A baptism testimony from Heather Kim. Be sure to join Heather and others being baptized Mission Weekend 10/29 & 30!
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6
I was not baptized. I did not grow up in a Christian home. I later learned that my mother identified as Catholic and my father as just a Christian but if there was any trace of religion in our house, I was never aware. There was always a lot of tension in our home as a result of my parents’ constant arguments. Growing up, I saw a lot of things that no child should see.
When I was about four years old, my parents divorced. They settled on shared custody. As painful and confusing as it was, there was still a plus. During the divorce I was blessed with a baby sister, Grace. She has been one of the biggest blessings in my life up to date. With Grace around, I found new strength. She gave me a reason to continue to be strong, to set an example.
I was five when I saw my mom get arrested. It was nothing big or super awful, but that day still remains as a vivid image in my mind. After that incident my father gained full custody. Grace and I then lived with my father in the basement of my grandmother’s house for a good amount of time. It was just us three, enjoying life, watching a lot of pokémon and powerpuff girls. During this time is when I matured at a rapid pace. After all that had happened and my mother’s absence it was no surprise really that my heart had hardened. My father did a great job raising us by himself and I can’t thank him enough. And my maturity, though unwanted, ended up being one of the greatest attributes that the Lord has blessed me with.
Our life was simple and comfortable, but I think that the three of us knew that we needed someone else. My father was amazing, but I was craving the love and care that only a mother could provide. Then came along Ms. Joan, who is now my step-mother. She had two sons, Dennis and Kevin. Dennis was two years older than me and Kevin only four months older than me. When I look back on it, Mom coming into my life was the biggest blessing that I could have ever received. The reason being, Mom was the one who introduced me to Christianity. My parents’ marriage produced two new older brothers, two new younger brothers (who came along later during the marriage), and a new religion.
Life looked so much better now that I had God in my life. Being a Christian made me realize that in those times of trial and hardship, God was there guiding me along. I always had someone looking out for me. Those times of adversity molded me into a new individual who learned to be humble and mature.
After encountering Christ, things seemed a lot clearer but not entirely easier. I still struggled with the fact that my visitation rights to my biological mother were limited to 3-4 times a year. And I still struggled with the fact that I knew nothing about my parents’ divorce and the causes of its collapse. My worries accumulated and took over my heart. It was during freshman year that for some time I forgot about God and prayer and His grace. That year I learned that my mother was struggling with manic depression, also known as bipolar disorder. I learned that disorder was hereditary and I became consumed with the thought that I was going to become my mother. These thoughts were later alleviated after a couple therapy sessions and with the love and support of my loving parents and God’s grace.
With all of my struggles behind me, I am now happier and better than ever. I am blessed with a beautiful family of 8, I have found a passion for photography, and I am currently attending the University of Maryland, College Park. If there is one thing to be learned from my testimony it is this: The Lord will never leave you. He can use hardship and strife in order to mold you into someone who is stronger and wiser. My struggles have made me who I am today and I don’t regret a single moment because I know that it is all part of His divine plan.
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!