“Even with family around, I always felt like I was alone,” said Norma Romero. “I was very insecure and sad. Experiences I had as a child left me thinking no one could understand me or give me what I needed, so I became full of anger, resentment, and bitterness. I would appear happy and OK, but inside, I felt like I was drowning in painful childhood memories. I was coping in unhealthy ways and hiding my feelings. I remember it as such a dark time.
“I grew up in Honduras, and when I moved to the United States on my own as an adult, I wanted to look for a church. My family raised me in the Catholic church, so I wanted to continue that tradition in my new home.
“While looking for a new church, I read about Equipped Disciple, a series of biblical training classes at Watermark. I decided to try it out. In the class, I started to read God’s Word for the first time. In the Bible, I learned about Jesus and what He did for me on the cross (1 Corinthians 15:3). That is when my life really changed. Like the blind man healed by Jesus in John 9:1-41, I felt like the Lord was healing me and removing my spiritual blindness as I continued to learn more about Him. I realized I was a sinner who needed saving and forgiveness (1 John 1:9). I began to see things in a completely new and refreshing way.
“Learning, knowing, and accepting God’s forgiveness for me changed so much. God healed my hurt and pain from my past while I participated in ministries at Watermark with people who had similar experiences. I went in not expecting much other than that I’d share my life with other women and probably cry. But over time, God did a work in my heart – so much so that I was able to forgive and actually feel compassion toward people in my life who’d hurt me in the past. We are all sinners in need of a Savior. God gave me relief and peace with truth from His Word.
“Later, I decided to be baptized because I wanted to testify and share with others about what God has done in my life. It took me a while to understand the importance of baptism. I was baptized as a baby like many are, but I realized that wasn’t a choice I made for myself. I learned that baptism is an outward expression of inner change (Matthew 10:32). Baptism was a faithful step I was excited to take. It was very sweet to have my friends and family – even my mother from Honduras – come and experience the moment with me.
“Everything has changed because of Christ. Seeing and experiencing the change God made in me has even more so helped me believe in His promises – He is taking care of me, and there is nothing that I can do to earn my salvation (Ephesians 2:8–9).
“There is a joy I can’t fully explain that I feel since finally understanding my true identity as a child of God. I carried crippling pain and burdens for 30 years from my past and childhood. But it was so freeing to give it to God and to trust Him with my life.
“When you are so focused on this world, you always want something extra. It’s a daily struggle for me not to desire worldly things, but deep down, because of the truth I now believe, I know I have enough. I am satisfied in Christ, and He will fulfill my every need (Philippians 4:19).
“I don’t even worry about my future anymore because I know what the Bible says is true. He’s given me brightness, light, and hope. I am so blessed that God sent His Son to earth to live and die on the cross for my sins and that He gives me the choice to come to Him and to see Him (Romans 8:5–8).”