Laurie was baptized this past weekend! Read her story below:
My name is Laurie Reynolds. I have been married to David for 23 years, and we started coming to Grace soon after we got married. We have two children, Dylan is 20 and Cameron is 10. I have been teaching piano lessons for over 25 years.
The first thing I said to Tracy when she asked for my story is that it wasn’t too interesting or captivating. I would sit at the baptism services and be in awe of the energy, the people and their words. Part of me couldn’t wait to be up there, too. But I thought I wasn’t yet “baptism-ready- or worthy.” I listened to Mitchel’s message several times, reading and praying about what baptism really meant.
I grew up in a Christian home, was baptized as a baby, went to church every week, vacation Bible school every summer, and sang in the church choirs. We said the “generic” night prayer and grace before each meal (Now I lay me down to sleep — I could say this pretty fast!…God is great God is good…) I was taught that God loved me and I loved God …but he was far from the center of my life. I do think that even though I didn’t have a personal relationship with God growing up, these “routine rituals” led me to always finding a church to attend and always making God a part of my life.
I don’t think that I have one particular turning point when I started trusting Jesus. When I was in college my prayers started changing ….I would pray for people or certain situations, and I started thanking God more and more. I remember when I got my first job and moved to Maryland I was really homesick. I attended a small church one Sunday and the pastor came to visit me a few days later. We talked for quite a while and after he left I just felt this calmness and contentment. I began not just praying more but praying differently… talking to God throughout my day, wherever and whenever.
When my husband and I started coming to Grace we heard about joining a small group. I knew I should do this but I kept procrastinating and making excuses– for years. I felt I didn’t have enough knowledge of God’s Word. I didn’t read the Bible as much as I should. I didn’t have Bible verses memorized. I had very little to contribute to discussions. A few years ago one of Mitchel’s messages, again, included the importance of joining a small group since our church is so large. Something inside told me I needed to do this – now was the time. I promised God I would join a group that week. I feel like this was such an essential step in my relationship with God and has made me make important changes in my life. Perhaps the most valuable – making my first priority every morning my quiet time with God. I have learned so much about God, his Word and myself.
I think it is the same for being baptized. I thought I needed to be this better improved version of myself before I could think about taking this important step. My husband mentioned -months ago -that it would mean so much to him if Dylan and I got baptized. I always thought I would — some day, when I was ready, when I was more knowledgeable, more prepared. Then I thought, I will never be more ready. Baptism isn’t something you can earn by being “good enough.” God loves me, he knows I am ready and he asks us — me — to do this, so I can now truly say and proclaim that Jesus Christ is my Savior and I am committed to following him, every day of my life.
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!