My spiritual background has been one of constant searching. I grew up in a family where religious beliefs were not thrust upon me. I was aware that my parents had a Christian background, but I never felt the pressure to follow along in anyone’s footsteps. We wouldn’t attend church every weekend, but we always made it to Easter service. When I was an young teenager, I was given a leather bound Bible as a Christmas gift, and my older sister and I were baptized by my uncle. At the time, I hadn’t touched the Bible and I didn’t feel that I was cognitively developed enough to understand what all of it meant.
My lack of guidance or understanding led me on a journey that became very existential in nature. Throughout my young adulthood I always felt that there was something more, yet I couldn’t quite define what I was searching for. Once I finished college I was no longer being fed information, and that was when my true search for meaning began. Becoming completely on my own on a quest for knowledge and understanding, I began to explore philosophy and read books on the meaning of life. I felt instinctively pulled to the philosophy of existentialism because it explored the existence of the individual person. I started feeling empty when I read about philosophers who felt that there was no meaning at all, or even no God.
I had thought the philosophy of existentialism would empower me, allowing me to try to create a meaning for myself. However, I began to sink into an existential crisis, angst and despair would creep up in moments when I realized that I couldn’t control everything. The entire time I didn’t realize that all that I was searching for had always been there, just waiting for me. A couple years ago, when I felt buried in the depths of what seemed like a hopeless journey, I met a woman who blew me away me with her kindness and her unwavering faith.
As we grew to find out more about each other, I discovered that she was a Christian and a regular attendee at Grace Community Church. I noticed something stirring inside me as she talked about her faith, and I felt the need to attend church. She brought me to a service, where I was moved by the worship music and the extremely knowledgeable words of Mitchel Lee. It was around that time when I opened the Bible that my parents gifted me that Christmas well over a decade ago. As I read through the Gospel of Matthew, I became overwhelmed with profound emotions. It felt as though Jesus was in the room with me. I was surrounded by a radiant, omnipotent aura of love, and couldn’t help but break down and cry. I felt myself praying, thanking God for all that he has done, asking for his forgiveness, and proclaiming Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.
I am deciding to be baptized now because I have finally found what I have always been looking for. I am so fortunate for Grace Community Church and the wonderful woman who is now my wife! June 30th is an important date for me because it is also my wife’s birthday. I look forward to sharing my trust in Jesus Christ with all who will be attending Grace on that day.
— Joshua Kuykendall, Baptized June 2019
If you’re interested in getting baptized at Grace, click here to learn more and to sign up to attend our next Baptism Workshop.