Stephanie's story

February 12, 2019 by Grant Agler

I made the decision to be baptized.
This was something I’d considered before, but always decided not to because I had been baptized around 9 years old or so. I figured I had already been baptized, so I didn’t need to do it, although I have come back to my faith.
I was baptized as a kid because that’s what we did.
I saw others do it, so I did it too. I was basically “checking the boxes” to make sure I was a “good, Christian girl.” I tried doing the things I was told were the right things. Except I grew up and did not seek out a life modeled after Christ. Not at all. I had a set of beliefs but I had no real faith in those beliefs.
I had some negative experiences in the church that I grew up in that I didn’t realize weren’t right until I left it. I experienced some things there that didn’t seem Christ-like and frankly, had turned me off to God completely. I was bitter and angry. I wouldn’t step foot in a church for a while. Even when I went back to a couple other churches, I still wasn’t following Christ.
A few years ago, Chris was trying out local churches. I refused to go with him most of the time. Then at night, I drove down 75 and saw the lit up Life Bridge sign when it was in its old location. A few weeks later, passing it again with Chris in the car, I told him, “I want to go there.” So we went a couple weeks later and I feel like my eyes were opened.
I was an adult with the same core beliefs in faith I had since I was a child, but this time I felt I was being guided in the right direction as to what God was wanting me to do here on Earth. The last few years I have had a serious shift in perspective.
My faith was not for me to feel comfortable or “good”.
My faith was for me to recognize that I believe that God created everything on Earth and sent his Son to save me from an eternity without Him. No matter how I think of it, an existence without the love and grace of God is the worst existence I could think of.
That doesn’t mean I am better than anyone, or that I won’t make mistakes, and I sure as heck will still sin because it is human nature. It means I am going to make an honest, conscious effort to do as God would want me to do in all things. It means praying for purpose, not just when I want something to go my way.
It means leaving MY way behind, which is hard for me because I crave control, and seek His way.
So the reason why I finally decided that I should get baptized again, is because I am making a real commitment with my God.
I’m not checking boxes anymore.