I was blessed to grow up in a faith-based family with strong male role models in both my dad and my grandfather. They set the example for me of devoted family men and dedicated church-goers, and both were very active in my life.

Then, in one sudden phone call in January 2016, I lost my dad; his passing left a major void in our family. Immediately thereafter, I felt God’s intimate presence in my life, a closeness which I had never felt so strongly before. However, I initially focused on the logistics of the funeral and other arrangements, so I didn’t fully realize my loss.

It really wasn’t until Easter of 2016, nearly four months later, that I experienced what I now know to be a “grief ambush.” I was suddenly and unexpectedly overtaken by sadness and grief. The hope and the joy of Christ’s resurrection, with its promise of unification with our Heavenly Father, deeply contrasted with the painful loss of my earthly father. That Easter 2016 church service was the first time I truly felt and acknowledged my dad’s death.

I finally began to grieve and was fortunate to seek help through Grace’s GriefShare ministry. At GriefShare, I found compassion, understanding, and love. Through the facilitators and my fellow mourners, I came to feel a deeper sense of God’s redeeming grace. More importantly, I felt his love and healing and have emerged stronger, with a deeper commitment to him.

I spent 2018 in reflection and during each Baptism Weekend I felt the Holy Spirit whispering to me, “Why not you?” On January 1 of this year, I wrote in my journal to pray about and consider baptism. The very next weekend, Rena announced baptisms to be held on Easter Sunday, and I knew that was God’s sign and God’s time for me.

I wish to be baptized as a sign of my commitment to God and to publicly proclaim my faith. Christ blessed me with an amazing family and carried me through challenging losses to allow me to emerge from the water stronger and more committed to him. On this Easter Sunday, I can joyously proclaim, “He has risen!”

— Scott Ostrowski, Baptized Easter 2019

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

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