It had been plaguing me for over a year. The further along and deeper I walked in my sanctification the more my heart yearned to make known to all that I belonged to HIM! This November opportunity presented itself and after praying I knew I HAD TO DO IT!
The following is the actually testimony I read before the church congregation at my baptism. Raw…revealing…….intimate…..& very REAL.
I grew up in your typical dysfunctional family and had childhood without Christian discipleship. From about Jr. high on I plummeted full force down a path leading only away from Him. Then was lead to baptism at age 20 with no more knowledge of Christ than the 5 month old babe in my arms.
I wanted to know Him, I started growing and changing…..I thought I “got” Him. Ya know I wanted to be a good person and live a good Christian life. I really really wanted to do things right, so God would say, “You are a good girl” still thinking I had to make up for all my past sins. Satan was always more than willing to relentlessly whisper in my ear, “Remember you are completely worthless. Don’t ever forget just how bad you messed up!”
I was driven by wanting to give my children everything that I thought was “right & good” at the time. I longed to protect them from having to hurt and fall as hard as I did. Ya know so they could turn out to be good Christian people and live a good life. Isn’t that what being a Christian was all about? Being good so you can live a good life? So….where was Jesus in all that? It would seem that most of my Christiandom was achieved by thinking it, not necessarily fully believing, understanding, embracing, and accepting Him. Did I really understand what it took to get to Heaven? Did I truly have an intimate relationship with Christ? Did I know how to disciple my children as He calls me to do so? Had I ever verbally or mentally professed that Christ WAS my Lord and savior? Was I completely accepting death on the Cross for forgiveness of my sins? I really don’t think so! How does one accept His grace when you are still trying to be good enough for it? It wasn’t until I was about 34ish that I first heard or listened to Ephesians 2:8-9 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. So this right here this…..this is my way to Heaven…………!
There is a defining moment in your walk when the artery of Christ finally extends far enough from your head to penetrate your heart then….they begin to share the blood flow and His dwelling place becomes swollen with life. This Spirit-filled serum that grabs hold of your belief in Christ and grasps on to it for dear life. Christ, so fully alive, so fully embraced, He becomes uncontainable.
About 2 years ago on my journey I chose a new direction in my path and I created a personal mission statement to live! I wanted to learn how to live life fully so I could fully live…..I wanted to attain how one lives out an exceedingly extraordinary life in Christ. Well, I made an amazing discovery while tripping and stumbling through the brush. Simply….I CAN’T! I CAN’T DO THIS ON MY OWN. The ONLY way to an exceedingly extraordinary life in Christ is……amazingly through Christ. His will, His way, a total daily surrender. Some days, hour by hour, or even minute by minute. An unbendable faith and commitment when it is glorious and yes even when it royally stinks. Like Matthew West sings, “I’m not strong enough” Yet I can rest assured in Philippians 4:13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
I consistently & will consistently wrestle with God for control to the reins of my life, even though I know. Even though through His grace I have gotten to experience………that it is ONLY when I am able to completely let go of myself am I able to live for Him. I have now ascertained that conforming to the likeness of Christ and the redeeming of Carolyne….are going to be life-long events. I will arrive…….when I am home in Heaven!