This is Olivia Ramirez’s story before she was baptized on April 21st, 2019 in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
I’ve spent much of my life trying to look the part of being a Christian. If I just went to church every Sunday, if I just went on mission trips, if I just went to a Bible study, or didn’t drink or party, or didn’t curse, or didn’t hang around people who did, if my kids never threw tantrums, or I had a perfect marriage… THEN everyone would think I had it together, and as long as everyone thought I was ok, they wouldn’t ask questions. I wouldn’t have to let anyone in, so they wouldn’t know the real mess I was inside.
The truth is, I’ve worshipped control over Jesus for a long time. The irony is that my pride never brought satisfaction.
Last fall, when someone asked if I had affections for Jesus, I felt convicted. For years I’d claimed to be a Christian, but if I was being honest, I didn’t love Jesus. My eyes were opened. I had chased control and self-reliance— things I never could seem to catch; meanwhile, Jesus had been chasing me.
He caught me when I was crying on the floor in the back of my closet. Defeated. Broken. Weak. I couldn’t control my husband, I couldn’t control my children, I couldn’t control what people thought of me, and everything hit me at once. That’s when I heard my daughter singing Jesus Loves Me from the other room— a song I have sung since I was her age, but for the first time actually heard the words “they are weak, but He is strong.” He told me that I’m not in control, that I never was, and that He always has been.
That I don’t have to be good enough for Him, that I never could be good enough, and that’s why I desperately need Him.
I can’t say that after falling in love with Jesus that I turned and sinned no more— my heart constantly tries to chase things that aren’t Christ, yet every time I’m pointed back to Him He reminds me there is grace for me. Because He died for me, even though it was my sin that killed him, I am clean!