High school freshman Haley Miller accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior when she was five years old, and now she is getting ready to publicly proclaim her faith through baptism during Baptism Weekend at the end of the month. Check out her story:

My name is Haley Miller, and I am a freshman at Mt. Hebron High School. I have grown up in a family that loves Jesus! My parents and my three amazing sisters — all of us. My parents always tried to make Jesus the center of our home. From the time I was learning to walk and talk, I was singing songs about Jesus and reciting simple Bible verses. I never remember a time when my parents weren’t encouraging me to chase after Him and invest in my relationship with Him.

Even as a very young girl I knew that God had made me – and He made me wonderful. I knew that He had made me with special gifts and talents. I knew that I was a sinner – that I had said things, thought things, and done things that make God sad and separated me from Him. I knew that Jesus was sent to earth because of my sin. And I knew that it was Jesus’s death and resurrection that made it possible for my sins to be forgiven and for me to have a friendship with God. I learned these truths by reading the Bible with my parents, attending kidZone here at Grace, and through the small group Bible study we were a part of. Even before I had a personal relationship with Him, Jesus was a very significant part of my life and I knew enough to know that I always wanted to be connected to Him.

But one evening, my family was all gathered together reading our nightly Bible story. The story we were reading was about the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Of course, growing up in the church, I had heard this story a million times. But, there in the quiet of my bedroom with my family around me, I realized something. That night was the first time I fully understood the importance of making my faith my own, and not just something my parents believed in. I understood for the first time that I had this decision to make for myself. One day in heaven I would stand before God all on my own – not with my parents or my sisters next to me. I felt the separation that my sin caused…..I knew I didn’t have my own relationship with Jesus.

So I decided, on April 9th, 2009, at the age of five, to ask Jesus into my heart and commit myself to following him the rest of my life. It was a simple prayer really – I told Jesus I was a sinner and I knew that my sin made it so I couldn’t have a friendship with Him. I thanked Him for sending Jesus to die on the cross for my sin so that I could could be forgiven. I told Him I wanted to live the rest of my life for Him.

When I finished praying, my parents reminded me that angels in heaven were rejoicing over my decision and that I would live forever in heaven with Him someday.

I know I made the choice to follow Jesus when I was very young, but it has had long-lasting impact on my life – and it continues to be the most important relationship in my life. Since accepting Jesus nine years ago, my relationship with Him has continued to grow as I have learned so much about Him through my parents, strong Christian mentors, my wonderful D-team, and in my quiet times.

I have come to understand that my heavenly father loves me more than I will ever know, that he will be with me wherever I go, and he will continually guide me. My life’s purpose is no longer to live for myself, but to live for Jesus and to live for others. God has taught me about boldness and living a life that is fully honoring to him. Jesus has put a desire in my heart to reach out to the lost and proclaim his name to all nations. My life now is one that longs to chase after Jesus more and more everyday. I am now at the point where my quiet time with Jesus is my fuel for the day and my strength is found fully in him.

The Lord has been especially challenging my heart in new ways over these past few years. In July, he really put my faith to the test when I had the opportunity to go to El Salvador on a mission trip. On this trip, I learned so much about His heart for the world and since then, have felt a desire in my heart to reach out daily. Not only can I share the Gospel when I leave the country, but I can do that right here in my school and my community. I know that the desire to reach out and be bold by sharing my faith is solely Jesus and evidence of what wonders He is working in my heart. I want to be known as a person who loves Jesus with her whole heart and is constantly wanting to live a life that is worthy of Him.

So I am being baptized today to proclaim my love for Jesus Christ and that my identity is found in 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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