by: Erin Keller
Barbara Ramirez was born in Louisiana, Missouri, a small farming town, but she was raised in Houston for most of her life. She was raised in church, but God became real to her when she was 12, when she and her sisters were invited to attend a revival and God pricked her heart.
She married when she was 19—she says that is way too young and she doesn’t recommend it—to a career military man so she spent most of her adult life moving from one place to another. When her husband retired, they were stationed at Tinker Air Force base, and Oklahoma has been home ever since.
Barbara met Bill Williams when he moved from California and walked into her insurance office to transfer his insurance from California to Oklahoma. Sometime later Lauri’s mother went to work at the insurance office, and Barbara and she became best friends. Barbara attended First Capital Baptist and then came to Community with the merger of churches.
says that God carried her through the tough times in her life, a cancer
diagnosis and treatment, and then eight months after being declared cancer
free, her marriage ended. The anger and the pain were excruciating, “I would go
running through the empty house screaming, ‘WHY?’ One night when I was in the
depths of despair and so emotional, I said, ‘God, I can’t do it anymore. I’m
giving it to you. I’m going to let you handle it. And I slept peacefully all
night. I had to surrender it to God. It was a process, but I had to give over
control to Him.”
These days Barbara can be found working in the front office of the church, and she always has a smile on her face. She says she’s had a lot of darkness in her life, but she tries to be light to those she comes in contact with. “There are a lot of people living in darkness. You may be that one little flicker that gives them hope.”