I turn 40 years old today. But more importantly, I turn 25-years old today as well.
Twenty-five years ago today, sometime before noon, I felt called to give my life to Christ through baptism. It was during a period of time before everyone had cameras on his/her phones, and I didn’t wake up that morning thinking that I was going to get baptized so I don’t have a record of it except my memory. I might have a bible with the date in it somewhere, but I also didn’t save many things from my youth so I would be surprised if I actually kept that.
I’ve haven’t shared my story of my baptism before, and I want my children to get to know their mama in every aspect, so I’m putting it in writing for the world to know that as I turn forty-years old, I am also turning twenty-five.
I was born and raised a Christian my entire life.
I knew nothing else. I didn’t attend other churches of other faiths and thankfully, I’ve never known a life without Christ.
Even during some of my dumbest decisions, I know Christ was waiting for me, in the proverbial hallway, waiting for me to open the door I had shut very tightly and was holding closed by my own two hands.
I have a vivid memory of the day I got baptized.
My cousins joined us at church that day, and although we were always, and that’s always, late to church, I remember the Associate Preacher (or pastor) spoke that day. I couldn’t tell you what the message was about, and I couldn’t tell you what the preachers name was either. I feel like the Lord doesn’t want me to remember so that I can only give credit to Him for what happened next.
The Church I have attended for the majority of my life has always had a “system” that follows the basic outline:
- The preacher preaches a sermon until about 1145 AM or so.
- The preacher then asks the congregation if anyone would like to come forward to give his/her life to Christ or request prayers.
- There is a song, followed by a baptism if applicable, and then followed by another song and a closing prayer and church is over by noon.
So on the day I got baptized, the preacher completed his sermon and asked if anyone would like to come forward.
The next thing I remember was sitting in the front pew asking the preacher to baptize me.
Later as I recall the moment in time I “chose” to go up to the front of the congregation to ask to be baptized, I felt as if I was being pushed to go up there. I absolutely knew that I was supposed to get baptized that day. Don’t ask me how, or why, but I truly felt called.
Now because I didn’t plan it, I didn’t have an extra set of clothes, or anything ready to get changed into prior to getting wet. A few ladies rushed me in this back room behind the baptismal, gave me an adult sized white jumpsuit, and told me to change into it.
I was asked to confess that I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and came to the world to save me from my sins.
After my confession, I remember not being able to breath.
The way another preacher described the moment later in time as I witnessed ten baptisms in a row was exactly how I felt that day:
I remember feeling like I died.
Now listen – I get it.
You may think that’s crazy, and maybe it is. But that’s the feeling I had.
For the few seconds my body was in the water, something happened to me and the only way to describe it was that I truly believe my old self died. I was lifted out of that water a new person, still imperfect, but made perfect through Christ.
After I was immersed, and got out of the water, the same ladies that asked me to change brought me a towel and my clothes and as soon as I changed I took my first communion.
I remember my mom crying and hugging me after I came out from the back. The church had already ended for the day and a few members waited for me to come out from the back of the baptismal to hug me and congratulate me.
My mom, not being prepared at all, took us to Ole Fri-ole for lunch, even though now I know she really couldn’t have afforded it back then.
I remember getting home and calling my dad, and he was sorry he missed the event. I told him I didn’t know I was going to get baptized that day, and I know he was happy for me.
Overall, I have very straight forward memories of the day.
I remember being tested in my faith soon after getting baptized, and failing those tests.
As I watch people getting baptized now, I recall that day, more than ever, as a time that I didn’t have control of. If you know me personally at all, I DO NOT like NOT having control. I can’t stand not knowing what’s going to happen next.
Now that I get to look back at it 25 years later, I realize I wasn’t in control, and I’m so glad. I feel so blessed to be able to rely on the Lord for those eternal decisions, even when I feel like I made certain choices about it.
Hopefully you don’t read this blog post and think, “Oh boy – D’Andra believes in pre-destination….”
No, I really don’t. I do believe God has a plan. You can quote me on that.
And I also believe that we as people make choices, whether right or wrong, that the Lord uses for his glory.
It’s my hope that you know the Lord loves you so much that he sent his only Son for you.
It’s my hope that you devote your life to Christ even though you know you are imperfect. That’s why I need Him. Because I’m so very imperfect.
I’m so glad I got to be picked to be with Him for eternity. I hope you make that choice too. If you have and/or when you do, it’s how you know you were picked too. 😉
Be blessed today. I’m being blessed because it’s my birthday. I get to celebrate two birthday’s today and for that, I am eternally grateful.