pine lake

10.08.2012 |

click HERE for my initial post "i said yes"

I walked up to the front of Pine Lake on August 22, 2012, but not without wobbly legs and a tug on my heart.  Over the past year, God has been doing radical things in my life.  He has taken me from a broken and shameful past to a fulfilled and free present and future.  At the beginning of this year (2012), I decided it was time to get serious about my relationship with Jesus.  No more “lukewarm;” no more selfishness; no more falling away.  I need Jesus and I need Him now!  I knew a lot of things about Christ, and I knew what it meant to have a personal relationship with Jesus; however, I liked my comfortable life that beat to my own drum and had my own rules.  It was obvious that there was something missing from my life.  It seemed like I had everything any one could ask for: good friends, financially stable, athletic ability, top-notch grades; yet, something was still missing, something huge.  I tried (oh did I bend over backwards trying) to find that fulfillment by running faster than everyone else, by going too far with a boy, by drinking alcohol to fit in, by maintaining a 4.0 GPA; but nothing seemed to fit the “God-shaped” hole in my heart.  I needed more.  Though it took every grudge within me to admit that I was missing Jesus, I finally gave in to Him.  Throughout college, I went to church, but that is all it was.  I put on the all to familiar “Sunday smile” and trudged through the rest of the week.  I lived for weekends and free time, but it only left a trail of an overwhelming amount of tears.

I was sick of compartmentalizing my life.  I was tired of  my multiple personalities.  My church friends saw a different side of Renee than my school friends than did my cross-country team.  It was exhausting trying to keep up with who I was around which group of people.

 It was time to get real. To fill the void, the vast void within my heart that nothing could sufficiently take the place.

 I started reading the bible every day on a Bible reading plan.  As my attitude and outlook on life changed by God’s words, my actions and behaviors started mimicking what I was reading ; consequently, I lost friends because I no longer participated in certain activities.  God, in turn, provided countless people in my life who deeply loved Jesus.  As the summer months approached, I began reading books by David Platt, Lysa Terkeurst, Andy Stanley, and Francis Chan (among others).  The words that decorated the authors’ pages smacked me square in the face and my heart was further softened by God’s promises and truths.  Real change was happening on the inside, now the outside needed to reflect what Christ had done.

Walking into church on Wednesday night, I had no idea I would be walking out with wet hair. As Josh’s message on baptism was coming to a close, he asked if anyone wanted to get baptized the coming Sunday at the Country Club.  I smiled, thinking to myself, “How neat that they have a church wide baptism.”  Then, Josh took it to the next level.  He got fired up and said that if anyone wanted to get baptized right at that very moment (as the Ethiopian in Acts 8 did), it could happen.  God was stirring in my heart.  “Now God? You want me to get baptized right now?! Really? You cannot be serious?”  Josh prayed before we rose to sang our closing worship songs.  I remember Josh’s words as he acknowledged the courage it would take to walk up in front of the congregation to get baptized spontaneously.  He prayed that God would move into our hearts (well, God was already at work in that department).  He prayed that someone would take a step of faith in obedience.  When Josh said, “Amen,” I knew that God was saying loud and clear, “GO! NOW!”  My legs felt like lead. I had butterflies in my stomach.  My hands felt like ice (I’m not so sure it wasn’t because of the arctic air that was blowing in the sanctuary). My baptism was unplanned; it was spontaneous.  As I lifted my lead legs, all worries about what people would think abandoned my mind.  It was me and God.  Josh gave me the thumbs up, and that’s when I found myself moving at warp-speed.  I was wearing XXL basketball shorts, a baggy white t-shirt, and a baptismal robe.

Before I was baptized, I remember having a personal moment with the Lord.  The worship team was playing “Forever Reign” and a few tears just found their way to my cheeks as I “was about to run into His arms” because “nothing compares to His embrace,” and now my “heart will sing no other name” but Jesus!  Brad baptized me and my life has never been the same.  My wet, pink hair had stained the t-shirt and the baptismal robe, but no body seemed to care.  I walked out of the baptismal pool to find that 5 more people had decided to make their relationship with Christ public.  This was the first time I had seen how my obedience to God’s call could impact other people’s lives.  The worship band played “One Thing Remains” as soon as I walked out of the baptismal pool.  To this day, every time I hear those two songs, it takes me back to the place where Christ met me where I was and I affirmed my relationship with Him.

Since the moment of my baptism, everything has changed.  Not that I was eternally saved when I was baptized (I was already a part of God’s flock), but there is something liberating and fulfilling about making my relationship with Jesus Christ public to my church family.  It’s like changing a relationship status on Facebook– I cannot help but tell people about the Love of my life and the internal change that He caused that is now reflected in every aspect of my life.

4 comments

  1. Absolutely uplifting and beautiful. Continue to grow as a person in Christ! Things may get hard at times, but He will always be there.

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    1. thank you so much. it's been an incredible journey and i can't wait to see what the Lord has in store.

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  2. Inspiring. Reading this is making me want to draw closer to the Lord. Thanks for the post.

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    1. thank you. the great thing about the Lord is that he has never left our side and when we seek him we will always find him. i pray your walk with the Lord blossoms daily. :)

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