Several months ago our pastor taught on baptism. When I walked out of that service I felt a strong sense that I needed to be baptized…. Again.
Most of you are aware that I have grown up in church. In fact I was born in Fort Worth, Texas while my father attended seminary to become a pastor. Naturally, I was immersed in church life but more importantly I was aware that Christianity wasn’t about religion or church attendance but about relationship with Jesus Christ.
Found this gem of my childhood bff Kristen and me before we were dunked.
I think this is common for individuals like me. We grow up knowing the right path and want to follow Jesus down it but haven’t really been confronted yet with choosing Him or choosing the world. As I grew and moved through adolescence and early adult-hood I did not choose Jesus. I didn’t pursue Him and continue cultivating our relationship; therefore I didn’t really know Him so I couldn’t possibly love Him or understand his love for me. I mean I “knew” but I didn’t really know. James 2:18b-19 Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by deeds. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that- and shudder. Because I did not know Him or love Him I did not choose to trust that He had my best interest so I certainly did not choose obedience to Him. This resulted in a lot of sin.
Because I grew up knowing the truth and all the “church lingo” I could easily present myself as a Christian at will. The other 90% of the time I allowed self, pleasure, indulgence, and idolatry to rule my life. I certainly wrestled with my sin, choices, and lifestyle. I regret every single time (more than I can count or care to admit) that I professed to be a Christian to people around me and acted in such a way that defames the Name of Jesus. I have been the person that gives people license to believe there is no power in Christ because I was living a godless life while saying I was a believer. Recounting these memories surfaces great grief within me: that by my choices I would be so degrading and hurtful toward my sweet Savior.
Fortunately His love never fails. He will not force Himself on us but he is always there waiting and ready for us to enter into a love relationship with Him.
I’ll be honest with you though. Since hearing that sermon last year, I have spent hours and had many conversations trying to pinpoint that moment of true repentance and conversion. I keep asking God, myself, and the people closest to me, “When did I become a Christian?” It’s a frustrating thing to wonder! I look back and see so many mistakes, so much sin, so much hypocrisy. I had moments of clarity and conviction but they are overshadowed by my godless behavior. And honestly I’m left not really knowing when that moment occurred.
I might not have the answer of when until the day I meet Jesus face to face but you know what? That’s okay because I know that right now, today, tomorrow and eternally I am His. I once was lost and blind and even with my background and all my knowledge I was deceived. The world and pleasure and self is captivating and dangerous. Just because I was a pastor’s daughter and was privileged in the best way didn’t make me immune or safe from the deceptive enticing nature of satan and this world.
But I know and understand God now. I understand how much he loves his people. I understand why he created mankind and what our purpose here is. And I am growing daily in my love for him as I diligently seek him. Yes, at times still, I feel it is one step forward two steps back. But God is also growing my confidence in how he chooses to sanctify me.
Getting re-baptized was important to me because it publicly testifies that I am not just a “fair-weather fan” of Jesus any more. I absolutely have decided to FOLLOW Him.
I want to say a huge thank you to my family members who drove many miles to support me and celebrate with me for this occasion. My parents, siblings, and cousins, I love you all and you made me feel incredibly loved by your presence. Also to my amazing pastor who is humble and gracious enough to allow my father to step in and Baptize me. Nate, you are awesome! To my husband and children who encourage me daily. And every person who couldn’t be present but support me in countless ways distantly. I am blessed beyond measure. Totally in AWE over God’s grace and goodness.
When I heard this song, I knew it was perfect for this occasion. Colton Dixon: Through All of It