7.08.2011

My Story

Two Sunday's ago, my husband and I were baptized and we both agreed, it was hands down the most amazing day of our lives.  We were given the precious opportunity to be baptized together and I can honestly say it was the most intimate moment of our marriage.  As I think back to that day, sitting in a cold basin of water being surrounded by hundreds of believers (180 of which were baptized that day) while listening to the encouraging words of one of our pastors, and then being baptized by my husband, I can't help but feel completely overwhelmed with emotion. One of our amazingly talented friends took pictures for us so we could cherish this moment forever and share our amazing day with others.  Before I do though, I thought this would be a great opportunity for me to share my testimony just as I did before being baptized. Before the service, we had to meet with one of the pastors or elders to talk with them about our story; how we came to know Christ, where we are in our Christian walk and why we feel now is the time to be baptized. This is My Story.

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The best word to describe my life before Christ was numb. OK, maybe two words: numb and angry. 

I grew up in a Catholic Church attending Mass every Sunday with my family.  I just went through the motions, completely numb to the whole thing.  In high school my faith was the furthest thing from my mind and I was, to say the least, a rebellious teenager.  All of the partying and destructive living led me down a pretty rough road and at a party my junior year of high school, I was extremely intoxicated and was raped.  I don’t remember a thing.  Even after that life changing event, I still didn’t feel the need for God. I really thought I was just too damaged for Him to deal with and so I continued on my way into college, suppressing any feelings from what had happened to me.  A few years later my grandfather got really sick. He suffered a lot for about a year before he had passed and I was angry.  How could God let that happen to such a wonderful man? How could he let what happened to me in high school happen? I was mad at God.

During the time my grandfather was dying, I met my husband and little did we know God was going to use him as His instrument.  We had a lot of heated discussions about our faith (or my lack of), but Bobby was patient with my anger (and pride) and continually showed me nothing but love… and firm disagreement at times as well… but all out of love. I eventually started attending a PCA church with him and at the beginning of fall, our senior year of college we attending the church’s picnic.  It was amazing to see such a large gather of believers all in one place at one time; you couldn’t help but feel something.  I met and talked with one member in particular that night and he shared his testimony with me.  Parts of his story, his family, how he grew up in the Catholic Church, etc. were identical to mine and I was beside myself! We left the picnic that night and I remember asking Bobby, “How do you know when you have received the Holy Spirit? Because I think I have...” I can’t even put into words the feeling that came over me, but then again, how to you put into words the feeling of receiving the Spirit? You can't.  Being surrounded by so many believers, hearing their testimonies and just feeling the love, God’s love; it was the most amazing day of my life. Period. God had a plan all along, through the highs and the lows.  He had been preparing my heart to receive Him.

I have definitely learned since then that the believer’s life is not easy.  Over the last few years, there have definitely been amazing and fruitful seasons, but there have also been some dark and difficult seasons as well.  Looking back though, I can see God working through it all.

I’ve taken my anger and sadness about my past destructive behavior and have put my faith in God's hands.  Last year I became a YoungLife leader and have been sharing my story with high school girls in hopes that God may use me as his instrument, just as he did with my husband and me, to lead them into His arms. I've decided to be baptized this weekend to make public my identification with Christ, my Savior.  Because of His death and resurrection, I am free and my debts are paid.

As I said earlier, our amazing friend Barrett took some beautiful pictures of the night.  Our church also made a short slideshow of this Church-wide baptism and you can check that our here: Fellowship Baptism Service Sideshow
If you have some free time, there is a full length video of the entire night as 150+ people make a public proclamation of their identification with Jesus Christ, and you can find that video here:
Fellowship Church wide Baptism Celebration (Camera One)















Therefore, through baptism we were buried with 
him into his death so
that, just as the Messiah was raised from the 
dead by the Father's glory,
we too may live an entirely new life. 
Romans 6:4

 











3 comments:

  1. Amanda!! I just love this!! Takes me back to our life talk on New Years!! Love you lots and so excited for you!

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  2. Hi Amanda! what a beautiful Blog with such beautiful heartfelt stories. I am so thrilled for you both! For your new life together, in a such a cute home in Tennessee and your baptism... I remember when I received the Holy Spirit, and you are right, one cannot put it into words! Congratulations on being a mommy!

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  3. oops, sorry, your sister is a new mommy!

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for leaving me some love!

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