Gracers, here’s another wise and wonderful faith journey. Read, praise God, and share! From Valerie Litz…

valerie“I was baptized Valerie Elizabeth as an infant and raised Catholic as a child. I’ve been trying to think back to my earliest experience of God’s blessing and what I can remember around age 5 is my brother crawling around on the floor & hitting his forehead on the corner of a wall with blood running down his face, and me running up to my parents bedroom where they had a crucifix hanging on the wall in gold, praying to God that he would be ok.

God has never not been in my life nor have I ever not believed in him. I was overwhelmed by the thoughts of who is God, where did he come from, “eternity ” and the Trinity because this was never taught to me or explained to me so that I fully understood it. I didn’t realize then just how much faith would play a part in that understanding.

When asked to recall a certain time or event that changed me so much that I would turn my whole life over to the Lord, I don’t have one, I have tooooo many to even start to count.  I do have three amazing, loving, kind, and Godly people who helped me become the person I am today. I want to embrace all there is to know about God, where he wants me to be, who he wants me to serve whether they are children, elderly, homeless, abused or sick I want him to be able to smile down on me each day because he sees that my heart is in whatever I’m doing.

My mom, Kathleen, was a woman of great faith in God and did everything she did out of love whether it was hemming our Easter dresses, cooking dinner for her family or helping out in the school cafeteria. She was diagnosed with Stage IV Bladder cancer and I never heard her get angry at God, she never blamed him, she never pitied herself. She went through so much more than what she should have only to be here for her family for as long as possible. The doctors told us they never met someone that was so humble & gracious and always had a smile for them who was facing certain death within 6 months.

She showed me through her love and belief in Christ what was in her heart, that she embraced meeting her Heavenly Father and was just waiting until the angels came to bring her home. She and I knew just how spectacular it was going to be, and yet others in my family were sad instead of rejoicing for her. Being a Catholic woman she told us that she did not want her last rights & my when my sister asked why she said, “I believe in Jesus Christ as my Lord & Savior, I have accepted him and when Christ died on the cross the veil was torn & I was able to talk to him directly and I knew when his Son died on the cross my sins were already forgiven.” She passed away in peace️️️ and if I was able to have one person only here with me at my baptism, it would be my mom.

My son Jonathan has amazed me by his love and devotion to his Savior and was baptized  all on his own at age 24 (on the first anniversary of my mom’s departure from this world). He got into missions work and showed me that the material things in life aren’t important as the work God has planned for you. I’m truly blessed to see just how far he has come in his life and I know he will continue to serve God someway, somehow and to love every minute of it.

My best friend and husband John loved me unconditionally even knowing secrets that I was keeping from myself. Little did I know when we met and he told me he was a “deep person” that he would be the one to baptize me one day. His love for the Lord, his knowledge of the Bible and his awareness of my lack of a personal relationship with God made him forge on almost daily so that I would know the people in the Bible, get the answers I was searching for, have the thirst to know more and more each day and experience God in a way I never have before.. 

So with my mom planting the seed, my son caring for it while it was growing, and my husband feeding it daily and watering it, I have become a warrior for the Lord repenting of my sins, searching him constantly and accepting of his grace and waiting to spend eternity with him. 

It’s hard to find the right words to every situation and this by far has been one of the hardest for me to describe, except to say, “This experience of knowing Christ and about to be baptized is by far more insurmountable than shopping in a jewelry store without a limit.” It’s more beautiful than a flawless diamond, it sparkles like gold, the gemstones are only a added benefit and my heart is lined with silver for what God has coming my way!

Through my baptism I am publicly showing all that, ” I ACKNOWLEDGE the Lord is my Savior & resurrection, I believe in Jesus Christ who suffered , died on the cross & was resurrected so that are sins were forgiven & that we would be able to spend eternity with Him.”

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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