Realizing His Love For ME….{Day 12}

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Hi Everyone!
I hope you all have been enjoying this series!! I know I have!! 
There have been so many beautiful stories shared….so many that have inspired me! My hope is that they have inspired some of you as well! 
So, turns out mom & I survived the wedding! It was absolutely beautiful & I cannot wait to share pictures with all of you!! Because I have been so busy with the wedding, I haven’t been able to participate in this series as much as I wanted to at the beginning, but now that its over, I am hoping that changes! I do have a few stories of my own that I would like to share!

Before I start sharing stories, I feel like I need to give you all some back story first. I think its easier to understand the importance of the stories & their significance if you understand where I started in my faith.

So, here it goes!
I was raised Catholic and the Catholic Church was the only real form of church I was familiar with. My parents started attending the local Catholic Church here in our hometown when I was 8 years old. They became members, were baptized, & my sister & I followed in their footsteps & were baptized as well. We attended pretty regularly for a few years. I had my first communion, my first confession, & when I was in 8th grade, I went through confirmation. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Catholic faith, confirmation is when the child receives the Holy Spirit for the first time. They are “confirming” in their hearts that the choice that their parents made for them as a baby or young child is the the same choice that they themselves want to make. However, I will tell you, that I really didn’t understand what the whole confirmation thing was when I was that age, all I knew was that I was doing it because my parents were making me. After being confirmed, we never regularly attended the church, we would just occasionally attend on the major holidays like Easter & Christmas. 
My husband was raised in a Baptist church with a very contemporary type of service. We had visited multiple churches after getting married, but had a very hard time finding one that suited us both.

I was not used to the worship that I was experiencing at many of the churches we visited. I liked the contemporary music, but people raising their hands in the air, even crying during worship….this was so foreign to me! I didn’t get it, not at all! And if worship wasn’t uncomfortable enough, then there was prayer ministry time at the end of service, where you actually go up to the front of the church, tell your problems to a complete stranger & then let them lay hands on you to pray for you?!

INSANE (or at least I thought so in the beginning)…..things quickly changed!
In February of 2010, we finally found a church we called home. Yes, the people raised their hands in the air during worship, and yes, they had prayer ministry time at the end of service, but there was something different about this church. The people were so kind & so welcoming, you could feel God’s presence in the church & during worship, which is something I had NEVER felt before! Those crazy people who were crying during worship….I quickly became one of those people! I would start crying in the middle of worship & I couldn’t even tell you why! If you have had that experience before & you didn’t know what it was, let me just tell you from personal experience….THAT IS GOD!!!
We quickly got involved with the church, first attending a small group, & then serving in the church as well! We were there every Sunday, & not because we had to be, but because we wanted to be! For the first time in my life, I actually looked forward to church & couldn’t wait for Sunday morning!

My husband got baptized in March of 2010, something he had never done after accepting Jesus at the age of 17. I on the other hand, struggled with the whole baptism thing. After all, I was baptized when I was 8 years old at the Catholic Church. Wasn’t that sufficient? I was sooo confused!

The church taught us that you should be baptized after becoming a Christian (or accepting Jesus) and even though I felt like I was Christian coming to the church ( I believed in Jesus Christ, I believed He died for my sins) I was quickly realizing a big difference in my definition of a Christian & the church’s definition. I didn’t realize that becoming a Christian meant surrendering your life to Jesus. That when you accept Jesus as your Savior that your life is no longer your own, that you don’t live it for yourself, but you live it for Him!  So even though I believed in Jesus, I hadn’t given Him my life. Once, I realized that, I knew that my baptism as a child was not sufficient because I didn’t really understand at 8 years of age (what 8 year old would) what it meant to give my life to Jesus, but now at age 29 I got it! My baptism as a child was a decision that my parents made for me, I wanted it to be a decision I made for myself!

The act of baptism is an act of obedience. It a public demonstration of your commitment to Jesus & to His church. It is the washing away of sins & the start of a new life in Jesus Christ……Dead to Sin, Alive to God.

Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized in Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in the newness of life.
Romans 6:3-5 (ESV)

I wanted to show my commitment, I wanted to make it official! So, in August of 2010 (when I was 37 weeks pregnant with my youngest), I decided it was time to do it!

I believe God was calling us to this church because of His love for us! I believe that He wanted me to understand what it means to be a Christian & what it feels like to be in real relationship with Him. As I continue to grow & walk in my faith, I am starting to understand that more & more.

So, now that you all have the full back story…I will be sharing a few more stories with you throughout the rest of the month! Stay tuned!!

 

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