My testimony isn’t all that exciting, which is the main thing I have struggled with and why I have put off baptism, that and the fact that I’m terrified of public speaking!
I have never not believed in God. I’ve grown up in a strong Christian household believing that God sent Jesus to die on a cross to save us. But for the past few years I have been doubting, not the existence of God but doubting whether I am saved? Doubting my own relationship with God. How is it that God can meet with other individuals in such a profound way; that they encounter Him and have an amazing story to tell? I have never had this “moment”.
There have been times when I have been angry and confused at God, for not giving me a clear sign that He has saved me and giving me an amazing story to tell others. Many nights I have sat up crying in desperate need to experience more of him. It may sound strange but even when I feel this way towards God, I always know deep down that He hasn’t failed me and never will. I have quick moments of self-pity and then am quickly reminded that He hasn’t failed me, his timing is perfect, and He doesn’t have to show me a big sign in the sky for me to know He is there.
When I think about a possible time that my faith changed from being a way of life and culture to become my own relationship with God, it was probably when I was 14 years old on a Christian summer camp in Wales. I had the best week of my life doing various activities and making new friends etc. I came away from that camp feeling encouraged, empowered and closer to God.
However, after this camp I realised that I am terrible at recovering from these “mountain top experiences”. Going back to school was hard, getting back into family life was hard, so sorry mum and dad for being grumpy and quick tempered with you, I know you both know how it feels.
The day to day life was so dull compared to that week of encountering God. The same thing happened when I went on various other camps and events over the next few years.
Although these situations have been massive encouragements of God’s power at work, it’s been a slow process of my faith maturing into learning that I can’t live my life just with these moments of excitement and “fun”, that it is about the day to day life and how I live and connect with God in these times. It’s here in the dullest days at work or school or college that we must remember that God is with us and working for our good. And that even when I can’t feel it or see it yet, that He is always working.
So why am I getting baptised? I am getting baptised not because I’m a perfect Christian now and have it all together but quite the opposite. I am completely undeserving of God’s love, His compassion, His grace. I still slip up and make mistakes. I fall tremendously short of His glory day after day.
But I’m being baptised because I know that despite all these things, God loves me, He wants me to have a relationship with Him, He wants to me cry out for more of Him. I believe that He sent His one and only son to die on the cross to save me and anyone else who believes in Him and asks for forgiveness, and that we will have eternal life with Him in Heaven.
My testimony isn’t about one moment that changed my life, my testimony is about a God who has continuously been working on me since I was born. It’s been a battle with my sin but He has already won, so I’ve surrendered to Him and He has blessed me in my ordinary life. I am placing my trust in His full capability. I have realised that in the most recent months that I have been blessed with so much. Taking leaps of faith that might seem small to other people but are big things to me have encouraged me, seeing the blessings He has given. I can see God working in my life, which I am slowly learning is not too ordinary when you have the all-powerful saviour as your friend. And I know that when God wants to, He will meet with me in an unexpected way.
Today is a statement of my faith, showing that God is working through me and changing me to become more like Him. This action of baptism is to focus us on Jesus, His amazing love and grace that has saved me. And from this day forward simply trying to live out my daily life with the love and obedience that God has asked for. This is my amazing story, God has worked on me all my life and will continue to do so, He has saved me. What can be more amazing than that!