Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect,” (Romans 12:2).

My first real experience with church was in 2002 when a close friend in high school, Andrew, invited me to a CpR event. I started attending CpR services on Sundays soon after. I felt that I was a Christian because I went to church on Sundays and I told people that I accepted Jesus. I know looking back on my life now that I did not have a grasp of who Jesus was in my life.

I thought I was in complete control of my life and I had everything figured out. My first night of college set the path for my next four years. I joined a fraternity and it was a decision I truly regret ever doing. My years in college were the most difficult times of my life. I struggled with anxiety, self-identity issues, peer pressure, and immaturity. I had many moments throughout college where I just broke down in tears. I was lost and I was searching in all the wrong places.

In 2011, I moved back to Howard County, Maryland and ran into my friend Andrew, the person that introduced me to church 10 years prior. I got reconnected with Grace after a six year hiatus. I now realize that God had a plan to put Andrew back in my life for a reason at this time. I started listening, wanting something more, and surrounding myself with strong a Christian community. Over time, I finally understood that what I was seeking for the majority of my life was right in front of me and was always there. I realized I no longer wanted to live a life where I was the one who was controlling the steering wheel. I believe that everything that happened in my life up to that point was not a mistake and that God had a plan.

My walk with Christ over the last seven years has had its up and downs, but I know that having him in my life has made the hard times so much different compared to the past. I have found my identity in Jesus and I have stopped seeking acceptance from others when the only person that I need approval from is him. I will continue to pursue him and live my life according to his plan. God has given me a new purpose in life and he has given me a passion to be a light to all different people, especially high school students and students with special needs.

I have made the decision to be baptized because it is time to proclaim my love for Jesus and make the public proclamation of my faith. He is my Savior and he has given me a new identity. I fully trust his plan for my life and I am giving God all the glory.

— John Spaide, Baptized April 2019

If you’re interested in being baptized at Grace, click here to learn more and to sign up for the next Baptism Workshop.

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