Friday, August 17, 2012

Cleansed and Renewed

On August 6, 2012 I was baptized (technically I was baptized again). The decision was made after much prayer and deliberation and I can confidently say that being baptized was one of the greatest, most blessed moments of my life. Eight of us were baptized in the courtyard of our church right after the sun went down that evening and were fully submerged in the baptismal pool right after our testimonies played over the loud speaker. I can clearly remember going down crying and coming up laughing. So many of my friends and family members were able to come out, even on such short notice (I think I gave everyone about two weeks' notice). I'm fairly confident that the entire first row was comprised of my family and friends, which just astonishes me. It's so easy to feel alone in this big world when you continually look inward instead of upward to find meaning. Having so many people who love and support me there to share this special day was so touching. I hope to never take that granted.

After what can only be described as a pretty challenging year, it is so humbling to know for certain that the Lord loves me unconditionally and that He and He alone is able to restore this broken heart of mine for His glory. I can't even describe all of the work Jesus has been doing in my life over the last few months, but I will say that He has given me a renewed sense of faith and has answered prayers that I had all but given up on in His way and most importantly His timing, which I am constantly reminded is perfect. My grandma loves to say that God's timing is never late, but it's certainly never early either :). Challenges are still abundant (and will continue to be on this side of eternity), but I know even in the midst of the most violent storms, I am protected by an all-powerful Savior. It is for this reason that I will continue to rejoice in all things and give thanks to the One who gave me life, as crazy as that life may be.

Here are some pictures of the evening:

"All I know is I'm not home yet. This is not where I belong. Take this world and give me Jesus. This is not where I belong."

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