On February 26, 2023 I participated in baptism Sunday at our church, Compass Bible Church, Treasure Valley. It’s hard to put into words what led to my conviction to be baptized again at the age of 47, but for nearly five years my heart continued to feel drawn towards this act of obedience. With Easter Sunday approaching, I felt it was a good time to share both the video and my handwritten testimony, I pray it is an encouragement to someone else that may have had a similar journey to mine.
My testimony: I was introduced to Christ in a Sunday school classroom at the age of 5 years old. I said a prayer inviting Jesus into my heart, and I was baptized at the age of 9. Since that point in my life I would have told anyone that asked me that I was a Christian, declaring my belief in the Lord and His salvation. And I truly did believe in God, I believed in Christ, and I lived my life as a good person, but there was so much missing. I didn’t understand the true Gospel message. I never understood my deep depravity, about the fact that I could do nothing to save myself. I could not attend church enough, or say the right prayer, or be good enough to “earn” my salvation. It was always going to be the work of the Holy Spirit, the incarnate birth of Jesus Christ, and His sacrificial death on the cross and His glorious resurrection that was going to bring me to submission to the Lord our God. It was never going to be about me and my efforts. So I lived my life stating that I was a Christian, meanwhile I chased after the things of this world, and maybe from the outside people would say I was an upright citizen, a loving mother, kind and generous towards others. But I can tell you that I was a hopeless sinner, who did not have a regenerate heart. I saw Jesus Christ as my ticket out of hell, but I did not submit to Him as my Lord, and I did not desire to be obedient to Him in all that I did.
In 2018, when I was 43 years old, my husband and I were facing the darkest days we had known within our marriage. And for the first time in my life I sat there in my brokenness, knowing I could do nothing to fix all that was wrong. My only hope was to repent of my sin and submit to the will and sovereignty of God. I experienced my 2 Corinthians 5:17 moment, as it states, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” I didn’t fully realize how significant that submission to God was. I still kept telling my story of being a Christian since I was a child, and I was viewing my experience in 2018 as a “God moment” in my journey. But the reality is that in the years since that pivotal moment, everything has changed. My desires changed, my thoughts changed, my speech changed, everything I did was through the filter of “is this honoring to the Lord”. The Holy Spirit had entered me and had begun a work in my heart and life, I was being sanctified. And the sins that used to consume me were no longer present, I couldn’t imagine doing the things I did before. And just to be clear, I still sin and I still fall short, the difference is, I am repentant and I deeply desire to be obedient to God.
Eventually, with growth, sanctification, hearing the testimonies of others, and a whole lot of scripture reading I caught onto to the fact that I hadn’t been a Christian my whole life. That dunking in water at 9 years old, was just me getting wet in front of my church. That was an intense moment for me as I sat there, in my pride, saying, what will people think? Won’t this confuse my children? Yet, all I could do was be overwhelmingly grateful for the work of the Holy Spirit in bringing me to true reconciliation with the Lord. I had to set down my pride and my fears and submit to the conviction that was clearly present in my heart and mind. So here I am in Biblical obedience to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Before Christ I had a horrible crimson stain upon me, I was living in complete depravity. Five years ago in my brokenness of sin, the Lord drew me unto Him. I could do nothing else but respond in faith and obedience to Him, and from that point forward my life was radically and miraculously made new, the blood of Christ and Christ alone covered me, and took away the stain of my sins. And I’m so unbelievably grateful for His love and compassion on me.