We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to Sara Sanchez. Sara has been married to her husband, Alex, for 14 years, and they have two daughters, Sophia and Lillian. After moving to Maryland from South Carolina, Sara works full time as a Team Lead for KeyW, where she designs and delivers training for the Department of Defense. She and her family have been attending Grace for a little over a year, and she is excited to publicly declare her faith through baptism Mission Weekend.
Here’s her story of what led her to the water:
I am blessed to have been raised in a Christian home. I grew up going to the church my parents were heavily involved in, and I attended the church school as well from Kindergarten through 12th grade.
That didn’t necessarily mean my life was easy. Growing up, my dad suffered with health issues and my mom had to shoulder much of the responsibility to raise me and my brother. My dad was unable to work for many years, and at times he was hospitalized for treatments in Pittsburgh (about an hour away from our home in Greensburg, Pennsylvania).
As a child, I remember suffering from a lot of anxiety worrying about my dad, our family, and life in general. Throughout these bouts with anxiety and the challenges of my dad’s health issues, my mom was a constant example of strength and love taking care of my dad and raising me and my brother. She also made sure that my brother and I were being well cared for by close Christian friends in our church and school, and I am thankful for the many different leaders who poured into my life and taught me so much about how to be a strong woman of Christ.
Throughout my early life, I also knew that I had many family members and close church friends praying for me and for my family. One of the greatest prayer warriors in my life was my Grandpap who lived nearby during my early childhood. My Grandpap was there for us and was truly an example of how to live a life dedicated to living for the Lord! I knew from seeing the example lived out by my Grandpap, youth pastor, and other Christian men and women in the church that I wanted to have a personal relationship with Christ and to give my life to serve God as well.
I accepted Christ as my personal Savior when I was 12 years old. I understood that I am a sinner and that the penalty for sin is eternal separation from Christ in hell. I understood that God sent His one and only son Jesus to die on the cross to pay the penalty for my sins, and the only way for me to have eternal life in Heaven with God would be to accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior. I knew that I could not earn my salvation and that it is a free gift given by God to those who confess their sins to God and accept His gift of salvation. I prayed with a pastor in the choir room of our church and asked God to forgive me of my sins and to be my Savior – I wanted a personal relationship with Him. I cried tears of joy that evening knowing that God had forgiven me of my sins and given me the gift of salvation.
That evening I went home and told my parents that I had accepted Christ as my personal Savior and become a Christian. I also called my Grandpap, who is one of the most amazing Christians I have ever known to also tell him the great news. My family was also very excited. I remember the joy that I felt that evening in knowing that I was a child of God and nothing could change that or take away my salvation. I will live forever with God in Heaven!
From that point forward, God has revealed himself to me in so many ways. In particular, in times of trial, he draws me close and reveals his love for me and my family. God’s peace and comfort throughout different circumstances has given me strength during times of pain and rest when I was weary. Time and time again God has shown me how he gives me hope and continues to draw me into a deeper relationship with him.
In being a mother, God has also revealed himself to me in new ways. I see Scripture in a new light and have more of an understanding of the sacrifice that God made to send His one and only Son to die for our sins – and what an incredible sacrifice He made for us.
Our daughters also show a love for the Lord even at a young age, and it fills my heart with joy to see the girls singing and worshiping to our Heavenly Father!
Over the past three years our family has seen God move in very real and practical ways in our life – moving me to a new job, our daughters to a new Christian school, and our family to a new church. I was previously very fearful of change, but quite literally over the past three years I know God has really prepared my heart very specifically for these changes in ways I am continuously surprised about each day.
I would have suffered from severe anxiety previously going through these big life changes, and instead God has given peace that surpasses understanding and has provided comfort and rest during times of change. There is no other way to explain it than God gave peace and assurance with each change and that he was guiding us to each new chapter in our family’s journey.
I really can’t remember or imagine going through this life without having a personal relationship with God. I rejoice in Him in times of blessing, and I take comfort and lean into Him for strength and comfort when the pain and struggles of life come along. Thankfully I am blessed to have a wonderful support system around me and a Christian husband and close Christian friends as well to walk alongside me, so I don’t have to go through this journey alone.
I would like to get baptized as an outward refection of the inward change and because the Bible instructs us as Christians to get baptized to share the good news with others after we become saved. I understand that it is not baptism that “saves” us, but it is an act of obedience to carry out and rejoice with others to show that I am a child of God saved by grace!
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!