I did not grow up in a traditionally Christian home. I knew my parents believed in God, but faith was never talked about. It wasn’t until my senior year of high school when my friend invited me to a YoungLife event that I started really learning about Jesus. At the time, I was a pretty angry, selfish kid and I had just gotten out of a relationship with an older guy whom I had been making very poor decisions with.
Although I didn’t yet know very much about Jesus, I knew he was safe and that He promised my sins would be forgiven. I decided I wanted to keep finding out more about Jesus and stop focusing on finding identity in earthly relationships. I met my now husband the very next day after I became a follower of Christ at youth group.
I fell in love with Jesus very slowly at first and then all at once.
Because I had not grown up in the church, I didn’t have very much knowledge of the Scriptures, but through the Holy Spirit I could feel the closeness and love and grace that God had for me. He truly made me into a new person; I was so full of joy and just wanted to keep learning!
This caused some tension between my parents and I as they couldn’t understand the person I was becoming or why I suddenly wanted to attend all of these church and youth group events. This division continued on throughout college as I got very involved with a ministry at GVSU. I felt bitterness toward my parents and couldn’t understand why they didn’t want to talk about Jesus or attend church with me. I prayed to God everyday for their hearts to be opened and that they would learn to love Him, but still felt like it was my job to save them.
At the height of struggling with my relationship with my parents, my boyfriend and I walked through some tough times dealing with our own brokenness. The Lord was so faithful through this as He healed two incredibly broken people and taught them to find their identity in Christ instead of one another. Over the last few years, the Lord has redeemed my relationship with my parents and I have never felt closer to them than I do now, He has blessed me with a beautiful marriage, and He continues to reveal more and more about His character and purpose for my life.
He saved me from a life of anger and darkness and sin and has truly made me a new creation.
It has been on my heart the last two years to get baptized, but for selfish reasons I kept saying no because I was too scared to get up in front of a large group of people. I would give many excuses (like I was already baptized, scheduling conflicts, or being too busy) whenever the opportunity would come up.
However, over the last few months I have become more involved at TLC, am now leading a Rooted group, and have spent much more consistent time with God recently and I am finally ready to put my selfish heart aside and take this step in obedience. Going through one of the Rooted study days two weeks ago, God hit me with this overwhelming feeling that it was time. When Baptisms were on the FYI that Sunday, I couldn’t help but chuckle. By finally saying yes to baptism, I feel like I am taking down my last wall and finally surrendering every aspect of my heart and my life. This public declaration is the one thing I have been saying no to for so long, so I am finally putting God before me on this one. Because it should never have been about me anyway - so I can’t wait to see what happens next!!!