Middle school student Julia Ricker decided to trust Christ as her Lord and Savior on the Grace Students Fall Retreat, and now she’s getting baptized this weekend! Read her story below:

I have accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior. I know that I am a daughter of Christ. I am ready to declare my identity in Christ.

Before I met Jesus and came to trust him, I was lost. I have been frustrated at everything for the past three years. I have been in the darkness for years. Before now, I have never understood what people meant when they said, “Pray Julia, Jesus will ease your pain.” I used to ask myself, how could someone just take away my pain? Before I met Jesus, I felt alone. I felt like there was a wall in between myself and my family with Christ. I was so lost. I was angry at the world for allowing a huge part of who I was to be taken away from me. I was angry at the people I my life for hurting me. Before I met Jesus I was quietly suffering.

I’ve been afraid to trust anyone for a while. It doesn’t surprise me that I was afraid to trust Jesus for a time. Over the past few months I have begun to understand what Jesus’ love truly feels like. One day a few weeks ago I asked a friend of mine why she decided to get baptized. She said, “I felt that Jesus was my Savior… and that he will always be there, and he loves me so much, and I wanted to build a better relationship with him.”

That really got me thinking, so I went to reading Scripture. I found a couple of verses that really spoke to me. Isaiah 43:2 says, “When you pass through the water, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not seep over you. When you walk through the fire you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze,” and Romans 15:13 says, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

These verses were a real part in my decision to put my trust in Christ. Another was the 2017 Fall Retreat. During worship we were talking about light and darkness and how we are never alone. At that moment, for the first time in years, I didn’t feel alone. That moment is when I put my trust in Christ.

For the past couple weeks, since that moment, I have been refreshed. I have felt less afraid. Everything feels less confusing. Ever since I decided to trust Christ my life has been renewed. I am a daughter of the Lord, my Savior, Jesus Christ. I will devote my life to building a relationship with him. I am ready to declare my identity in Christ.

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!

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