The life I’ve prayed for…

I grew up in a Christian home and knew God loved me and died on the cross to take my sins away. I grew up hearing Bible stories in Sunday school and going to Awana then youth group. It was just what we did. We prayed before dinner and memorized Bible verses for Awana. I talked about my faith often and had one of the most God fearing amazing women at my disposal to help me through my faith as a child. I was actually saved and baptized at about 7 years old, however, as I’ve grown and experienced both the hurt and joy life can bring I don’t think I truly knew what that meant to accept Jesus. I said the words but didn’t know what they meant. I did it more because that’s just what you did, it was part of the “motions” of leading a Christian life. It wasn’t because I was passionate and intentional about devoting anything and everything in my life to God and his will.

It wasn’t the Godly based fire burning inside of me like I saw in other Christians. And it was something I strived for. But Something was missing. A piece just wasn’t here to complete the puzzle. I continued on through my childhood/early teen years just going through the motions without ever truly finding my relationship with God it was a religion I walked into on Sunday/Wednesday and left as I walked out the door. I believed I have to be perfect in order for God to love me and let me into heaven one day…

As most know, at 12 years old my dad died and for about the next 5 years after that I lost a lot of loved ones and was on a rocky part of my Faith. After losing 6 people in 5 years I was angry. Angry at the world. Angry at God. I started to wonder if he truly loved me and had my best interest in mind. How could he by taking away so many people I loved? It wasn’t fair and it just didn’t make sense. How could I give everything to him and trust his will when he just keeps taking away?

That is until two years ago. We had started a new church about a year before and I went on converge, which is a young adult/college ministry at the new church. Converge is a trip for spring break that they pick a destination and we get to spend time with each other and God for the whole week just away from everything going on at home. I met a handful of people only 3 days before leaving for Virginia Beach and then took the very very long drive in a 15 passenger van with strangers who turned into friends. I confronted all the pain and tough years that week. I found myself, my happiness, and my relationship with God on the beach with 40+ people I hadn’t ever met before. I realized that God loved me despite my imperfections and sins. He won’t turn his back on me if I slip up. And he doesn’t hold the fact that I’m human and make human mistakes against me if I surrender all to him and ask him for forgiveness. Obviously it’s not condoning doing whatever you want, but it’s the understanding that in the flesh you’ll never not sin. But it’s the fact that we try everyday to be the best we can be and make conscious choices to do right by Gods word. I also had a boyfriend that was making me see life in a new way. That week I decided it was time for a change. It was time to take my religion and turn it into a relationship, to stop letting God carry our relationship and start holding up my end as well. Time to give God the relationship and time he deserves. I’ve contemplated getting Re baptized ever since. I know I don’t have to and that it I’m still going to heaven even if I don’t. But my boyfriend, now fiancé, also started to get into his faith more when I told him about converge and the life I hoped to have one day.

I came back on a faith based high and couldn’t wait to dive into my own life and make changes I knew I shoulda made a long time ago. I was determined to live a more intentional life and lead a Godly life. All in. Converge 2020 was right before the pandemic. I didn’t have much to “confront” this time. I was just there to enjoy the amazing views, work on my new growing relationship, and take things away that I could bring to my engagement and start the foundation of our marriage on stone instead of sand. It hit me the last night that the week had hit harder than I even noticed until then. My dad not being at my wedding was something I realized. That night is a whole other story and one I encourage you to go back into my blog and read. But moral of the story that night it hit me that he’d miss out on so much. I came home and was determined to turn that feeling into good. Into a path for Eric and I to lead as we looked on to our life together and our marriage.

Since then we’ve made it a priority to bring him into the center of our relationship and build that foundation for our marriage. He also decided this spring when it came up in church it was his time to get baptized after getting saved over a year ago. However, he was at first hesitant, getting up in front of people isn’t his thing. And that same Re baptism thought kept creeping into my mind. I hadn’t thought about it much until God told me “do it with him”. It will set his mind at ease having someone there next to him through it all and it’ll give you the opportunity to recommit to a life that isn’t just going through the motions. It’s a chance to do this together and only months away from the wedding you’ll start this marriage off on a step that I’d like no other and all’s us to grow closer together.

So for me I still wasn’t sure even after God clearly told me. I knew I didn’t have to do it, but I wanted to. Gods not going to send me away from heaven on my day if I don’t get Re baptized. So it’s more for me than it was for God. But it was also for my relationship with Eric. I knew it’d bring us closer in ways nothing else could.

Eric has been on this journey with me since that day two years ago and even before that. We’ve worked on this together and it gave me the push to recommit a more intentional life following God and we’ll soon be married. This is a step to bring us closer and set up our relationship with God both individually and as a couple to build on in our future. And that’s the future we get to start now.

So, on May 16, 2021 we both did it. We both got baptized. We did it together. From day one, we’ve both come so far. And I don’t think I’ve ever been prouder of Eric than today watching him come up out of that water…I hope it brings us closer than anything else can and we don’t stop here. I pray that this is just the beginning of our already amazing life we’ve built. We’ve given our lives to God. His will be done…the life I’ve prayed for and wished for my whole life is just over the horizon…

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