When I was baptized on December 31, 2006 I was starting to come out of an extremely dark place in my life. The girls' dad and I had split up just a couple of months beforehand, literally about a month after he had received Christ as his saviour.
We had made the decision together on the day he accepted Christ to get baptized together, and then all hell seemed to break loose in our lives. The violence escalated to new levels, the whole house was in fear, it was a very dark and ugly place. And the break up was no prettier for either of us.
He adamantly and fierce-fully turned his back on God and was in no way going through with the baptism plans. And I was faced with a decision...
Was I wanting to do this because it was a romantic act with my partner - the getting baptized together - or was it because it was really the right thing for me to do in my journey? It was supposed to be a journey we were taking together, but I was now on my own for it...
I made the decision to follow through with it, and in the church I was attending at the time, I had to write a testimony to read to the whole congregation... the most difficult piece of writing I think I have ever had to do... explaining 'my why' without the heartache I was experiencing at the time. I was filled with hurt, anger, and to a degree even rage, for all the abuse and violence that had gone on, and the hands who had done it. I had to run each draft past our head pastor and I think the first 3 drafts were rejected because they were bitter and hateful.
The night before my baptism, with the girls in their beds asleep, Holy Spirit somehow 'talked' to me... there was just this sense in my soul and I started writing the next and final draft. I nailed it! I talked about my experiences which lead me to Christ as a teenager and for some reason how I could now see that God had His hand on my life even when I was no where close to HIm. The ups and downs yet being able to see God in it all.
My heart - my heart for God - was forever changed in that moment and that testimony.
I expected my life to change and change instantly from that point on. I expected all the outside, awful, abusive things I was experiencing would all of a sudden go away. Like God was going to come down like thunder and lightning and change those around me, taking away the hate and anger, making them nicer. But firstly none of that happened and secondly that's rarely how God works.
What did happen, and it happened over time, was that MY heart started to change and MY actions started to change and I started to change. My outside world, the things I was experiencing, the rage and anger received from others, those things remained (for a while)... but slowly, as I dug in to God, I started to change... And as I got stronger inside, as I let go of the negative, the hateful, the blameful, my world became a better place. And I can honestly say that was God's Spirit moving in me - it was not something I could have done on my own or of my own resources.
When we first accept Christ into our hearts we start an intimate, personal relationship with the Trinity - the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Our baptism is our public declaration to others on the choice we make to be with Christ.
What we do with that, what we do with it all, is our choice... we get to choose our destiny and our destination. And while my own life has not been one of perfection and obedience to God, it has been a journey of discovery that indeed God is good and His promises are true. And I encourage you to start or dig deeper into your journey with Him and find this out for yourself.