“So whoever is in Christ is a new creation the old things have passed away. Behold new things have come” 2 Corinthians 5:17
As the school year is coming to a close, I just can’t believe how much my faith and trust in Christ has grown. During my first semester, I was still really far from God, I did not like it, but I couldn’t really help it because at that time in my life, I was still bitter towards God for taking my dad away from me. It is hard to get rid of that anger from something so tragic. Attending ignite, and joining my small group has really helped my faith in God solidify over two semesters.
I will never forget the night I heard God call my name, and speak to me. It was towards the end of the first semester, and ignite was having a worship night along with a couple of baptisms. As I was standing there pouring my heart out to Christ through these worship songs, I just remember feeling the presence of God so strongly around me, and hearing Him calling me to get baptized. I instantly was in tears because of what I had just experienced. After Ignite ended that night I just remember coming back to my dorm and reaching out to Olivia who couldn’t make it that night, and just telling her everything that had just happened. It felt so real after putting it into words for someone else to hear. That night I was reassured that God had not run from me, even though I was running from Him.
After that experience at ignite, I prayed a lot. I wasn’t sure where God was taking me, but I was trying to be ready.
Second semester started, and I noticed that I still had this burning desire in my heart. I started to turn to Olivia, and talk to her about what I wanted to do, she was so supportive, and really excited for me that I wanted to get baptized. Seeing her excited, for something that I was going to do, just made me step back and thank God for giving me such an amazing friend like her to walk beside me in this, and everything else. I ended up talking to my college pastor Adam as well, who I had briefly met with first semester when I was struggling with my faith but I was so happy to be able to approach him again, firm in my faith and my decision. One day a few weeks ago, we met in Starbucks and I talked to him about God calling me to be baptized, he had a smile on his face as he started explaining to me what it meant, and asking me a few questions about my faith journey and understanding of baptism. I left that meeting with him just overjoyed and so excited. Those next few weeks I just spent waiting anxiously to take this next big step in my relationship with God.
At last! The day was finally here, I woke up on Tuesday April 25, 2017 with a smile on my face, because I knew that night I was going to be baptized! That whole day I just had different feelings of excitement, and then being kind of nervous at the same time. I went along with my normal Tuesday.. It was my last bible study for the semester, so I went to that, and then came back to my dorm and try to catch up on homework and a nap before Ignite that night. Dinner time came around, and I was barely even hungry because the different feelings had just totally engulfed me. I had a few pieces of chicken to hold me over, and then the next thing I knew we were on our way.
~Washed by the water 04.25.2017~
When we got to Ignite it all started feeling so much more real. Some of the girls in my small group were there, so we found some seats in the front and sat down. During the second worship song, my small group leader pulled me aside to pray for me before my baptism which was going to take place after the second worship song was over. When we were sitting outside and I was listening to Katie pray for me, my emotions started to come through, and the tears started rolling out. In that moment, I felt so blessed for her, and for everyone else that has walked this journey with me in these two semesters.
We got back inside the church in perfect timing, Adam was starting to explain what was going to happen, and my heart started beating so fast. I was getting kind of nervous but so excited. Then he said my name and I got up and went to him. I got in this tub filled with water, and listened to Adam as he introduced me “This is my friend Taylor and man her story is incredible, God has written it in such a unique way…” It continued but I am not going to type it all here….After he introduced me he asked me a few questions in which I said “yes” to both questions through my tears. After that he baptized me. And it was such an amazing feeling. All the anxiety I was feeling before left my body when he pulled me up from that water. I had just started a new journey with God, I had just placed my trust in Him. And wow it felt so good. I heard my small group cheering for me, and instantly just started to cry even more because I have just been surrounded by such Godly women who have impacted my life so much. I went back and sat down next to Olivia and the rest of my small group as Adam continued to baptize two other people and then do a final teaching for the semester.
I am so happy that I got to publicly profess my love for God that night and open my heart to Him once again. After going through so much tragedy in my past, this school year has really just been one of growth in my faith. I still don’t understand all the tragedy in my life had to happen, but lately I have just had a different approach to everything. I have noticed that instead of getting angry at God I just talk to Him and keep praying for the strength and endurance to get through. One thing I do wish is that my dad could have been here on Tuesday, I missed him a lot that day but I know He is up in Heaven with God smiling down.
“Let your roots grow down into Him, and let your lives be built on Him. Then your faith will grow strong n the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness” -Colossians 2:7
Have a great weekend