I was raised in Oak Ridge, TN in a Christian family. I was baptized and confirmed, though honestly we only attended church on Easter and Christmas Eve.

Sharing was not done in my family and was considered making yourself vulnerable which was unacceptable. I am just beginning to share my prayers about my family and friends with Jesus and ask for his protection over us all. I, however, am still not comfortable in sharing Jesus with them.

I have son, Augie, who was preemie with multiple health issues. My son had 5-6 therapy and medical appointments weekly in his early years, along with 24/7 meds, O2, and heart monitor. I was a single mom from his birth through early years. I was handling all medical responsibility and was so lonely. I would pray that God would help us both, and then I’d turn and be bitter of our situation. I was so overwhelmed that I never stopped to take a break.

Augie and I do have a great life. We both enjoy adventures and have traveled quite a bit. I had a successful career, for which I am grateful. I was consumed for 18 years in serious discussions about Augie’s health and making aggressive medical decisions. Focusing on Augie and trying to make a living resulted in me overlooking how stressful this life was for me. We attended a few different churches but never found a home.

I underwent a botched surgery 11 years ago resulting in 14 corrective surgeries, and many specialists. I anticipate a 15th surgery. I retired and am now working to reorder my life with Augie at college. Looking back, I have held the business community as my leader without including God in gratitude for my accomplishments.

I received an email 4 years ago regarding the Grace mentor program. I am proud that Ruthie Maticic is my mentor. She has introduced me to a whole new way of looking at the world and what awaits us when we leave this life. She has patiently been my guide and friend. I am slowly giving up some of my worries to God. I attended Starting Point and Foundations to learn the basics of the Christian faith, which were all new to me. I recently joined a small group, and I have never known such a God-centered group. They readily instruct and teach me through their shared faith. All of this is helping me feel more confident in trusting Jesus.

My college friends Gretchen and Emily (pastors) are full of wisdom – I just didn’t see it for a couple decades. We talk openly about religion now, which at one point made me so uncomfortable. Ruthie and my small group, among others, have welcomed me and Augie into their homes. These families talk openly about Jesus and how he is working in their lives. There is no shame or judgement. My small group prayed over me before a doctor’s appointment. While these don’t feel “normal” yet, I’m observing a way of life including God!

I’m much more aware of the miracles God has provided through Augie’s and my life. We were running too fast to see them for so long. “Hugs from God” is a term I’ve heard used as gratitude for the smaller things. I am practicing how to incorporate God into my life, how to make him my “go to” person, and how to follow him.

Although I was baptized and confirmed years ago, I recognize that these were done routinely, without me making the choice. I am now choosing this baptism as a sign that I’ve accepted Jesus into my life and I am on the journey of re-ordering my life around him.

— Annie Geiermann, Baptized April 2019

If you’re interested in being baptized at Grace, click here to learn more and to sign up to attend our next Baptism Workshop.

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