If you’re thinking the best day of my life was the birth of either of my children or the day I published my first book, those are good guesses. But the answer is actually the Sunday when my pastor slam-dunked me into a vat of freezing water.
In 2018, I Fell in Love
Despite the title of this section, 2018 was actually the darkest year of my life. By February 2018, I had suffered four years of neglect and abuse from my husband and had decided to leave him. Any abused woman will tell you that the struggle is never harder than when you make that decision to cut off the power source of a narcissist. I was in the valley of the shadow of death, quite literally. Contemplating suicide, scarring myself physically, mentally incapable of taking care of my two toddlers, oppressed into submission. I was scared, alone, heartbroken, and lost. Then, I opened my Bible, and I was found.
Jesus spent the next four years of my life turning me from a beggar to a provider. From wounded to healed. From a victim to a victor. He pulled me out of the darkness and into the Light all while teaching me about His Father and how God had loved me through the abuse of my ex-husband. Getting to know Jesus as intimately as I did in my greatest suffering, I fell in love with Him. The hero who fought the unseen battles for me. The shepherd who rescued me from the valley and brought me into His community. The One who taught me what love is supposed to feel like. The healer who mended my broken heart. I fell in love with the One who saves and made a commitment to be His for the rest of my life.
In 2022, I Took the Plunge
Fast forward four years, and I’m now employed with a car of my own, a published book under my name, an apartment all my own, and a church home I belonged to. God led me to Pastor Phil Hopper of Abundant Life Church in Lee’s Summit, Missouri, and man, Pastor Phil’s scripturally-sound sermons deepened my understanding of God, which deepened my love for Him. It was this year that I realized I’d been in love with Jesus for four years now and was ready to officially proclaim that relationship to the world.
On December 4th, 2022, I marched into Abundant Life’s Lee’s Summit campus in black shorts and a “Changed by Jesus” tee. I dropped the red ball with my name into the number 1 and walked up onto the stage. Pastor Chad Glover, the kind soul he is, met me there in the vat of freezing water. He asked me, “You ready to give your life to Christ?”
I looked him dead in the eye, imagining my Christ there before me, and said, “Yes I am.”
Pastor Chad said, “All right, let’s do this.”
Supporting my back, he submerged me in freezing cold water and pulled me up. As I resurfaced, I felt a lifetime of pain, shame, guilt, sorrow, heartache, and sin fall out of me. I was washed inside and out and when I came up out of that water, Jesus was waiting there at the top of the stairs with eyes alight with pride and adoration as He welcomed me home into the Kingdom.
Pastor Phil says baptism is “an outward profession of an inward decision.” The same way that a wedding is a ceremonial profession to the world that you have inwardly committed yourself to your groom/bride, a baptism is the profession that you have surrendered yourself to Jesus Christ, the Lord and Savior.
I belong to Him. And I always will. In this temporal life, and the eternal one to follow.