29 Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ? 30 Then they went out of the city, and came unto him. (John 4:29)
Come and meet a people who had an encounter with Jesus! It was riveting and life changing!
I grew up in a “catholic family”, only going to church once or twice a year. For me, church was just looking at a purgatory painting on the right side of the church and making sure not to move because God was watching me. I was a good “Catholic” kid. I was baptized and confirmed as a child. My family was healthy and fun. Nevertheless, at the age of 12 years old depression took over my life and I started digging a deep hole of sin. I began drinking heavily, my language changed into hate, I cut myself, and unclean thoughts took over my mind. My mother took me to therapy and I was placed on antidepressants. Unfortunately, the only outcome was overdosing because I drank alcohol with my medication.
I decided to do communion and tried to have a “spiritual encounter” with God. To my suprise, none of my family supported me and the priest laughed at me for “being too old to do first communion”. After that, I became hardened and cynical against the Catholic church and I denied the very existence of God.
My hole of depression became much deeper and I was so lost and hurt. All I knew was I wanted to change.
At the age of 14 years old my family relocated to Georgia in the United States. I had to learn English, so I attended a summer program and met Flor, who had just given her life to Jesus. In conversing with her, she asked me where I would go when I died. I responded: “If there is a God, I will go to purgatory, of course.” She proceeded to tell me that I could read the Bible from Genesis to Revelations, and I would not find purgatory. I knew in my heart I would not go to heaven.
A few months later a man, Pastor Roman Gutierrez, came to my high school to share his life story. He shared his life was one of rejection, addiction, anger and death. Before he finished his story he said, “If you want to hear the rest of my story come to my church.” Later I realized it was Flor’s church, so I went with her.
I remember sitting in the church, amazed there were no statues, purgatory paintings… and people seemed happy.
Pastor Gutierrez started preaching and speaking about the grace of God. As I sat there, I thought to myself, “I’m not as bad as this man was, but I’m heading there.” He then asked us…me, if I wanted to have a relationship with Jesus. I raised my hand and walked up to the stage where he was standing. A lady knelt down with me and said a prayer. I repeated the words, “Jesus come into my heart.” All of sudden I felt as if I was the only one in the room and Jesus was there. I felt Him tell me, “Blanca, leave it all the cross.” I did. I exchanged my anger, my addictions, my depression that consumed my life, for a clean, pure heart. I got up from the altar a completely changed person. It was the most exhilarating experience I have ever had.
I started reading the Bible for the first time in my life. I came across Isaiah 1:18 and it was exactly what happened to me.
Can I tell you, friend, Jesus is so real? He’s as real as the air we breathe and His desire is to have a relationship with us, His creation.
Nothing is impossible with God, He can restore anyone’s heart with grace and mercy! My beloved friend, everything starts with repentance. I had to realize the state I was in and turn away from my sin! But in return, God gave me purity, grace, mercy, a brand new start at life.
Victory Chapel in Georgia became my family and I met wonderful people along the way. I came to be friends with the Chases. They moved to Arizona and when I visited them I met Jason Johnson…yes…yes…that is how I became a Johnson. Through our relationship with God, we fell in love and he asked me to marry him Christmas of 2018. We had the honor to exchange marriage vows in front of our family and friends June 9, 2019. Our first kiss was that day and we kept Jesus the center of our relationship. I moved to Arizona with him…and the story continues…