16 As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. 17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased
On June 3, 2012 I was baptized at Spotswood Baptist Church.This may not seem an unusual event. People are baptized at every service in every corner of the world yet, for me, this baptism…this “dying and raising”…. truly marks the end of one journey and the beginning of another.
It is nothing short of a miracle that I stood in the baptismal waters with the pastor as he uttered the words that branded my heart. I struggled for many years with all the typical wounds a survivor of physical and emotional childhood abuse has. I had issues with self-esteem, revolving door relationships and sexual behavior. You name it, I struggled with it. As I say to people: As a teen and young adult I was a walking reaction to the actions done to me by an adult. It took a long time, including serious committed counseling, before I began to emerge from an unspoken need to self destruct. But even then, even in the healing, there was another Healing I needed. Another Love.
The one constant in my life, from my childhood on, was God. That would strike people who knew my family as very odd. I didn’t have faith practiced in my home growing up, in fact the idea of faith was sneered at and treated with utter contempt. But I had grandparents who were, for lack of a better word, devout. They were simple farmers who lived as they spoke-with kindness and compassion and faith. They took me to church whenever they could and those few moments, along with their prayers at the dinner table and their open love for Jesus, stayed with me. It stayed with me during all the years I was angry and defiant and convinced God was for other people and not for me. Funny thing is, God doesn’t go away. He stays. Even in the worst of circumstances, He stays. He stayed with me.
For the last two years my heart has felt this perpetual tugging of wanting to open and to surrender. I fought it, ignored it, explored other religions, and acted in opposition to what was good and right. It made me downright miserable.The more I considered it, the more I felt the sharp edges of my heart melting. I talked for hours with a trusted friend who wisely asked more questions than preached, shared his life rather than admonished, and just listened.
Three weeks ago I gave my life and heart to Christ. The joy overflowed and the peace entered. The Peace. How do I describe this Living Peace which has entered me? I can only say it is the opposite of what was in my life and it is everything that is and will be.
Lest you think I have “new believer fever” let me tell you what I ask and pray for: I ask that I not be a bright fire that burns itself out too quickly, but instead, a steady flame for Him. That is what I ask.
So this is how I came to be in the baptismal waters on the morning of June 3rd. Joyfully I was buried with Christ and rose to walk with Him.
I realize I didn’t touch on certain issues in depth here with this first post but will probably do so in later ones. This is merely a beginning and a small snapshot of what God is doing in my life. Ultimately I hope this blog serves as a sharing of my thoughts and my journey with Christ and I hope you enjoy reading and sharing with me each step of the way.~Kathryn
No part of this work may be reproduced without express written permission of the author