UC Student Spot - Sylvia Remiz

UC Student Spot - Sylvia Remiz

The Influence of Love

When Sylvia Remiz [BA 2016] was eleven years old her mother passed away from cancer. “I prayed for mom that year while she was sick, my family is Catholic so I was saying my rosaries. I was let down and made a decision to not believe in God after that. If it didn’t work He is obviously not real.” 

Sylvia took her new beliefs to religion teachers and friends but “no one was ever proving me wrong, so [I thought] ‘obviously I’m right.’”

Siblings, cousins and peers influenced her to turn to alcohol and drugs. She felt free to choose what seemed “cool” and led friends into making similar choices. Sylvia describes this time as “being able to do whatever I wanted socially, and getting to do all these new things that satisfied worldly desires. I was able to break the rules.”

In grade eleven she met Curtis Hartshorn [BA 2015] at a party. After they began to date Curtis experienced a sudden spiritual awakening and once again Sylvia was faced with the idea of God. “His life was genuinely changing and in such a powerful way it freaked me out…I had never seen that and…it terrified me.” Sylvia loved Curtis but she did not want to give up her current lifestyle.

Due to the relationship strain Curtis suggested counselling. The pastor asked Sylvia to make a list of every problem she ever had with God and the church. Sylvia recalls how the next week “he went through every single thing on my list. He basically proved me wrong…Everything I believed and thought for the last six years was completely gone. I was confused.”

Later that week she and Curtis had another argument. During this argument they prayed together and a few hours later Curtis helped Sylvia pray “to ask Jesus into my heart.”

After her conversion, she began to seek the things of God intentionally, becoming involved at church and participating in a six-month-long Youth With a Mission trip. Sylvia sees the difference in her life. “Now that I'm able to bring anything to God, it brings freedom, because it leads me to having more fulfilment even in small things. If I'm going to God and He knows the best things for me, I can trust that the best will come out of the situation.”