Hey guys! I’m so excited to share this week’s post with you, because today marks exactly two years since I was baptized! February 10, 2019, seems like a lifetime ago, doesn’t it? And yet I can’t believe it’s been a whole two years.
So much has changed during these two years, and who I am now is not who I was back then. It’s so easy to see the change from then to now, but you know what’s not so easy? It’s not so easy to take those little steps of faith along the way. It’s not so easy to be faithful when there’s a giant in your life that seems to never back down.
We so often want to rush things along and skip ahead in the growth process. We avoid hard things because we’re somehow naive enough to believe our problems will disappear on their own (think of the Israelites enduring Goliath’s taunts for 40 days straight). However, that kind of growth takes blood, sweat, and tears. You don’t start playing football and win the Super Bowl on the same day, nor do you conquer the world or become spiritually mature overnight.
It requires time and effort.
It requires leaving your comfort zone.
It requires baby steps that seem insignificant in the moment, but prove to be the stepping stones to victory.
For me, one of those “baby steps” was getting baptized two years ago.
It actually wasn’t all that small for me back then, but looking back on it now, I can see just how vital that step of faith was. Not only did it lead me into a deeper relationship with God, but it also gave me a testimony that I was able to share with my new pen pal at the time. I believe that story was the key that opened the door to the deep friendship we now share, and it all started with a simple prayer:
God, if You want me to be baptized, make a way.
If you’re interested in the whole story, you can read about it in the February 2019 archives, but long story short, I missed out on the chance to be baptized the previous August because I was afraid of being in front of a crowd. I was sure I had missed my opportunity, and the guilt weighed down on me for months.
Until I prayed that prayer.
It was answered just three days later, and boom! Before I knew it, my name was on the list for the next month’s baptism service. Only God.
I was so nervous about it back then, and just a quick skim through my journal will tell of the anxiety I faced because of the “Goliath” that kept presenting himself.
But guess what?
My breakthrough came. I saw the sun rise again. I lived to tell the story. (Sorry for being so dramatic XD).
Here I am, two years later, a much stronger person than I was. But it started with a “simple” step of faith. It wasn’t easy, but it was simple.
Here’s a quote that was a comfort to me at the time:
Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction ends up being the biggest step of your life. Tiptoe if you must, but take the step.Naeem Callaway
One of the scariest things in life is the unknown, and it can be hard to see beyond your problem. But trust me–or, better yet, trust God–beauty always lies on the other side of the brokenness. There is always a purpose for the trials you face. Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes in the morning.
I write this to you as an encouragement, to tell you that your breakthrough is coming. Help is on the way. Whatever you are facing right now, there will come a time when “it” is all over and you will be able to look back and say, “God led me here.” Whether it’s on this earth or in Paradise, your victory is won.
But I also write this to you with tough love and admonition:
What has God called you to do today?
What scary step of faith would change your life if you would but obey Him?
What are you waiting for?
In my situation, I was waiting for the confidence and courage to step outside my comfort zone. But, blinded by my fear, I failed to see the irony of it–the very thing that would give me confidence and courage was what I was running away from.
We so often want to go around the problem, but God wants to walk us through the problem. He knows that’s how we learn. How we grow. How we’re made stronger and how we come to know more of His goodness.
I have learned to kiss the wave that throws me against the Rock of Ages.Charles Spurgeon
There is a purpose for everything, because God wastes nothing.
One of the songs that the worship team sang the morning of my baptism was “No Longer Slaves” by Bethel. We are no longer slaves to fear, for we are children of God.
Whatever problem you’re running from today, perhaps God didn’t put that in your life to make you miserable–perhaps He put it in your life to make you beautiful.
The Refiner’s fire never looks appealing, but the gold is always worth it–especially since the Refiner walks through it with us. There is always Another in the fire. We never walk alone.
Take heart, dear child of God. Take the steps the Father is leading you to, and this time next year could look entirely different.
You may be stuck, lost, or confused, but God has the solution, the map, and the answer.
As I was writing this, I felt the need to make a video to demonstrate just how far I’ve come. Fourteen-year-old me would have never talked to y’all like this, but here you go. 🙂