Growing in Faith

Growing in Faith–Part 4: My Baptism

belief

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20.

On November 17, 2013 I publicly proclaimed my life for God in front of a large congregation of people–known and unknown. And now, I’m sharing my enormous step with all of my readers. My baptism day was an event I have wanted to happen for so long, and it was nothing short of an incredibly emotional experience. On December 11, 1993 I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior. I acknowledge that I’m a sinner and true happiness does not exist outside of a relationship with God. It is through my faith that I find the strength to get through the difficult times and even during my wayward paths, stumbles and falls I know that God is always with me–he will not forsake me.

On the day of my baptism I wore an over-sized blue shirt and yoga pants. My mentor and sweet friend Ashlyn was responsible for baptizing me. My pastor, Bobby, introduced me, and I stood up on the stage with a crumbled piece of paper where I had scrawled my testimony. My testimony consisted of how I have come to where I am now, my past and current struggles and the totally amazing way the Lord called me back to his open arms. I tried hard to tell myself that I wouldn’t cry, that I would be strong so others could hear my story, but the Holy Spirit had other plans. I was about midway through my sentence when the emotions of the moment overcame any little bit of composure I was trying to muster. At one point I had to stop, breathe, and resume. When I finished my testimony, Ashlyn laid me back in the water, and I left behind the old person I was. I even forgot for a minute how cold the water was. It felt amazing to fulfill the Lord’s command for his believers. My faith is my hope–it keeps me strong, and it gives me purpose.

As a Christian I still have struggles and stumbles. I falter and fall and get back up. I ask for forgiveness, and I give praise even in times of tribulation. My biggest struggle, and it’s sort of an all-encompassing sort of struggle, is being a light wherever I go. There are so many times when I’m completely disappointed in my failure to be the light the Lord wants me to be in front of people. But I also have to remember that I am fractured and imperfect. It is something I will probably struggle with until the day I leave this Earth for a Heaven that will surpass anything I’ve ever known–beyond human comprehension.

Let me just take a minute to say how blessed I feel in the way God has led me to where I am, to the church that has become my second home, and to new friends who have lifted me up and rooted me on. I look forward to seeing what God has in store for me in 2014.

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