I grew up in a Christian home with both my parents. My daddy was an Old Regular Baptist preacher and he taught me how to read Scripture and pray for understanding. I have always had a zeal for studying Scripture and learning all I could about the truth of the Gospel. However, I didn’t accept Jesus as my Savior until I was 18 years old while attending a small Church of Christ in our community. As time went on, I visited many other churches, Methodist, Apostolic, Pentecostal, and Freewill Baptist. I kept trying to find the perfect church that would help me live a perfect life. I was surrounded by wonderful people at all these churches, and little did I know none of them were perfect and I wasn’t expected to be perfect either.
Somewhere along the way I developed the idea that I had to earn my salvation by my good works. This was so exhausting and led to many failures in my life, one was almost the destruction of my marriage. My husband and I were both baptized (for the 2nd time) together, after a hasty decision to try and fix things myself. As time went on I only made a bigger mess of things, but thanks be to God for working a miracle in my marriage and in my life. It was a long, heartbreaking process but I can say through seeking God’s will, lots of prayer, and fasting God tore down every wall and made all things new!
I know this whole journey was the Lord teaching me about His wonderful grace and never ending mercy. Philippians 2:12 says, “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” This verse took on a whole new meaning to me. My salvation was between me and the Lord. It wasn’t something I could earn or a list of things I had to do, it was simply me being obedient to the Lord! After years of beating myself up over what I hadn’t done or what I needed to do, I finally accepted this wonderful gift of grace and for the first time in my life I truly repented.
It was a Godly sorrow! My heart broke for the Lord instead of myself. Something I had never experienced before. I always knew I needed to in my mind but my heart had been far from it. I am forever grateful for such a loving God who never gave up on me, who taught me, and loved me when I wasn’t worthy of His love. I am thankful for a repentant heart. It was nothing I did but a work He did in me. I can tell you as time went on the Lord convicted me to be baptized once more. I had never been baptized in the river and I had never wanted anything more. It was an urgency I felt and Scriptures kept coming to my mind. Specifically, Acts 8:36:
And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?
and Acts 22:16:
And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.
One Sunday after church, I asked my God-fearing husband to baptize me. It was just the two of us and it was my answer of a good conscience before the Lord. I will never forget that day! I was truly set free. My heart just overflows with thankfulness and I will forever praise our Loving Father!!
I feared judgment from everyone about being baptized again, but then the story of Naaman came to mind. The Lord told him to dip 7 times and he was healed. So I was willing to let go of my pride and do whatever I needed to do to obey the Lord and make Heaven my home.
Friends, don’t let anything hinder you from having an intimate relationship with Him! He loves you right where you are!
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