Such excites! Took me 25 years to take the leap of faith (literally). This was the day after I cut my hair. Anyway, my whole family came to see it, plus, isaac bought me a white gold cross and pendant. Eek! Must have cost a bomb.
Anyway, video of baptism here:
water was just a bit warm but wow the min I got out it was freezing cold! Also I was told that I’m probably the onl wine in history to have waved to the crowd lol but isn’t it weird if people just look at you and you don’t wave? They are looking AT you…
Pastor’s wife. One of the kindest ladies I know. Always has time to listen and offer a solution and her shoulder. Sometimes I wonder how my pastor and his wife do it. How can you have no temper? Or be so blameless. Of course they are only human and will definitely have their faults… but still! #Couplegoals
receiving my certificate and a present haha!
Oh, and here’s the testimony submitted. I wrote it as a speech of sorts as it was going to be pasted on the church bulletin board.
Knowing and Loving God
And not just on paper
I’m what you’ll call a third generation Christian. My grandfather, most of whom you know as Tai Senior is Christian, my parents are Christian, and so it was a no-brainer that I was born a Christian. I grew up in a sinking church (literally, and then it went through a facelift), and went for Sunday school, but never really listened to the sermons.
While I knew who Jesus and God were, I never thought much about it. Jesus loved me so much that he died on the cross for my sins, and because of that I’m saved. I knew all about it. Did it affect my life? Not one bit. Did I bother understanding what it meant? What’s the point, I’m already saved. I’m a commitment phobe. I knew I’d get baptised one day, there was just no need to fix a date.
The thing about humans is we don’t treasure things that come for free. Think about the Birkin, the holy grail of bags. People pay five figures and wait for years to get one. When they finally get it, they polish it, keep it in a glass cabinet, and only use it during special occasions. There’s even a raincoat to protect the bag. Would you treasure a Birkin the same way if someone on the street gave it out for free? No. Because you don’t have to work hard and pay for it.
That was the same thing with my salvation. As a child, I knew who he was, but I never really appreciated it or understood the depths of it. Thankfully, salvation isn’t ours to earn, because our state of failure would be as epic as Greece needing a third bailout.
God has His way of bring us back to Him though. It happens differently for everyone. In my case, it took a non-Christian friend to change this. One night, said friend made a sobering comment, “I didn’t know you’re a Christian. I couldn’t tell!”
It was easy to see why. My actions were pretty much the opposite of what I claimed to believe in. God preached love; I told people in their faces that I didn’t like them. God said not to let unwholesome talk out of our mouths; every second sentence of mine had an expletive. (Clue: it’s the ‘f’ word, and it’s not ‘forgive’ or ‘forget’).
Something in me snapped. It’s probably the ‘middle child syndrome’, but I had to prove my friend wrong. I bought a bible, read a few chapters every night (and even made notes!), helped out in the prayer ministry, attended cell group bonding events (which I really disliked, because it involved interaction with people with whom I felt were too ‘godly’), and church.
Over the course of two years, I went from spending occasional Friday nights with a cell group, to four nights a week with like-minded Christians (who actually appreciated jokes and knew how to have fun). I cursed less, found myself sharing testimonies with non-Christian friends, and debated with both Muslims and Catholics about God.
God also put two Christian friends in my life, and they were pretty much my pillars. I would rarely be seen without either flanking my sides. Daniel knew when to rebuke in love, Dezarae was always there to love and support me, because God really knew how few close female friends I had (or have).
The changes didn’t happen over night, but I saw and felt it. People always recommend altering thoughts, as they affect actions. But I went the other way round. I made physical changes (waking up for church, going on a leaders’ retreat) and they affected my thoughts. I still found my way back to God.
Baptism was a whole different ballgame. In 2015, my only friend in church, Sharleen, asked if I wanted to get baptised. It somehow struck a chord. It’s usually my dad or other church leaders asking, and I really disliked the pressure that came along with it. But since it came from her, I told her I’d think about it. We could get baptised together, it’ll be pretty cool. I waited for her to ask me again, but she didn’t. A few weeks, I found out that she had already started attending baptism class. Without me. Great.
I really took the time to think about baptism. I concluded that it is pretty much like marriage. I never understood couples that lived together, had a dog, but never got married. One may have approached the topic of marriage a couple of times, with the other brushing it off with, “My signature on a silly piece of paper won’t change my feelings for you.”
While I am a commitment phobe, I couldn’t wrap my head around the above scenario. They’re already living together. What was the other party waiting for? A meteor to land at their feet?
And then it struck me. That couple was Jesus and I. Jesus had always been there for me, and I knew He was never going to leave me. I felt secure, but it also meant that I took His presence for granted. What was holding me back was the fact I knew I would never be the ‘ideal Christian’ after getting baptised.
I was waiting till for a sign from God. Not a meteor, of course. For Him to tell me that it’s ok to fall short, because I’m human at the end of the day. Then I realised that Sharleen asking me was the sign, since God knew how adverse I was when it came to listening to voices of authority. I signed up for baptism class, and began to learn all about God and His love for me. I started reading The Daily Bread and praying every night.
It’s true, baptism won’t change who I am. It’s an outward act, and while I always believe it’s what’s on the inside that counts, I owe it to God to show the world what He has done for me, and to tell them why I’m taking a step forward. It’s a proclamation that’ll keep me in check. Taking this physical step to get baptised not only shows obedience, but also reminds me that I’ve made a commitment to walking in His path.
Throughout my 25 years of existence though, I know that God is, and will always be the same. He still preaches love; when I see someone I dislike, I try to think of their good points, and if I can’t, I tell God to help me love them even though they’re not lovable. As for the unwholesome talk, I’m still working on it. My ears now bleed when I hear teenagers spewing profanities. I’m either getting older, or walking closer with God. It could be both.
It’ll probably be a long and arduous journey till the day I’m called to go home, but I know no fear because I know that Jesus is with me. There will be times where I’m lost and weak, especially when I face an existential mid-life crisis and question His presence, but I know that His love and strength will carry me through.