HDC Victorville | Christmas Baptisms

Stephanie Ochoa

Stephanie Ochoa.png

Naturally, I am a sinner. I have committed sin all throughout my life from little white lies to jealousy to infidelity and more. Seeing the pain that my poor choices caused to those I loved consumed me with a constant feeling of guilt, forgiveness was not something that felt possible. The constant feeling of disappointment and guilt lead me to feel that I was not living the life God gave me to the fullest, I found myself stuck in a constant state of pessimism and

self-disappointment. I knew in my heart that life is better than what I was making it out to be and that somehow the feelings that I had need to change. I grew up in a Catholic family, I was baptised as an infant and attended catechism and had the majority of my sacraments, but to me church was not the most exciting thing to attend, I would spend most of the time worrying that I was saying the wrong thing or feeling guilty for letting my mind wander during mass. As an adult and parent, I only went to church when my devout Grandmother needed me to take her and I love those memories not because of the mass, but because of the time spent watching my Grandmother with my children during mass and observing and admiring her devotion. When she passed, mass became meaningless to me which I knew was wrong so I just stopped attending.

Last holiday season, my oldest daughter begged to go to church for a Christmas Eve service. I agreed and had planned on attending the service at St. Joan of Arc just like we used to, when she asked if we could do something different. So we did and found ourselves at HDC Victorville for the Christmas Eve service. We became stuck. We have been at church every weekend since. For the first month or so, I would find myself so moved by the holy spirit that I constantly found myself crying either during worship or the lesson. The more I went, the more I learned about Jesus and how through him salvation can be found. I loved how HDC was focused on pushing and encouraging each individual to get out there and make a change in their immediate environment in order to cause a ripple effect to expand outward. All I have ever wanted in life is to be part of something positive in this world and seeing all that HDC did for the community encouraged me and included me. Eventually, at one of the services rather than just hearing about ABC, I decided to actually pray to God admitting that I am a sinner and that I believe that the only way to true forgiveness of my sins is through Jesus and that from there on out I am going to chose to put my faith in Jesus in all aspects of my life. In the 9 months or so since I have prayed and lived by ABC, I can honestly say that I can feel a positive change in my life. Everything is not negative anymore and true I do still feel guilt for my previous actions,but now that guilt is not something that consumes me, it is something that reminds me to strive harder to be the mother and wife that God intended me to be with the help and guidance of Jesus.

I can honestly say that seeing my children attending church, choosing to serve, and wanting to be baptized so that they can show the world that they choose to follow Jesus has made me the proudest I have ever been as their mother. I honestly believe that I will never be perfect and salvation is not something that I deserve, but thanks to God’s forgiving heart and his ultimate sacrifice of his son for me I will be forgiven and I am so thankful for that. I want the world to know that I choose to follow Jesus and that I am going to continue to strive daily to become the person that God truly intended me to be. This is my testimony of salvation.