Second Chance Launches Platform for Encouraging Others
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“Father we just thank you that in You we find everything we need. Jesus you are the way and the truth and the life . . .” prays Cristina Baker. During the dark days of the pandemic her sixty second prayers went viral on TikTok. She now has over 1 million followers.
She reminisces, “In my heart it was like, 'If I could just reach one person with this prayer.' Just like I was reached in the hardest, darkest moments of my life.”
Her desire to bring hope through prayer came after her own time in turmoil. Most of Cristina’s life was consumed with pain and spiritual darkness as a result of her parents’ divorce.
“I felt like the person inside me had died. And that's where I turned to cutting and self-harm. I started getting into Marilyn Manson, uh listening to a lot of death metal, you know, joined a band, started, you know, smoking weed, drinking, partying, going out to the bars, and that's where I began to find what I thought was life,” says Cristina.
Her mom couldn’t help her and sent her to live with her father in Hawaii. They didn’t know he was homeless and addicted to drugs. Her time with her dad left Cristina with more questions than answers. She recalls, “I was strung out on drugs. My dad was an atheist, I followed in his footsteps. I was lost, I don't know how I'm gonna eat. Where am I gonna take a shower? Am I going to school anymore? Am I safe here? What's gonna happen to us? I want to die.”
A glimmer of hope came when her brother helped her move in with a family back on the mainland. They were Christians and showed her God’s love.
“She would ask me, 'Why don't you believe in God? Why do you believe in abortion? How are you okay with all of the other religions? I would give her my honest emotion – very emotional responses. And she was okay with it. She wasn't trying to convert me. She didn't have an agenda. She wanted to display the love of Jesus to me, and that was something I had never experienced before,” says Cristina.
After high school she moved out, got pregnant and had a son when she was 20. She had a good job but continued to use drugs and struggled to find purpose in life. “I was a counselor. So, I was telling people how to live their life during the day and then drugging at night. So, I felt like I was justified on the outside, even though deep down inside if there was some true reflection, I felt like nothing. I felt like the worst person in the world,” Cristina sadly states.
The consequence of her life choices hit hard when she was arrested while driving high. “I'm thinking about my son. He was just a baby. And I'm like, 'What am I doing with my life? What kind of mother am I?' Like he doesn’t deserve this.”
She was released on bond but overwhelmed with thoughts of suicide. The next day a coworker invited her to a prayer meeting. Cristina remembers, “He has a Bible open and he starts reading to me out of the book of Jeremiah. And he said, 'This is a matter of life or death.' And so he says, 'Do you want to accept Jesus into your heart?' And I'm like, 'Yes, I'll-I'll accept Jesus into my heart.' And at that very moment, from the top of my head to the tips of my toes, I felt like a filling of peace that I had never experienced in my life. Instantly, the boulders that I had been carrying around for 20-plus years of my life were instantly lifted. I had a revelation instantly, He is the one I've been looking for all of my life. He's the one that I was looking for in all of the wrong places. And He's been here my entire life.”
She got clean and sober as God radically transformed her life, though she still faced the possibility of time behind bars for possession and driving under the influence. Against her lawyer’s advice, during her arraignment, she spoke to the D.A. She told him, “'I'm not the person that was in that car September 2nd. Jesus Christ has saved me, and I'm deeply sorry for what I've done. The drugs were mine. And I'm so, so sorry.' And he's like, 'You know, we all make mistakes sometimes. Have a great day.'"
To her lawyer’s amazement, all charges were dismissed. Cristina knew God was with her, then and always.
She smiles and says, “He was here the whole time. He was watching over me when I was homeless on the beach. He was watching over me when I got arrested and went to jail. He was watching over me when I was about to abort my child. He was about – watching over me when I was about to overdose, not once, twice, but many times. I found the hope, that hope wasn't just this idea. Hope was a person. And when I met Him, my entire life changed.”
Cristina’s book, “Hope in 60 Seconds,” shares her journey out of the darkness. She continues to encourage people with her 60 second prayers. Warmly she says, “Sixty seconds might not seem like a lot. Sometimes people think, 'Well, God needs a lifetime to deliver my child, to heal, to do whatever impossible situation it is that somebody may be believing for.' He doesn't need a lifetime. He doesn't even need ten minutes. He doesn't even need 60 seconds. All He needs is a moment of surrender. A moment of an open heart, a yieldedness, where God can come in and have His way through us.”
Today Cristina is thankful for her husband, Ryan, and the chance to raise their son together. Her desire is for everyone to know the goodness of God that saved her. “Jesus delivered my soul,” says Cristina. “He saved my life. He took me from the bottom of the pit and pulled me out. He healed my heart. He healed my body. He healed every part of me that was broken. And I want to live the rest of my days for Him, all of eternity, telling everybody what He's done for me.”
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