Grace Student Laurel has been through a lot but knows she is freely forgiven! Her brave testimony gives God all the glory. Celebrate Mission Weekend with her and everyone getting baptized 10/29&30!
“There is no specific “when” of my recognition of my necessity for Christ as my Savior; the process towards my realization began in July 2014 and would not be completed until the following summer. For almost four years, I suffered from a minor depression that ruled my world with feelings of neediness, self-pity, and loneliness. In summer 2014, I was in the midst of a toxic relationship that I knew was morally wrong. In my first real encounter with Christ, I was overwhelmed with a sense of guilt that would not disappear until a year later. After that point, God began to work on my internal insecurities and showed me that I have done wrong things but all of these sins have been freely forgiven because of an incredible sacrifice that was made for my soul. This process over summer 2015 seemed to occur both in slow motion and all at once.
The very first time that I decided to follow Jesus would be back in July 2014. While at my third summer at a Christian camp called River Valley Ranch, something about what the guest speaker had been talking about clicked with me. I remember specifically his illustrations and grand explanations of God’s omnipotence, omnipresence, and omniscience simply blew my mind and seemed too good to be true. One night every week, the camp has an authentic night where they talk about the reality of Christianity and ask us students to consider choosing to accept Christ as King. That night I timidly told only one person, a camp counselor, that I had decided to give my life to Jesus. It would not be until the following summer that my relationship with the Lord would truly begin but that night was the first time that I professed my decision to commit my life to Jesus.
I don’t see an aspect in my life where Jesus is not changing me. Christ is constantly challenging me in my relationships with friends and parents to be a better person for them. I have a cognisance of my ability to serve others. I understand the importance of self-reflection. I am walking life with an outward focus. I am more confident in myself and my decisions because of the confidence and security Christ has given me. Every day I struggle with areas of my life that Christ is challenging me and I’m challenging myself to improve and I see that difficulty as a positive thing because it will only lead to my personal and spiritual growth. I am more aware of the impact that I have on others and how my actions are perceived by others. My outlook on life has been so transformed to be more positive and optimistic of my future.
I want so badly to be baptized because I truly cannot imagine my life without Christ. I can not imagine working everyday to better how I go about glorifying the name of God. I want to be baptized in order to publicly show all of my friends and especially my non-believing parents that this is not a phase, this is the rest of my life and my eternity. I want to be baptized because the Jesus says in Mark 16:16 “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved.” There is nothing I want more than to be able to spend eternity in Heaven with my Lord. I am so excited to be able to publicly profess my love for Christ in front of my friends and family.”
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!