I was raised in a Christian home, dedicated when I was a baby, and attended church with my family every week. My parents taught me about Jesus, and I remember confessing my sins and asking him to come into my heart at a young age. Although I believe that I was saved, at that age I did not have much of a relationship with God. It was more that this was the only faith that I had been exposed to and I did not have a reason to doubt it.

When I was approaching my teenage years, I remember wondering if I was really saved. Every time I heard the gospel, I would worry that I had not really been saved in the “right” way and would cry out to God to save me. During that time period, I had a lot of anxiety that I was going to die without having salvation.

When I was about 15, I had the opportunity to be baptized and felt that I was supposed to do so. However, I was terrified of having to give a testimony and let the fear prevent me from taking action. I am also naturally a “people pleaser” and did not want to be getting baptized simply because others around me were or because I felt pressure that this step was expected from me. I did not get baptized because of this, but afterwards I felt bad.

Since then, my faith has become more of my own. I am in the midst of college, so I have had to rely on Jesus to be my peace and strength. I am learning how to give up control of my life and trust God to provide for me.

When I heard about the baptism this spring, I knew that it was time for me. I sensed a similar tug at my heart as before, but this time it was something I wanted to do and not something I felt pressured to do. This is my decision and I want to take this step of obedience in my walk with God. I am being baptized as my declaration that I have accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior and that I am trusting in him for salvation.

— Karaline Kelbaugh, Baptized April 2019

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