Meet wife and mother Angela Blanco, who will be getting baptized this weekend:

Hi, my name is Angela Blanco. I’m married to Freddy Blanco and together we have two children, Sophia (8) and Antonio (7). I’ve been attending Grace for approximately 2 years.

I was raised in the church by a mother who has an incredible faith and trust in God, but somehow I missed the message God loved me “as is” and I always felt like I didn’t measure up. I even felt as though I didn’t measure up for love from my parents. My mom and dad divorced when I was 10, and from then on I became the “little mother” to my six brothers. Since I came to believe that I was unlovable at a young age (more than likely as a result of my mom and dad’s divorce and not seeing or hearing from my dad much), I always kept God at a distance. Often times when I’d go to church I’d just cry and cry because I felt so unworthy of God’s love. I was a “good” girl and didn’t get into much trouble, but I was walking around feeling unlovable and unworthy, so it tainted all of my relationships. I was very insecure in relationships because I thought they’d all end up like my relationship with my dad – me alone and lonely.

My husband and I were married in 1997. We attended church together on and off for several years, and then we just didn’t go at all, and finally in 2004 or so we started to visit churches again. I really liked the messages I heard and started to warm up to the idea that I might be lovable. Throughout all of this time I used food – excess amounts of food – as an idol. I longed for time alone with food and oftentimes sneaked food and would lie about what I’d eaten.

Eventually, I found myself overweight by 100 pounds, and I was miserable. I struggled with depression and self-loathing. At this time I was self-centered and struggled with jealousy and trust – all of which took a toll on my marriage.

In 2011, I attended a support group for help with my eating disorder. My intention was to lose the weight, fix my marriage and live happily ever after at a “normal” body weight. What I didn’t expect to find there was a relationship with Jesus. I observed people who were able to overcome their problems by this simple, yet not so easy, act of surrendering.

Since this time, I have found that surrendering has been the key to my relationship with God. He was always been there for me, but for many years I have not been there looking for him. He’s always, always, always looking for me, and now I am looking for him and it’s been amazing.

Surrendering to God with regard to the food led to weight loss, as I had hoped it would. I am now over 100 pounds down from my highest weight. But the weight I lost between my ears (self-loathing, depression, feeling unworthy) has truly been the miracle for me. I now believe Jesus loves me, even with all my flaws and mistakes. I am learning to surrender more and more, and with that comes more and more power from God to work in my life. I am no longer the jealous, insecure woman my husband married 20 years ago. I am no longer looking for the other shoe to drop, and more than anything I try each and every day to place God at the center and not fall prey to idols. I know that he is doing for me what I could not do alone. He keeps showing me that he loves me and as long as I ask for it, He will help me with all things.

My husband and I separated in 2013, after he returned from a year in Afghanistan. It was devastating, but I believe God was right by my side. He showed me that I could trust Him and that, as long as my relationship was right, with God I would be OK. Ten months after our separation my husband and I reconciled. It took God’s grace and a lot of work on our part to make that happen.

Throughout this difficult time I did not return to eating excess food. I did not depend on myself. I turned it over to God one day at a time.

Today we have a new marriage, and it’s beyond what I could have imagined. God has truly blessed us. I need Him each and every day, and I believe that is how He planned it. He wanted it so that I, Angela, could only do so much on my own, and that I’d have to turn to Him for help along the way. I’m ever so grateful for the love of Jesus and my personal relationship with Him!

I want to be baptized because I want to publicly declare that God is my Heavenly Father and that I am his daughter. I finally believe and know that I am worthy of his love. He has ALWAYS been there – through the joys and sorrows and there is nothing separating me from him.

Baptism at Grace

During all worship gatherings on Baptism Weekends, we celebrate the very reason we exist as a church: Christ’s mission to make disciples, baptizing and teaching in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28: 19-20). We share testimonies of how Jesus changes lives now and for eternity. And the best part… we baptize with a joy that’s out of this world!

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