If you know much of my story, then you know that I actually accepted Christ as my savior at the age of ten. Soon after that I was baptized at my family’s current church. Just a short time, later, however, is when my family joined the cult and I became deceived by a false gospel — one of works and of legalism. While this didn’t take away my salvation, it certainly snatched away my understanding of beauty and gift of a salvation completely by grace.
This summer, as I approached my third anniversary of finding freedom in the true Gospel, I began to ponder the idea of being “re-baptized”. I honestly didn’t even know if this was a thing. I’d heard of people being baptized more than once, but that was in circumstances where they realized they weren’t actually Christians the first time around. I understand that baptism is nothing more than an outward sign of regeneration and has no direct affect on whether you are an accepted child of God or not, but I still found myself desiring to be baptized once again, since for the first time I finally understood what Jesus had actually saved me from. And so, after taking a month or two to gather my courage, I called up my pastor and proposed the idea. He LOVED it!! In fact, he said, “I wouldn’t even consider this a re-baptism, but more so your first!” He was eager for me to share some of my testimony to my loving church family and it so happened that we had a baptism service scheduled the following week!
As the days approached this past week I felt more and more excitement well up within me. This morning during Sunday School I COULD NOT remove the ridiculously large smile from my face! I was positively dancing with joy in the hallways! I felt like a little child again. This was such a huge step for me in my Journey to Grace. This was my public declaration of Jesus’s redemptive work in my life and my goodness, worship hour couldn’t start soon enough!
As I waited behind the church stage waiting for my turn to step forward, a dear friend came up and embraced my trembling body with her steady arms. We said a quick prayer and then I stepped forward. I stepped into the warm pool as a three minute video of my testimony began to play on the huge screen above. I sat in awe as I watched the woman sharing her story. “Could that really be me? Look at the joy and freedom in her eyes. Could that really be the same woman who was a scared, confused puddle of tears only 18 month before?”
Sitting there in the pool I began to weep new tears. But these tear were no longer of pain, confusion, and heartbreak. These were tears of joy. Of hope. Of love. Of freedom. Of life.
At last the time arrived. As I began to dip below the surface of the water I said a brief prayer of thanks — for thankfulness was all my heart could express. I still remember the feeling of rising out of that water. It seemed to be in slow motion. As I emerged and the droplets of water began to fall away from my face, it felt as if the burden of the past was also falling away. The last bit of chains had been broken. I was indeed free, and now the world knew it. Oh! What a glorious feeling indeed!
“There once was a little sheep named Emily. When she was 10 years old Jesus breathed life into her and made her born again. Soon after, however, she was led astray by a false leader and into a false gospel. Two years ago Jesus went after her, scooped her up, and carried her back to Him. He then used an amazing group of people and special little church to teach her about the true Gospel and true Love. Today this sheep named Emily was baptized in that same, special little church. The Gospel means GOOD NEWS for a reason. It brings freedom, and freedom is a beautiful thing. 💗💗💗”