I just celebrated 1 year since I was saved and decided to live my life like Christ. God is such a big part of my life and drives everything I do. So I decided to share with you guys why I decided to get baptized and take you through my journey of how I became the person I am today.
The word Christianity gets thrown around a lot. People claim they believe in God and that all it takes to receive salvation one day is believe in God or ask for forgiveness of the multitude of sins we committed and we will be automatically absolved of everything. And we continue to sin after the fact. I’m here to tell you, I was one of those people.
I grew up in an Episcopal Church. I sang in the choir, was an Acolyte, a Lector(reader) in church and was baptized when I was a baby. I was part of our youth group and attended lock-ins and participated in various activities. Not to mention I was confirmed when I was 13!!! So I’m thinking, I’m good!!! I have a one-way ticket to heaven and will receive all of God’s mercies and salvation. Boy, was I wrong!!!
Although I attended church, I never picked up the bible couldn’t even quote a bible verse. And prayer? Ha. The only time I reached out to God was when times were really tough and I felt hopeless and lost in a situation, but never turned to him any other time. My actual attendance to church became less and less. I would only attend during the holiday season Christmas and Easter. As I entered adulthood I struggled constantly with inward sin.
I was always angry and had a very strained relationship with my mother. At times I was disrespectful to her and over the years built up a lot of resentment and anger against her. With all that heaviness in my heart, I brought it into my marriage. I was always hostile towards my husband and you want to talk about nagging!?! I was the epitome of a nagging wife. Just couldn’t let things go!!!
Another huge sin I struggled with was greed. All I could think about was the next big thing or the next item I could buy. I was working 24-7 to supply my greed, only cared about money and getting ahead to further myself in my career. New clothes, vacations, things etc. I lived by the work hard play hard mentality and ended up in debt!! I never seemed to be content with anything!!!
The year of 2015 was a huge transition in our lives. We ended up moving from Maryland to Houston Texas. Did I ever dream of being in Texas? No. I never had a desire to want to visit or move to the south. It was not on our radar. Maryland was all I could see in my future. We had no family or friends in this area. But God is always in control of our lives. Sometimes the path he has laid out for us is not always the path that we want, but in order to fully fulfill God’s plan, we must obey, even if it is out of our comfort zones or completely radical.
Later that year in October, my husband was fishing at Lake Houston and was met by a brother in the church and invited us to a service in the park. I’ll never forget when my husband came home and asked if I wanted to go. My first reaction was who has service in a park? That is so weird. What kind of people are they??? I was accustomed to attending church in a building with an altar, pews, and an organ!! At that time something in my spirit was like go and see what it is like. When we went everybody was so nice, loving, and warm. A couple who was there lived close by to us and because we were new to the state, we exchanged phone numbers. They were soo nice. They took us out for the day to see different parts of Houston, invited us to their home and cooked dinner, and invited us to Church. We barely knew them and they treated us as if we were friends for years!!!
Never in my life was I surrounded by so many people who were full of nothing but love and joy. I realized this is what disciples look like. Every aspect of their life was about living a life like Jesus Christ and obeying God and a couple of weeks later when a sister asked me if I would like to study the bible, I gladly said yes.
I studied the bible with 3 other sisters and after weeks of studying chose to be baptized. Because I wanted to change my life and I wanted a deeper understanding of the bible and a relationship with God. I was tired of being angry, resentful, materialistic, and greedy. I did not want to live in darkness any longer. The sacrifice that Jesus went through for us is so humbling and puts everything in perspective in my life. That is why I decided to be saved and live a life of Christ.
Luke 9:23-24 Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.”
Photography by: Floyd Mayne
At this time I had gotten into a huge argument with my mother and we had not spoken for 6 weeks, because the prideful person that I was at the time, I was not going to apologize first. Instead of feeling good, I felt awful, miserable. 32 years of feeling this way and no difference in the outcome. On the outside, I was pretty good at keeping it together, but below the surface, I was floundering, empty, and constantly battling inner turmoil. I finally cried out to God asking for guidance while I was driving on my way to work, never will forget it. The next day I received a package from my mother with a letter and 2 devotionals about forgiveness. I was shocked! That was my sign that I knew God has my back and he is always listening. The emptiness and pain I was experiencing the only thing that could relieve that was God.
March 6, was the happiest day of my life. It was the day of my baptism, my rebirth and never wanting to look back at my old life. It was the day I decided to make Jesus authority over my life.
Matthew 28:18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.”
Is it easy? No way!!! It is a constant battle daily with my sinful nature, but 2 verses that aides me in my Christian walk is:
Proverbs 4:23 “Above all else, guard your heart for everything you do flows from it.”Philppians 4:13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”
The heart drives everything that I do and is the source of my spirit. If I allow distractions and sin to infiltrate my heart, I will return to darkness and stray from God’s path. The verse from Philippians I actually have in my Instagram Bio as a reminder that in everything I do is through God and for God and if it does not line up, I have no business being involved. My life has made a drastic change for the better. I view things differently knowing I can always lean on God for support. I have such peace and my interactions with my husband and my mother have improved. I am completely filled with God’s love and my faith is strong because of daily prayer and the word. My life would be a hot mess if I did not make the decision I made a year ago. There is no looking back and no regrets!!