Beloved TikTok star, Cristina's Baker, is releasing a new book next week - Hope in 60 Seconds: Encountering the God of the Impossible. Nearly 800k followers flock to her TikTok account each day to be encouraged by her 1-minute prayer videos (which have racked up more than 9.7M likes) and she's bringing these inspirational viral videos to life in her new book.
We are honored to be able to catch up with Cristina as she talks about her new book.
Q: Cristina, thanks for doing this interview with us. Let's start with yourself, tell us about yourself and your ministry.
Thank you for having me! My husband Ryan and I have one son, his name is Evan, and a little over two years ago, the Lord put it on our hearts to begin posting short videos on social media, praying for people and sharing testimonies from my own life about how God delivered me in my darkest hour. This was at the beginning of 2020 when the pandemic started and so many people needed hope. My heart behind these prayers was to share the Good News of the Gospel with people. That hope wasn't an idea or a circumstance, but that Hope was a person, and that all of our hope in this life is only found in Jesus. To our surprise, the videos began going viral one after the other. Prayer connects us to the heart of the Father and people are desperately looking for a connection with Him. Two and a half years later, the mission is still the same and we continue to share daily prayers of hope and scriptures to encourage people in their walk with God!
Q: If I am not wrong, you have had your share of suffering, including a brain tumor diagnosis, what happened? Are you all right now?
Yes, I was diagnosed with a brain tumor at the age of 21. The type of tumor I was diagnosed with was very uncommon for people in their early 20s so it came as a huge shock when I first received the news.
I had just given my life to Jesus only a year prior to brain surgery and had a moment when I asked God why I was going through this. The man that led me to Jesus, his name is Hilroy, shared with me that sometimes the trials that we go through, God uses to minister to others to be a witness of His glory and power in and through us. At the time, this didn't make much sense to me until after I had brain surgery because of what the Lord was getting ready to do.
My dad was an atheist, my mom was a non practicing Catholic, and through my brain surgery, they both gave their lives to the Jesus. I shared more details about this in my book, but what God taught me through the season was that He never wastes a dark season that we ever go through. Romans 8:28 tells us that God makes all things work together for the good of those that love Him and are called according to His purpose. We can be certain that no matter what we go through in this life, or what the enemy brings against us, God will use all things together for our good. And that's exactly what He did in that season of walking through a brain tumor.. both of my parents accepted Jesus into their hearts.
Q: How did you get through those times of suffering?
Lots of prayer and an entire community of people who knew how to get a hold of God in prayer! There is so much strength that comes when we get into the Lord's presence. During this time, I learned to fix my eyes on the face of Jesus when I felt like giving up or feeling bad for myself. It's easy to fall into self-pity and ask questions like, "Why me?" But God wants to give us His perspective through the trials we go through and the suffering we experience. When we fix our eyes on the Lord, all of the sudden the cares of this world begin to fade into the background and we realize that in the grand scheme of eternity, the things that we go through in this life are only momentary afflictions.
Going through brain surgery taught me to get my eyes off of the problem and set my eyes on Jesus. When the valleys of life come, they are an invitation to know the heart of the Father in a way we have never known Him before. At this point in my life, I had known Him as Savior and Redeemer, but through this season of walking through brain surgery, I met Him as my Healer.
Q: Tell us how your new book came about.
When I started posting prayers on social media, I started getting messages from people asking where my passion for prayer came from. My passion came when I fell in love with Jesus! He has delivered me from so much! From homelessness to drug addiction, getting arrested and going to jail, death and loss, and a brain tumor diagnosis. The scriptures tell us that whoever has been forgiven much loves much (Luke 7). When I realized what Jesus had done for me at the cross and the love that He showed me in my darkest hour, my heart was set on fire for Him. I knew that it was time to share the stories of deliverance and breakthrough that God had done for me so that others could have faith to believe that what He did for me, He would do for them.
Q: Share with us the meaning behind the title Hope in 60 Seconds.
This entire journey started with posting videos on TikTok, which are 60 second videos. As we began sharing prayers and stories of hope, people began writing and sharing their own testimonies of what God has done for them after they had listened to these 60 second prayers. People were giving their lives to the Lord, there were healings, prodigal children coming back home, and God was igniting hoping people's hearts. There were so many miracles that the Lord was doing in just a short prayer of faith that they received on the other side of a phone screen. The message behind the title of Hope in 60 Seconds is that sometimes we think that God needs an entire lifetime to change a life or for a miracle to take place. But the reality is that God only needs one moment in the life of a person with a surrendered heart to change the course of history of their life. In Hope in 60 Seconds, I pulled back the curtain on some of the darkest moments in my life where God showed up as my Hero of Hope when I needed Him most. What He did for me, He will do for anyone.
Q: How will this book help us in our walk with Christ?
My heart behind writing this book was to give people hope in the midst of every circumstance, valley, difficult situation or season that they may be facing. The Scriptures tell us in the book of Revelation that we have overcome by the blood of the lamb and the word of our testimony. Every time that someone testifies of the power of Jesus Christ in their lives, it releases faith and hope into the lives of other people to believe that if God can do it for others, He can do it for them. Sometimes you just have to see other people's darkest and hardest moments and how God brought them through, to believe that He will do it for you. My prayer is that this book will draw you closer to Jesus, help you grow in your prayer life with the Lord, and ignite faith in every heart to believe God for even the most impossible situations in your own life and in others. Whether you've walked with the Lord for a day or many decades, my prayer is that this book would ignite passion in your heart for the Lord and for others to come to know Him as well.
Q: With all that you have been through, tell us what does Jesus mean to you today.
Jesus is everything to me, my closest friend. For most of my life, I denied God's existence in anger and disbelief because I couldn't reconcile that there could be a God when so much evil had happened to me. But when He revealed Himself to me as God, and I received Jesus into my heart as my Lord and Savior, one of the most overwhelming parts of that journey was the realization and revelation that He had been there all of my life. God was there with me when I was homeless living in a tent on the beach with my dad at 15. He was with me when I got arrested and went to jail. God was with me through it all and I was unaware that He had His hand on me the entire time. When I realized this, it totally wrecked me, in the best of ways. Jesus became the center of my life and my heart's desire and passion was to know Him and to pursue His heart for the rest of my days.