Over the Christmas season, we had six holiday baptisms, one on December 18th and five on Christmas Day. Here are their stories in their own words.
I was baptized fifty-three years ago by two loving, God fearing, Catholic parents. I have been brought up to love God and accept Jesus Christ as my Savior. God has always been with me, protecting , twice saving me. My relationship with him is so special, so personal , so intimate and meaningful.
So you ask, why is Christopher Marks being baptized again today? I intend to proudly, publicly, in my own words reaffirm that our God is my God, and I accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, and demonstrate my love and appreciation for all He has done for me by virtue of this baptism.
I openly declare I love my Lord Jesus Christ and I choose Jeremiah 29:11 as my life's verse: "For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to do harm, plans to give you a hope and a future."
I'm a twenty-seven year old wife, mother and stepmother, and before committing myself to following Jesus, I was a lost soul. The truth is, as long as I can remember I felt lost, like I'm not meant to be here and that I'm worthless. To be truthful, I felt this way because I was told it every single day by people I trusted. The pain of the verbal and physical abuse never left me, I held onto it, I didn't know any better. My grandma was very religious and the first time I understood Jesus and following him was when she caught me trying to commit suicide at about seven years old with an ace bandage. She asked a lot of questions, but then took the time to explain I'm worthy and there is a plan for me.
Today I am committing myself to Jesus because I believe her words after going to church so often and taking care of her while she was so sick. Her faith was never lost, even though I was. When she passed I couldn't accept that she was gone, I couldn't accept she was no longer my rock. But after a few years and a lot of reflection, I saw the truth of what she was trying to tell me. All she was trying to say is I am loved, I am important, I am special, I am meant to be here because Jesus loves me. Thank you for praying for me, I am one.
Before I committed to following Jesus my life was very hard. I stressed and had no real sense of love. I struggled to get through each day. I started to pursue a relationship with Jesus because my family and life were falling apart. I no longer knew what to do or how to fix it, so I turned to Jesus Christ. I chose to commit to Jesus through baptism because I witnessed the work of Christ through me and my family. I now understand the sacrifices he made for me, and today I want to give my heart to Him. I have learned to trust in Christ. I am excited to enter this new life with Jesus and his church because I have a promising path to walk with strength, guidance, and the favor of Jesus Christ.
My life before following Jesus was like most others. I was always taught to believe in God and do the right things but as I got older, I grew further apart from the Lord and and even began to stop believing in Him. I found myself in a pattern of abusive relationships and toxic self behavior. I stayed stuck in that dark place for many years. I didn't think there was any hope for me. The whole time I was pushing Jesus away from me, my mother whom I still thank to this day, was becoming closer to Jesus and she would always ask me to go to church or read my Bible. She always would pray for me and repeatedly say: "You have to trust that God is with you always, believe in Him. You are not alone that's what the devil wants you to believe." After a while of her trying to help me, I finally said yes, I would go to church. I am so beyond grateful I did!
As soon as I walked into BridgePointe I felt so much love from strangers. I didn't know anyone and yet everyone welcomed me with a smile and a sense of joy that I was there. As soon as I sat down, I felt like Jesus spoke through Pastor Jared, letting me know He is here and He never left me, even during the dark times in my life. Since that day, I feel like a piece of my heart that was missing is back, and that was my relationship with Jesus! Since I've been back in church, I feel a sense of relief I never had before! I know the closer I get to Jesus the more safe and happy I feel.
I want to show Jesus how much I love and thank him for everything He has done for me. What better way to say that by getting baptized on his birthday, to show how much I believe and accept him into my heart forever as my Lord and Savior! I'm so excited to enter this new life with Jesus and BridgePointe, because I know if I ever need help or strength I have the best people along with Jesus in my life. I'm excited because BridgePointe and Jesus have made my whole family closer to Jesus and for that I am truly grateful. I know now, that I am committed to Jesus and my church. My life is so much better, and I'm excited for my future. Happy birthday Jesus! Thank you for prayers for me, I am one!!!