How did a seemingly insignificant day end up changing my life forever?
It was the summer of 2013, and my husband Jeff and I were at Lake Johanna on the University Northwestern campus for our annual church baptism. It’s a beautiful event where thousands of Christians assemble to watch fellow Christians being baptized. A believer in Jesus is baptized when they are completely immersed in water and publicly announce their faith and belief.
In today’s world of Christianity, the small number of adults who want baptism are often unmotivated to make significant changes before being baptized. For instance, most people are coming to church and get baptized as adults in a bid to solve their marriage complications such as mix matrimonies. Often such people were initially unconverted members of the church hence the instructions in their church faith have to take a step and expose them to a confession experience. Thereafter, they develop a personal relationship with God which is a life that is characterized by prayers; guided by Holy Spirit, love among brothers and sister.
As a child, my family rarely attended church. I have come from a family that was not much committed to the church. Just an infrequent wedding every so often indeed was the extent of my exposure to church matters. Baptism, to me, indicates or rather is a new beginning. Up until the summer of last year, however, I always enjoy the events in the church, but I always do not lack an excuse not to get baptized. The Alpha orientation or rather class I attended made me acknowledge what I had not been able to enjoy as a baptized Christian within the church. I want to serve Jesus in many ways and categories as I can for the balance of the portion of my remaining life. Thus, baptism is the only means that can clean away my sins, even though I was baptized as an infant; I yearn for a fresh start.
The fact is that I was baptized when I was an infant and thus it never occurred that I should or needed to do the same once more. When I was sprinkled with holy water as an infant, it was more a decision of my parents to bestow me to the Lord and obligating themselves to nurture me in a Christian home which was not actually my personal choice at all. However, opting to be baptized as an adult represents the fact that I am dedicated to being a follower of Christ, and hence offer the rest of my life to serve Lord my God and seek his will for my entire existence. That is me together with my husband Jeff decided to get baptized.
It is scary. Indeed, standing in front of the congregation and then get dunked into a tank full of water appears to be a little frightening. But sincerely, everyone in this scene is on your side hence supporting every episode of baptism ceremony. In our case everybody is watching and cheering for the people receiving baptism, giving them encouragement as they indulge in this bold step defining their relationship with God. The atmosphere within the venue was so motivating and uplifting that is was actually quite tricky to be nervous. It was not actually bad, and the water that I fear was not even very cold as I thought.
It was finally our turn, Jeff and I held hands as we walked into the water together, our campus pastors greeted us. They asked, Have you made the decision to make Jesus Christ the Lord and Savior of your life? We replied back yes, in unison. Then today is your day as we baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, They said. I locked arms with my husband, and I remember I could not stop smiling. The pastors, one on each side, assisted us in leaning back being fully submerged into the lake water. The moment I reemerged back up through the water and took a breath of air, I started to cry, these were tears of joy. We hugged each other and pastors too. This was the moment I would never forget when I made my public declaration that I am a follower of Jesus.
God had his plan for us that day when we arrived at Lake Johanna; little did we know what was in store for us. Baptism is a new beginning, and ever since I have been strengthening my relationship with Jesus Christ. I make better decisions in my life with God as my number one priority and baptism took my faith to a higher level and brought me closer to God. We are dedicated to raising our daughters to know Jesus and teaching them how he died on the cross for our sins so that we can be saved. Baptism changed my life and that day I was made new.