A Planted Seed

High Point University, a university I was only at for one year, a university where I became friends with people, I still talk to day or at least friends with on Facebook. If we weren’t playing Spades in the lobby of the dorm, some of us would be out partying, including myself. I lost myself that year to alcohol, I got in trouble numerous times, put on probation, and almost kicked out. I lied my way through it all. But through all the law and rule breaking, God was still reaching out to me.

I joined University Singers a group/choir meshed up with misfits and some amazing voices during the fall semester. I met some amazing people there. One in particular had a mission to change to my life.

She was handicapped. My selfish heart felt sorry for her, felt as if I had to take a stand and become friends with her because everyone deserves friends. So we would spend some afternoons walking and talking. I may have been hungover some days, she didn’t seem to care. She was there to start her ministry, her dream was to become a minister, to reach people like herself.

Jesus was the topic of discussion must days. Everyday I would say, “that’s your thing”, “I don’t really care”,” I don’t believe in any of that” and give ridiculous or political reasons as to why, “I don’t even know if there is a God”. Jesus just wasn’t it for me. She knew I felt that way. But she didn’t stop sharing.

One tragic morning, I get a call. This girl who was trying to speak life into me, passed away. She was only 19 years old. If God really existed, she shouldn’t  have died, He wouldn’t have taken her life, not that soon. Her dreams never saw the light of day. This light I had in my life, was blown out as quickly as it was lit. I had no idea what to do, I was lost.

Some of my friends and I took the trip to her funeral. It was beautiful, but sad. High Point University later that week, put on their own dedication ceremony for her. University Singers was asked to sing because after all she was apart of it. We sang her two favorite songs, both Christian. The one I remember the most was, “I Can Only Imagine” by Mercy Me. As the words left my lips that day of her dedication, tears started to build, there was something about that song that planted in my soul.

Four years ago, I was heading down pathways that were dark and dreary. I started losing hope. I felt like a failure. I was rock bottom. Suddenly, I came across her picture I had.  “I Can Only Imagine”  started playing in my head. I downloaded it and listened to it on repeat. I felt as if that girl who tried to speak life into me was right there with me telling me it will be okay.

One year later, I realized who actually was with me telling me it was going to be okay. Everything she had said to me before, every promise she had ever stated, was true. Jesus is the answer and I saw why she had the dream she had.

I may have only known her a few months before the Lord took her home, but she was the most inspirational and the most loving person I have ever met. She was not scared of anything or anyone. She only had a love for Jesus and to share it with those around her. She may have not lived out her dream of being a full time minister but she reached this poor lost soul, I was part of her mission here on earth and for that I am joyful and thankful.

Last night, was the first night I had the chance to worship publicly to a song that  changed my life. I wanted to break down in tears with praise. I am forever thankful and cannot wait to see her face to face in heaven.

“Newness of Life”

Inspired by Carrie Underwood “Something in the Water”

I grew up in a church that was not about the baptism or at least not publicized . I honestly, do not know what they believed, I was 11 the last time I stepped foot in that church.  I did not step foot into another church till I was in my late teens or early 20s. I was searching for something, but I didn’t know what. When someone told me to join them for church, I would say “sure” but I never filled out anything and typically would only return a few months later with the same person.

Why church? I do not know. I could’ve tried something else. I liked singing the traditional songs, I knew them, but I didn’t get anything out of it. I was lost. I had no idea what was going on right in front of me.

I started the church I am at now by going to a baptism, because even though I knew nothing about the faith, even though I knew nothing about Jesus. I knew baptism of a person was a huge deal. I went to support her and watch her get baptized.  I was saved two weeks after that. However, I did not get baptized until 10 months after starting the church.

I did not get baptized because I was scared. I thought I was ready months before. But I wasn’t. I was still trying to figure out this whole follower of Christ thing, I did not share on Social Media about my faith, I didn’t share to anyone about my faith. I was scared of what people thought of me. But then I began to journal, I began writing about my faith, I began reading the bible more. I began trusting God with my life. I started just giving everything up to Him.

As I began that, the “Baptism Sign-ups” just kept glaring at me. I kept thinking, I can do this, but I did not want anyone to see me sign-up, I didn’t want a million and one questions. I didn’t want the attention. So one Sunday, for an odd reason no one was around yet. I wrote my name on that list. A month later I was baptized.

My faith went from being just a thing “I do” to becoming my life. I was consumed by the faith. There are many aspects of my life that changed from that day on. When Carrie Underwood states “There’s something in the water” it’s true. Completely true. There are many parts of the bible that talks about Baptism. Here’s what it says in Romans:

“Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into 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 newness of life.” Romans 6:3-4 ESV

I changed. My family looks at me differently now, my “friends” became my old friends, and new friends, a new family started. You are not meant to walk the earth by yourself. You are not meant to be a follower of Jesus Christ by yourself.

I was singing Amazing Grace (My Chains are Gone) at a Phil Wickham concert the other day and I was amazed. My church sang this when I was lost. My church sang this and I did but just as a “sing-a-long” and only to the “Amazing Grace” part of the song. But just the other week, I was singing it from the heart and I realized that my chains are gone. There’s only a few left but those will take many years to break but the ones that I thought were anchored to bottom the sea, that I could never break from. They are no longer there. It was a freeing moment.