So I eluded to it yesterday in my blog, which in case you missed you can check out here. Yesterday’s blog by the way was viewed 72 times yesterday–so thanks for that! Anyhow, on Sunday, approximately an hour before I was proposed to, I was baptized for the second time in my life. This time I made the decision myself and was baptized by our pastor who has been hugely helpful on this journey o’mine. I stood up in front of my real family and my church family and gave the testimony that I’m going to put below. Some of you have already heard it, and it’s kind of long so some of you may not read all of it–but take this away from it. God will work in all of us if we let him.

I’ve struggled with the concept of being baptized for a little over a year now. Not because I didn’t want to do it, but more so because I didn’t feel like I had some dramatic story to tell in regards to what prompted me to want to do it. That and there was a small, nagging part of me that told me I wasn’t a good enough Christian to be baptized.

It wasn’t until a good friend of mine cleared things up that I realized neither of those things mattered. She told me that not everyone has a dramatic story, and in fact not having one could actually BE my story. When I told her my fears about not being good enough she simply told me that none of us are good enough, that’s why Christ died for us.

Like many others in this room, I was baptized as a baby. A 3 week old baby nonetheless, which could explain my aversion still to this day of being splashed in the face with water. God bless my family for taking the time and the effort to dress me up in a baptismal gown and hand me over to a priest that Sunday morning. They had my very best interest at heart and in the Catholic church, that’s how things were done.

 I’ve learned though that baptism doesn’t save you. If that were the case there’d be a line of people out the door waiting to get baptized. Baptism is what happens AFTER you’ve decided to trust in the Lord. It’s the outward expression of what’s happened inside you once you’ve said, “I can’t do it alone. I need your help. I trust in you and you alone.”

There are all sorts of symbols that baptism can represent – washing away sins, rejuvenating the joy you have in the Lord, starting anew. But to me it means that I’m proud enough and content enough in the Lord to show all of you that. I’m someone who for most of my life, regardless of when we crossed paths, would have told you I was a Christian, but that’s where the conversation would have stopped.

I’m 29 years old, and my first 17 were spent in the Catholic Church. I was baptized, had my first communion, went to religious education classes every Thursday night, mass every weekend, and was confirmed in it. I should be able to tell you all sorts of things about the Catholic religion, but the only thing I can tell is you that I don’t know a thing about it. After high school, I’d go in spurts with church, but always made sure to go on Christmas and Easter. Whenever I would return to church, in spite of not understanding Catholicism and not getting much out of the masses, I always returned to a Catholic church. It was what I knew, and I suppose I was afraid to branch out and try anything else.

Almost two years ago, that changed. I used to pray that God would bring someone into my life to help me “learn the ropes” so to speak and that prayer was answered when he gave me the love of my life. He’d had his own struggles, but in the midst of them he had leaned on God and God had held him up. He’s taught me what it’s like to have a real relationship with God, he’s helped me realize that sometimes you have to let God be in the driver’s seat, and maybe, most importantly, he brought me into this church community where I have been blessed enough to meet so many of you.

Several months ago, I had gotten frustrated that this new relationship with God didn’t seem to be clicking. Pastor Staff has helped me more than he realizes on this journey and one night he told me that for all intensive purposes, I was really kind of a ‘new’ Christian, that I’d always known who God was, but I’d never really KNOWN him and like any relationship—it was going to take some work.

 Still to this day I may not have many bible verses committed to memory, nor can I tell you where to find certain things within the bible, and sometimes in bible studies things go over my head, but there is one thing I can tell you. I’m proud of my faith, and I’m so glad that the Lord is playing more of an active role in my life than he ever has before. I’m not perfect. In fact, every single day I sin. Some days it’s even the same sin. But I know that at the end of the day because of His love for me, I can be forgiven. In the beginning stages of being this ‘new’ Christian I used to wonder how any of that was even possible. Or why in the world God picked me to be so blessed. Or why he would send his only son to the cross so that we might live. And I’ve realized that the answer is this. He loves us. 1 John 4:16 says, “And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love, lives in God, and God in them.”

So you see, even when we don’t think it, HE thinks we’re good enough. We were made in his likeness and he wants nothing more than for all of us to be with him and he’ll do whatever it takes to make that happen.

So today, I stand before you more sound in my faith than I’ve ever been. Today, I stand before you, not as a 3 week old baby, but as an adult choosing to be baptized—doing so because God is working in me and I want all of you here today to know that.

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Comments
  1. It is true to say – that each of us are unique and therefore has a unique expressions and understanding of faith. Our pathway to God is unique because God had sketched it so that at the end of the journey we may be found worthy of Him, the Christ. Have nice day my friend.

  2. Brian Casey says:

    I applaud your transparency as expressed in this post. It seems you have a few developing understandings, and I must trust the Lord to lead you into fuller understanding. You were surely not, for example, “baptized” as a three-week-old. You were rather sprinkled, or splashed, or something — and that is not baptism. But congratulations on taking this important step, identifying with the Lord Jesus in a symbolic death, burial, and resurrection. No one is perfect, or “good enough, but you have now “put him on,” and you stand in a long tradition of obedient disciples!

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