I have been a Christian for a long time, and was baptized when I was little. However, I don’t remember that important event. And I have thought about doing it again, several different times throughout my life. I was going to do it in high school, when I finally starting making Christianity more than just something I did because my parents did, or just going to church on Sunday. I thought about doing it again about three years ago when I really began to grow in my relationship with Him. But it always felt strange, since I had been baptized before. But it also felt strange that I didn’t remember it. Don’t you think something like that should be remembered? And so, when one of the pastors on the trip announced he was going to do baptisms, I perked up. I thought, it’s time. It seemed appropriate to do in Haiti, considering this is where the Lord ultimately led Brandon and I. It was three years ago that we began to question ourselves, our relationship with the Lord, and what it really meant to be a Christian. We read several books like Crazy Love, The Hole in our Gospel, and Forgotten God and they left us questioning our walk with the Lord and our commitment to Him. Of course we loved Jesus. Sure we wanted to please Him and do good. We went to church on Sunday, were in a growth group during the week, we tithed and volunteered. But something wasn’t quite right.
All we knew was that God wanted us-all of us-and nothing less.
And He wanted obedience. In my experience, sometimes obedience is that nagging feeling in the bottom of your stomach-knowing your supposed to do something but not sure how to do it or even if you want to. In our lives, it started with small things, things that seemed fairly inconsequential at the moment. But I believe God was challenging us, giving us opportunities to obey him to see if we would choose to obey-even when it’s hard, or inconvenient, or not what we wanted. Of course there were times-and still are-when we know what the Lord wants or is asking but we still don’t do it. Why? I’m not sure really. Fear is one. Or my pride will get in the way. Or even laziness. But He is faithful. Even when we miss an opportunity, or disobey Him, he freely forgives when we repent, and gives us another chance.
So I did it. Even though I felt slightly silly, since I have been a Christian for a long time and baptism seems to be something you do when you first become a Christian, or when you are ready for everyone to know. But I think the reason I finally did it was actually because it became an obedience issue. Those other times I mentioned how I wanted to get baptized throughout the years was because I think the Lord wanted me to. But I didn’t want to. It seemed embarrassing to do it so many years after I had given my life to the Lord-like I wasn’t that committed at the time, or only now was I wanting others to know. So, as strange as it felt-as a missionary getting baptized-I did it. And it was pretty awesome.
Everyone on the team went out for culture day, and one part of that day was visiting a beautiful Caribbean beach. There were five of us who wanted to get baptized and we took turns being dunked into the clear warm ocean. We shared our testimony with everyone else who was there. And it was pretty cool to have Brandon on the other side of me, baptizing me with Ryan.
3 thoughts on “Baptism.”
As you emerged from the water …. a still small voice said, “This is my beloved daughter, in whom I am well Pleased.”
Thank you Jessica for sharing. How beautiful this testimony and your obedience is.
Thank you for sharing and clearly stating that obedience is about responding and drawing close to God.