A year ago, I got baptized. Looking back it was one of the most meaningful experiences I’ve ever had. In the moment, it was a little random.
I hadn’t really planned on it. I was actually a little put off in the beginning. I felt pressured to pursue it in college and quickly decided not to because of the whole show. I knew I was saved and someone giving me an ultimatum wasn’t reason enough to take this giant step. Then life happened. My journey down the straight and narrow took a turn for the worst. Two years later I found myself sitting in a sermon on baptism in a new stage of life, with a new frame of mind, and from a new perspective.
I felt the Lord prompting me but quickly pushed those feelings down. Hey Lord, I prayed the prayer when I was 5, remember? I feel like this will just confuse people, don’t ya think?
But I couldn’t really shake it and if you’ve felt the Lord’s prompting before then you get it. It’s not like it goes away. It almost gets bigger. So I started my journey through the process. And not only did I get baptized, I made a video to go along with it (side note: my younger self finds this hysterical because I was more likely to get baptized in a pool with two people than on the stage with a documentary alongside it).
I’ll be honest, when people asked me how they could pray for me that day I told them to pray I could drown out everything else. Pray I didn’t notice if the water was too cold, spend the whole time wondering what others were thinking, or worried I would cough up water when I was “dunked” (You get shoved underwater in front of an entire congregation and tell me you’re not a little worried).
Because all of those things didn’t matter. It didn’t matter if the shirt they gave me was too big or if I stuttered my way through my story. What mattered was the Lord told me to move, and I did.
I made honesty my word for 2014. I wanted to love and lead from a place that was just more open. I wanted people I cared about to know my story and my struggle and what I was walking through. I’m sharing this because this act of obedience was the moment that my year of honesty and vulnerability unfolded. It was more about trusting Him than anything else. And He used this as a springboard to the freedom and hope and fearlessness that followed.
There really was something in the water. I wasn’t changed that very day and in the moment I had no idea the journey the Lord was going to walk me through. But I said “yes” to this small tiny request from Him and He gave me back more than I could have prayed for.
Jo Saxton spoke at IF Gathering over the weekend and said this: “Free people, free people.”
When you become free, free someone else.
When someone helps you, help someone else.
And when you’ve experienced healing, help heal someone else.
So here’s what I hope for you. I hope you do something really brave this year. You may not make some video or have a crowd watch you be submerged in water, but I hope you do the thing the Lord has been pressing on your heart. I hope you move when it doesn’t make sense to you. Because maybe it’s not supposed to yet. Maybe the Lord just needs to know you’ll trust Him.
Or maybe you need to be reminded that He’s trustworthy.
I hope you do the things that scare you and I hope you start saying “yes” to Jesus.
Because there’s something really beautiful about taking His hand when you’re unsure of the path before you and trusting the One who’s promised to give you a hope and a future.