Sunday I participated in my church's Believer's Baptism at the Lake event. And yes I was baptized. And yes I was baptized as an infant (and yes I have allowed Hunter and Gage both to be baptized as infants) but despite those things, once I learned about it- Believer's Baptism makes a whole lot more sense (to me) and (to me) seems to be accurate compared to what the Bible says about baptism. I grew up knowing who Jesus was and that he died on a cross for my sins. But it was a purely intellectual thing. I never got (whether I never was taught or whether I just didn't get it I really can't say) that it was about a relationship with Jesus.... I never got that it was more than just obligations- ie attending church, not ever sinning, giving money to the church, praying etc...I never got that it is having Jesus in your heart and wanting to do those things and so much more... I made a lot of bad decisions in my life as a teenager/young adult- I was to a point in my life (by my mid twenties) in which I felt completely unworthy. I felt that based on the decisions I made and the way I lived my life God didn't want me in church... and surely didn't want me in Heaven and He sure didn't love me. In fact He had to be quite angry with me and all my wrong choices. And church well church was surely a place of judgment for the sins I'd committed. Where people would reject me because of the things I'd done or not done... Then Chris and I started having major relationship problems (this was pre-marriage in our dating days) and a friend connected me very briefly with a pastor who said "To move closer to each other you've got to move closer to God." I did nothing about this statement other than repeat it to Chris- we briefly talked about going to church together, but did nothing about it. Several months later we broke up. One day he mentioned going to church and when I asked him why he said he needed direction. With those words ringing in my ears and the pastors words coming back to me I felt a tug at my heart and after so many days, months, years of driving past Fox River Christian Church I went. I was awed (had never even fathomed church like that). I kept going. A friend at work, she helped and encouraged me as my faith, my real faith- not my "I can believe in God and not go to church kind of faith"- as it started to grow. It was Easter season and the clips played in service of The Passion of the Christ movie stirred me to watch it myself. I cried as I saw the depiction of what Jesus did for me. If I had to pick a day that I really accepted Jesus (though I think it was sort of a gradual thing over those first weeks at FRCC) it would be Good Friday 2008. I was an emotional wreck during that service, crying and really just opening my heart to a relationship with Jesus. Life did not suddenly become as sweet as a big bowl of ice cream. There have been good things and bad things and really hard things. And I did not suddenly become sin free or bad decision making free either. And I have had my days and weeks and probably months where I've not done much to grow in my relationship with Jesus but just "floated". I could go on for hours about all the things I don't do perfectly. But I love God and I've accepted Jesus and I after over 3 years of knowing a relationship, after 2 years of feeling called to do Believer's Baptism and putting it off (first because of bed rest, then a newborn, then a desire to do it at the annual lake event which I couldn't attend in 2010) I have taken what felt like a huge step to me (there is a video testimony involved that made my stomach knot with nerves) and I was baptized- to show that I am a follower of Jesus.
(PS I sure wish I would've said those things half as well in my video testimony as I did right now)
(PPS I also sure wish I had pictures but we forgot the camera :( )