John 3:3 (NKJV) "Jesus answered and said to him, 'Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.' ”
One day, I approached our Pastor at church. I asked, "Is there any way that I can get baptized?" At that moment, another church member stole the Pastor's attention. As a result, I left the service without a reply. Still, God continued to reveal His desire and prepare my heart. I read, 1 Peter 3:21 (NKJV). "There is also an antitype which now saves us—baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ." Then I read, 1 Corinthians 6:11(NKJV) "And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God."
Later, I approached our Pastor a second time. "Please Pastor, can I get baptized soon?" This time, he responded. He placed an announcement in our church bulletin. Almost immediately, several people of all ages expressed an interest in becoming baptized. Wow!
At first, our church planned to hold the baptism at a local beach. However, at the last minute, the event location was changed. Now, I would be getting baptized at a place my husband held dear, an award winning golf course he knew well. God had known just how to spark my husband's interest too!
The day was perfect and my soul felt uplifted. While my husband joyfully barbecued all of the meat, I sat among friends, soaking up the sun and listening to our church's worship team play familiar songs. Then unexpectedly, one of the few guests I had invited to witness the event, expressed her own desire to become baptized. Suddenly, I felt my cross necklace fall from my neck. There was nothing wrong with the clasp and I had worn the necklace without fail for several years. Now, in the very moment God was using me to lead others closer to Him, my cross necklace fell straight to the ground. I giggled at Satan's minor attempt to take my focus from God and used the situation to further praise Jesus Christ.
Soon, it was time for the baptisms. All of the participants surrounded a beautifully designed over-sized jacuzzi that reflected the light from its overflowing waterfall. I quickly and joyfully volunteered to go first. As I stepped into the warm water, I noticed a feeling of complete relief from the pain I had experienced the day prior. Was God telling me to let go of all my past pain?
Then, as I stood by my Pastor's side, I listened as he proclaimed, "This is an expression of your faith. The water symbolizes being washed clean from all of your sins." I jokingly responded, "Well, you better hold me down for awhile then." Everyone laughed. Then quickly, my heart filled with gratitude and my eyes welled with tears. I prayed, "Thank You Lord for washing away my sins and giving me a new life through You!"
Now, two years later, I find myself sitting at our breakfast table praying with our seven-year-old son regarding his upcoming baptism. Only a few weeks ago, on his own, our youngest son approached the same Pastor, and asked if he could get baptized too. What joy!
As my son and I read John 3:3 this morning, I quietly praised God for that valley I experienced back on 2008. Through it, the Lord provided a way for our family to live a new life filled with hope and joy. And now, one by one, we are outwardly professing our faith in Him and turning from a life of sin!