Mission Weekend is at the end of the month – are you excited?! During all worship gatherings April 29 & 30, we’ll have the opportunity to celebrate the transforming work that God does in our hearts, and we’ll get to watch many folks get baptized and publicly declare that Jesus is their Lord and Savior.
We are delighted to share these individuals’ stories with you and would like to take the opportunity to introduce you to Angie Harris:
My name is Angie Harris. I’m from Florida but my husband and I moved to Maryland about 4 years ago after we graduated school and found jobs here. I’m a Labor & Delivery nurse and I love what I do. I’ve met so many wonderful people here in Maryland and made incredible friendships that I wouldn’t trade for anything. Our first two years here were amazing and so much fun exploring Maryland! But after becoming a mother in 2014 it became clear that having my family far away was difficult and very lonely, especially during the holidays or on days when I wished my mother was near to help me as a new mother.
Before I accepted Jesus into my life as my Lord and Savior, I felt lost. I felt I didn’t have direction, I didn’t feel I had a purpose. I settled for anything as long as it made me happy at the time. I went through failure and trusted in the world to help me through it instead of running to God. My struggles felt longer and scarier because I didn’t have faith that it’d all be OK in the end. My journey to Jesus wasn’t overnight. It took me a few years to let him in completely. Looking back, I think I was being hard-headed. I would tell myself that I let Jesus in, but my actions spoke differently. I wanted to choose my own path, when all this time God had chosen one for me and I just kept refusing it or I didn’t want to listen.
I truly believe God puts people in your life to deliver his message, and to help guide you in the path he wants you to go. To me, that person is my husband. God worked through him to direct me where I ought to go.
In late 2009 I went through a difficult time and felt like a failure. I was lost and scared, but a few months later, I met my husband. Prior to that day I had never met anyone so devoted to God AND so focused on his education and his future. His passion and love for Jesus motivated me and drove me to seek Jesus as well. I’m not sure he knows how much he helped me to realize that I can’t do this alone, that I need Jesus in my life to mold and guide my EVERY move.
Fast forward a few years to 2016 – an especially rough year for me. My dad suffered a heart attack, and I had a miscarriage two months later. We spent a big part of the year trying to get pregnant again with no avail. People around me kept telling me not to think about it, but my frustration just grew. Later, in October, my husband quit a job he enjoyed, and that same month we got into a bad car accident as we were leaving Grace with our two year old child in the backseat. Our car was totaled and my husband had one more payment to make before paying off his car. With the stress of not knowing where he would be bringing in income to our home, his car being totaled and us being left to deal with the insurance company, I was terrified. I started thinking, “I have to work extra shifts, or we have to sell our house and move into something smaller. Maybe move to another state and apply to jobs elsewhere.” I really didn’t want to leave Maryland, and I struggled with that thought for days. I was holding on to material things.
Then one day, I was watching TV and saw a commercial for TJ Maxx where a couple of military families were sharing their stories. At the end of the commercial one of the wives said, “It doesn’t matter where life takes us, home is where our family is together.” I started to cry because I knew at that moment that God was trying to speak to me.
When my husband got home that day I told him it didn’t matter if he wants to apply to jobs in Colorado or California, as long as our family was together. Later that month, he got offered a job in Virginia, so we didn’t have to move. Throughout it all, as scary and uncertain as life was at the time, I knew that no matter what happened, it was all going to be OK because Jesus was always there by my side. He brings me through trials and pushes me to the edge of my comfort zone to shape me into the woman he wants me to be. And I know now that only Jesus can get me through them.
This past February we found out that I was expecting our second child. I had almost given up the idea of ever being pregnant again – just when I told myself, “This is the last month I try to conceive before I seek the help of doctors,” God surprised me with a new pregnancy.
The past 14 months have been a whirlwind of emotions, and sometimes I couldn’t understand why things happened the way they did. In Proverbs 3:5-6, the Bible says “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.” And God has and continues to do so! I have never felt stronger in my faith and as close to Jesus as I do now. The trials and triumphs have made me more devoted to Jesus, and they’ve brought me and my husband closer together.
When I saw Grace was having another Mission Weekend in April, I made it a priority to sign up to get baptized. I want to praise Him and glorify Him in everything I do. I want to tell of all He has done in my life, and I want Him to use me as His voice to reach and help others. That’s why I have decided to get baptized.
Baptism at Grace
During all worship gatherings on Baptism Weekends, we celebrate the very reason we exist as a church: Christ’s mission to make disciples, baptizing and teaching in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28: 19-20). We share testimonies of how Jesus changes lives now and for eternity. And the best part… we baptize with a joy that’s out of this world!