Hi, my name is Rachel Shade. I recently graduated from the University of Maryland and married my husband Kevin 9 months ago. For the past year and a half, we are happy to call Grace our home!
I grew up in a household where my parents and neighbors were actively involved in our church. Throughout middle school, I participated in a lot of church activities like Bible study, fall retreats, and summer camps. While I believed that God existed and even felt His presence, I had a hard time seeing my need for Him because I had a pretty easy life without hardships.
Later in high school, I was consumed by the desire to control my future and live a perfect life. God tested my faith during the college application process when I had very little control over my future. After reaching a point of exhaustion, I remembered Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” I was tired of doing everything in my own strength. I finally cried out the words “Jesus save me” while listening to worship music in my car.
I recognized that I will never be perfect on my own and my imperfection has separated me from God. I need a perfect and holy God to save me from my shortcomings. Jesus is my Savior because He took on the penalty of all my wrongs, like trying to find pleasure in things other than Himself. And in return, Jesus gives me grace, acceptance, and the joy of having a personal relationship with Him.
Throughout the first two years of college, I continued to struggle with wanting control over my future instead of listening to God’s voice. But then He brought me to a point of absolute failure when I had to FULLY trust in someone bigger than myself. The Lord began to change my heart and through these growing years, I have found freedom in saying no to my own desires and saying yes again and again to where God is leading me.
I am reminded daily of who Jesus is through people – a husband who demonstrates God’s pursuit of my heart, a strong community of friends who share their struggles, and a group of young ladies who want to grow in their faith.
I have chosen to be baptized because I have given Jesus my whole life. I want to share how He is the One who fills the void in my heart and He is making my heart more like His.
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!