Changed Lives
Stories of Women in Various States of Life

Blessed by the Lord

Berenice Ortiz

 

My name is Berenice Ortiz. I was born in Reynosa, Tamaulipas, Mexico. I am the eleventh out of twelve siblings. I had a happy childhood.  I went to Monterrey, Mexico, to get a college degree.  At that time, at the insistence of my sister, I joined MCU (Misión Católica Universitaria), a group to which she belonged. Currently, I am member of the Jesed Community in Monterrey.

 

I lived my university life freely and I fell in love with the Lord, to the point of asking him if he wanted me to live single for him, whether in the Sword of the Spirit or in a religious congregation. I sought the Lord in my prayer about this. I also had some conversations with a Servant of the Word brother who told me to really pray about it and ask the Lord for guidance. So I did.

 

“It was wonderful to live in love and share life in every way with my husband and to share together the love of the Lord with his people. We were able to serve one another and live our sexuality in order, blessed by God, with respect and decorum.”As I took the time to discern my state of life, I was invited to give a talk in Mexicali in 1995.  A sister gave me a passage in Esther 9:3. This passage talks about Mordecai, an important Jewish man, loved by the multitude of his brothers and sisters, who was concerned for the good of his people.  I reflected on this Scripture verse and I heard the Lord in my heart promising me that he had such a good man for me.

 

Later on, in prayer, the Lord gave me a word where he told me that whatever path I chose, he would bless me. This was key for me because I felt that it gave me all the freedom to choose between having a good man by my side or living single for the Lord. So, I made the decision to pursue married life, knowing that God’s blessing would be upon me.

 

My leaders in Jesed asked me to pray and envision the kind of man I would like to marry. I listed down three characteristics that would be essential for me for a marriage partner. First, I wanted a man who loves the Lord and the community life; second, that he is a hardworking and faithful; and the last one, I preferred that he would be someone who likes to dance because I love to dance!

 

I had very healthy relationships with the single men in our community, so I told myself: “If someone invites me for a date, I’ll be open, go out with him so that I could get to know him.”  I guarded my heart and tried not to get over-excited. Eventually, I was invited out and I saw this young man’s intentions of wanting me to consider being in a relationship with him. I wasn’t initially attracted to him, but I knew he was a great guy, very cheerful and servant-hearted. I agreed to go out with him and I allowed him to woo me. I discovered that we had many things in common and I eventually chose to be in a relationship with him.

 

Edgar Garza and I got married May 24, 1977. We started our life together with practically nothing and lived on the providence of God. We both trusted in the goodness of God. We had a firm desire to obey him and knew that he was our rock, our foundation. We loved the Lord and we desired to serve him.  We formed a Christian family to help in building the Kingdom of God. We decided to live simply, and God kept giving, little by little, what was necessary for us to move forward.

 

It was wonderful to live in love and share life in every way with my husband and to share together the love of the Lord with his people. We were able to serve one another and live our sexuality in order, blessed by God, with respect and decorum.

 

Our first child, Edgar, was born after a year and a half of marriage.  Then, Rosita, and finally Angela came along. When our youngest daughter was four months old, she had to undergo an operation.  The anaesthesia left her with blindness and seizures.  We did not understand then what God wanted, but continued to seek the Lord and ask for his healing hand upon our daughter. We coped together with the everyday situations of her illness. Four months after Angela’s operation, Edgar had a traffic accident when he was on his way to work and died.

 

“God has not held back in providing for my needs and those of my children. I have seen many miracles in my life; I have seen the protecting hand of God”The direction of my life took a one hundred and eighty degrees turn. I was left with three children: Edgar was four years old, Rosita was two, and Angela was eight months of age and was going through a severe illness.

 

In my youth, I learned that God always has a perfect plan.  I also know that I am his daughter and that he sustains me. So I decided to embrace my current circumstances. I cried many times before the Lord, and in the midst of the pain, I could still see the grace of God. I decided to live day by day, trusting that God had my future and that of my children in his hands. I begged the Lord to change my sadness into joy. Little by little, I cried less. I decided to take joy in each of my children and make their lives beautiful and full of hope.  I do not know what will happen tomorrow, but I am confident that our future it is in the hands of the Lord.

 

God has not held back in providing for my needs and those of my children. I have seen many miracles in my life; I have seen the protecting hand of God; I have seen the miracle in Angela’s healing. It has been a life of full surrender and of seeking the best for my children, but always knowing that it is the hand of Lord that takes care of me and my family.

 

I am a blessed woman. I am happy because I know I am loved by God. I am his cherished daughter. It is worth knowing him, loving him, following him, and serving him. God is good. God is faithful. God is big and powerful. Jesus Christ is my Lord and he is my God!

 

 

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2019
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Blessed by the Lord

Berenice Ortiz

 

My name is Berenice Ortiz. I was born in Reynosa, Tamaulipas, Mexico. I am the eleventh out of twelve siblings. I had a happy childhood.  I went to Monterrey, Mexico, to get a college degree.  At that time, at the insistence of my sister, I joined MCU (Misión Católica Universitaria), a group to which she belonged. Currently, I am member of the Jesed Community in Monterrey.

 

I lived my university life freely and I fell in love with the Lord, to the point of asking him if he wanted me to live single for him, whether in the Sword of the Spirit or in a religious congregation. I sought the Lord in my prayer about this. I also had some conversations with a Servant of the Word brother who told me to really pray about it and ask the Lord for guidance. So I did.

 

“It was wonderful to live in love and share life in every way with my husband and to share together the love of the Lord with his people. We were able to serve one another and live our sexuality in order, blessed by God, with respect and decorum.”As I took the time to discern my state of life, I was invited to give a talk in Mexicali in 1995.  A sister gave me a passage in Esther 9:3. This passage talks about Mordecai, an important Jewish man, loved by the multitude of his brothers and sisters, who was concerned for the good of his people.  I reflected on this Scripture verse and I heard the Lord in my heart promising me that he had such a good man for me.

 

Later on, in prayer, the Lord gave me a word where he told me that whatever path I chose, he would bless me. This was key for me because I felt that it gave me all the freedom to choose between having a good man by my side or living single for the Lord. So, I made the decision to pursue married life, knowing that God’s blessing would be upon me.

 

My leaders in Jesed asked me to pray and envision the kind of man I would like to marry. I listed down three characteristics that would be essential for me for a marriage partner. First, I wanted a man who loves the Lord and the community life; second, that he is a hardworking and faithful; and the last one, I preferred that he would be someone who likes to dance because I love to dance!

 

I had very healthy relationships with the single men in our community, so I told myself: “If someone invites me for a date, I’ll be open, go out with him so that I could get to know him.”  I guarded my heart and tried not to get over-excited. Eventually, I was invited out and I saw this young man’s intentions of wanting me to consider being in a relationship with him. I wasn’t initially attracted to him, but I knew he was a great guy, very cheerful and servant-hearted. I agreed to go out with him and I allowed him to woo me. I discovered that we had many things in common and I eventually chose to be in a relationship with him.

 

Edgar Garza and I got married May 24, 1977. We started our life together with practically nothing and lived on the providence of God. We both trusted in the goodness of God. We had a firm desire to obey him and knew that he was our rock, our foundation. We loved the Lord and we desired to serve him.  We formed a Christian family to help in building the Kingdom of God. We decided to live simply, and God kept giving, little by little, what was necessary for us to move forward.

 

It was wonderful to live in love and share life in every way with my husband and to share together the love of the Lord with his people. We were able to serve one another and live our sexuality in order, blessed by God, with respect and decorum.

 

Our first child, Edgar, was born after a year and a half of marriage.  Then, Rosita, and finally Angela came along. When our youngest daughter was four months old, she had to undergo an operation.  The anaesthesia left her with blindness and seizures.  We did not understand then what God wanted, but continued to seek the Lord and ask for his healing hand upon our daughter. We coped together with the everyday situations of her illness. Four months after Angela’s operation, Edgar had a traffic accident when he was on his way to work and died.

 

“God has not held back in providing for my needs and those of my children. I have seen many miracles in my life; I have seen the protecting hand of God”The direction of my life took a one hundred and eighty degrees turn. I was left with three children: Edgar was four years old, Rosita was two, and Angela was eight months of age and was going through a severe illness.

 

In my youth, I learned that God always has a perfect plan.  I also know that I am his daughter and that he sustains me. So I decided to embrace my current circumstances. I cried many times before the Lord, and in the midst of the pain, I could still see the grace of God. I decided to live day by day, trusting that God had my future and that of my children in his hands. I begged the Lord to change my sadness into joy. Little by little, I cried less. I decided to take joy in each of my children and make their lives beautiful and full of hope.  I do not know what will happen tomorrow, but I am confident that our future it is in the hands of the Lord.

 

God has not held back in providing for my needs and those of my children. I have seen many miracles in my life; I have seen the protecting hand of God; I have seen the miracle in Angela’s healing. It has been a life of full surrender and of seeking the best for my children, but always knowing that it is the hand of Lord that takes care of me and my family.

 

I am a blessed woman. I am happy because I know I am loved by God. I am his cherished daughter. It is worth knowing him, loving him, following him, and serving him. God is good. God is faithful. God is big and powerful. Jesus Christ is my Lord and he is my God!

 

 

Edgar Garza and I got married May 24, 1977. We started our life together with practically nothing and lived on the providence of God. We both trusted in the goodness of God. We had a firm desire to obey him and knew that he was our rock, our foundation. We loved the Lord and we desired to serve him.  We formed a Christian family to help in building the Kingdom of God. We decided to live simply, and God kept giving, little by little, what was necessary for us to move forward.