Jesus, I’m Yours!
Baptism is about publicly showing and sharing how finding faith in Jesus Christ changes our story! For the January 19/20 baptism weekend, more than 30 people have signed up to celebrate what He’s done in their lives so far. Here are just a few of their stories ….
My soul is in deep anguish. How long, Lord, How long? I am worn out from my groaning. All night long I flood my bed with weeping and drench my couch in tears. My eyes grow weak with sorrow; they fail because of all my foes. The Lord has heard my cry for mercy; the Lord accepts my prayer. (Psalm 6:3, 6, 7, 9)
“In March 2013 life had gotten too heavy to bear; I was consumed by grief, suffering tremendous significant losses one after another. Unable to catch my breath and without realizing, my life became dark, consumed by clinical depression. I was isolated, resistant, and angry, unable to hear concerns for my wellbeing; lack of sleep impacted my capacity to communicate, rendering me unemployable. Consumed with fear as I watched things in my life removed one at a time, every night for 5 years I prayed, ‘God, take me in my sleep’… and woke every day.
January 2018, exhausted unable to sleep, I lay in my bed, my mind out of control, screaming at God, ‘What else is there for you to take – only I am left.’ I fell asleep, and awoke the next morning feeling clearer than I had been for a long time. The days that followed become my testimony: ‘The Lord has heard my cry for mercy; the Lord accepts my prayer.’ I found myself across from the pastor who buried my son, with tears in his eyes, pleading that I not put him in the position of also burying me. A suffering drug addict extended her hand, bringing me to Celebrate Recovery at FAC. I was breathless and could not sit upright. I met a spiritual mentor who gently introduced me to the Bible, brought me to Saturday night service, and has walked alongside me, supporting me, clarifying things I question, introducing me to community, and blessing my home.
I see now that God heard me. The only thing left to take was me; my darkness died! That night God showed me mercy and grace and woke me up and guided me with new light:
I have come into the world as a light so that no one who believes in Me should stay in darkness. (John 12:46)
I reflect on 2018 … Honestly, it was an absolute spiritual miracle. The Lord heard my prayer and showed me mercy. My mind rarely goes into paralyzing fear and obsessive thoughts. I have come to know peace in my life; I committed to being disciplined by God’s guidance and have been gifted with an energy that I do not have to force. I read the Bible and get on my knees and pray I get to know who I am through Jesus. I relate to Peter and my fears of acknowledging Jesus and identifying the shame. I am pursuant of Jesus as I see my sinful inadequacies, understanding Jesus is ever-present, gifting me with the insight of His love and recognizing my truth and exposing it to light … I am gifting my spirit and surrendering my humanness to God in baptism, in gratitude for all God’s sacrifices & miracles gifted to me in 2018.”
“Until the age of 13, my mother raised me with Christianity. Unfortunately when I was 13 she passed away. Living with my father, I was forced to believe in and practice a different religion I didn’t believe in. I went through a lot of mental and physical abuse living with him. But in my heart, I had my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Through prayer and faith I got through this difficult situation. Now I’m at a point in my life where I feel the need to be baptized … I believe it will strengthen my faith in God and help me become the best I can be.”
“My life before I met Jesus was sort of empty, like I didn’t really know anything. I became a Christian when I learned the story of Jesus. Now I feel more alive and I am more aware. I want to be baptized because it means to follow Jesus.”
“I have always been a Christian and I was confirmed as a youth in the church where I grew up. I want to affirm my faith in the Lord and as I get more and more involved in the church I want to tell my church family that I’m “all in” and that Jesus is my Saviour for now and forever.”
“Jesus hasn’t been a part of my life until the couple of months leading up until my father’s death in July of 2018. I began praying to Jesus and asking for His guidance for many different ways as I realized I had been lost for many years. Through any of my struggles now I know I can always look to Jesus for help; even if He does not answer me I know He is always listening and that He will fulfill my need for His love and support.”
“My life before Jesus was hard. I carried a lot of anger and resentment and sometimes still feel this way but the Word of God is helping me to be better.
I came to know Jesus and decided to live for Him when I came to FAC and met so many wonderful people, hearing God’s Word and praise and seeing the effect He has on people, feeling His light in each moment.
Jesus made a difference in my life by showing me a light within me … How to love everyone and be thankful to be alive and to learn on this journey to find peace within.
My favorite verse is Jeremiah 29:11: ‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'”
“Empty, upside-down, bits of happiness and some ‘pity-smiles’ here and there … On and off fights with my husband and children … Very depressed … Tried to take my life two times … My life had no meaning and ‘no one will miss me once I am gone.’
I had the first Holy Spirit encounter 2 years ago (September 2016) when my mom had a heart attack. The loving and caring family next door have shown me the Christian life.
Having Jesus in my life has helped me to not give up, to follow Him, to trust that He has a plan for me, and loves me unconditionally. Thank You, Jesus, for everything I’ve asked You and You haven’t given me, so I get to appreciate what and whom I have. I look forward to sharing the difference our Lord Jesus is doing in my life with my husband and my children.”
I call on the Lord in my distress, and He answers me. (Psalm 120:1)
“I accepted Jesus into my heart at a very young age and growing up in church gave me a greater understanding of who Jesus is and how He loves me. Although I always knew about God, I didn’t always believe it. Over the years I saw God in many areas of my life and I now acknowledge that He is a major part of my life.
Jesus has been with me through every trial I’ve faced. He gives me hope in the hopeless, and a light at the end of the tunnel to look for.
Keep on growing just like Jesus (Luke 2:52).”
“My name is Abby and I wanted to be baptized already for a long time while asking the question, “Should I do it?” Then I said to Opa in late summer last year that I want to be baptized because I love Jesus and I want Him to be in my heart. Jesus will be part of me for the rest of my life.”
… that everyone who believes may have eternal life in Him. (John 3:15 )
“I have always loved God, and I prayed this year for God to take away my sin and help me not to sin so much. He has helped me to be more kind.
I want to be baptized to show other people that I want to follow God and Jesus more.”
God’s power has given us everything we need to lead a Godly life. (2 Peter 1:3a)
“I accepted Jesus in my life in September 2018. Jesus has made a difference in my life with school and my friends. I want to be baptized to have a better life.”
“I was baptized as a baby and grew up in a church-going family that never had any form of a relationship with Jesus Christ. Growing up and even as an adult, I always felt as if some part of my life was missing. I found myself searching for purpose and meaning in people, friends, family, job and in myself. I poured my while heart into them, but one day I realized I couldn’t find any joy. I became very consumed, I was living for the acceptance of the world.
Last year, at my lowest point when I was depressed, alone, and afraid, God drew me to Himself. I confessed that I am a sinner and that I was trying to find life in other people, in external things, and myself. I asked God for forgiveness and prayed to find answers to my questions related to Him. Last summer and for the first time in my life, I started reading the Bible. I found a lot of answers and I experienced that good feeling in my soul produced by the Holy Spirit that allowed me to see the beauty of Christ in the word.
Since I have trusted Jesus Christ as my Saviour, He has given me fulfillment and purpose. I am not perfect, and I still mess up, but God loves me despite my flaws and imperfections. And I stand here today testifying to the fact that Jesus Christ is my hope and my greatest joy and I am baptized to declare my allegiance to Him as my Lord and Saviour.”
The Lord is my strength and my defense; He has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise Him; my father’s God, and I will exalt Him. (Exodus 15:2)
“I was raised in a non-religious environment but started going to church after we moved to Canada when I was 12 or 13. It was a rocky journey and I wasn’t committed to my faith; there was a lot of insecurity and uncertainty throughout my teenage years. I was anxious, nervous, and skeptical of people and unsure of myself. Despite my lack of commitment, God was always there for my mom and I and He’s protected us and made sure we have what we need. He’s brought a sense of peace, and has helped me trust others and show more compassion to others. Instead of being anxious of the future, I’m excited to see what God has planned for me.”
“I was angry, sad, and alone. The miracle of prayer led me to believe in something greater: peace, joy, love, and grace.”
The best way to heal a broken heart is to give God all the pieces. (Toby Mac)
“One night before bed I accepted Jesus into my heart. If Jesus didn’t come down to die on the cross we would still have been slaves. I want to get baptized to show everyone that I want Jesus to be my Lord and Saviour.”
God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. (Romans 5:8)
“My life was miserable – living with anxiety, depression, and suicidal thinking. I sought attention from anyone and in any form I could get it. This left me feeling lost and empty.
I started my journey with FAC partaking in the Celebrate Recovery program. Actively working with my sisters in recovery, as well as teaming up with Pastor Heather Brown opened my mind to Him, His power, His grace, and His glory. As I move forward in my healing, my commitment to Him only grows.
Jesus has made a difference in life. Massive! I am no longer living in or with anger. My stinking thinking has diminished. While I am not yet living in joy, my moments of peace are becoming more frequent and lasting longer.
“For I know the thoughts I think toward you,” says the Lord, “thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
Becoming aware that what I think of myself is untrue – knowing His thoughts differ greatly – is extremely freeing.”
“Before, I was absolutely crushed and torn apart. I was a drug addict committing a lot of crime and just not caring. I was addicted to meth, heroin, crack, pills, and pretty much everything that enabled me to escape life. I stopped caring and was more than ready to die.
One particular day I raised my hands to the sky and asked God to please bring me what I needed. What He brought into my life was the love of Jesus who I am learning is my Saviour along with my salvation.
There were so many times that I should have been dead but only through the love of Jesus am I alive. He took a major sinner like me and is restoring my entire life. He has been healing me one day at a time. He shows me through His word how much He loves me. He shows me how exactly I need to live. I am a child of God and He loves me as much as He loves everyone else.
He left the 99 to come find me. I realize now that I want more than anything for my name to appear in the book of life. This baptism is me being born again with an ability to live for Him. His gift to me is my life and my gift back is what I do with my life. It is only through Him that I find strength to heal. Thank You, Jesus, for not giving up on me.”
“I was brought up going to church every Sunday. I didn’t feel that I really had a choice. As I grew older I went away from believing in Jesus. I recently started going back into my spirituality and then started to go back to church. I started believing in Jesus, realizing all the positive He has done in my life. I am a worrier and decided to give my faith in Jesus to help me.”
“Life before Christ was just going through the paces. There were moments of questioning what my purpose was, but I had not pursued it further. Since, my acceptance of Christ’s gift of grace, I’m feeling a sense of belonging to something bigger. Before Jesus, I lived for myself.
Through a relationship breaking down, we were invited to come to church. With a question and skepticism I went and the exact question was addressed in that sermon. This happened 3 or 4 more times in the following 3 months. I then realized that the Lord was reaching out to me.
The difference Jesus has made in my life is my thinking more of others and curtailing past ways.”