parents instill an expectation of excellence.
Growing up in the midst of pain and strife, Teresa becomes aware that God is extending His loving hand toward her, and offers comfort through the ordeal. She finds peace as she draws nigh unto Him. Teresa confessed Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior at age 12 and committed to living a life pleasing to Him. She is a zealous youth for God.
The Early Years:
As a student in the Chicago Public School System, Teresa excelled academically in elementary school, but by the time she enters high school, her passion for learning gradually diminishes as she becomes more distracted and discouraged by her impoverished living conditions, rejection and the overwhelming struggles of growing up in an unstable home environment. Her circumstances start to take a toll.
As a young adult, and finally liberated from her parent’s strict rules, she enters college. Teresa finds herself bound by the freedom for which she is unprepared. Her lack of restraint promotes lack of initiative causing her performance to fluctuate. She goes from one college to another. Lacking discretion, she not only suffers academically but professionally, financially, emotionally, spiritually and with her relationships, ultimately leaving her in a state of depression.
The Return to Christ:
By age 27, after many mistakes, poor choices and setbacks, Teresa comes to her senses and rededicates her life back to Christ. Her return to intimacy with God produces in her strength, resilience and wisdom that not only bless her but others as well. One of God’s many blessings came to her in the form of her husband, Alex – the love of her life and soul mate. The two were married in 1993. They are parents of two.
While attending DePaul University in 1996, she wrote several essays for a writing course she was taking. Her instructor for that course told Teresa she possessed writing talent. No one had ever told her this before – watering a latent seed within her that took root at that very moment – an epiphany that would set her future in motion.
In 1999, Teresa and her husband found themselves in one of the darkest moments of their lives when they discovered their two-year daughter was facing a medical emergency. God shed light on her assignment she had sensed for years but didn’t have clarity until then. After years of internal struggle, planning and persevering, the assignment was birth – Return to Your First Love.
Return to Your First Love is an account of Teresa’s personal testimony that reinforces God’s patience, correction and desire for abundant life for all He loves.
Her latest release, Martha, Martha gives readers a fresh perspective on this woman from the Bible, paralleling her experiences with other eldest sisters – their mindsets, struggles and level of responsibilities entrusted to them.