There Is Hope

When I wrote my last post, I was in the valley. I was deep in self-condemnation and felt hopelessly lost. Today, however, I write to you from the top of the spiritual mountain–so full of happiness, thankfulness, and hope that I can’t contain myself. The last couple days have seen episodes of me free dancing around my bedroom…

I’m going to say the word that never in a million years would I have thought that I would say (or type, or if you’re really technical like me). Baptism. It used to scare me, and every time I would hear or read it I would cringe in fear and guilt. Truth be told, I was running from it.

It was August 2018, right before I re-purposed this blog. It was a warm summer day and I was standing on the grass, watching two girls step out into the water. They were being baptized. “That could have been me,” I thought to myself. I was sick to my stomach because I knew why there weren’t three girls in the water. I was downright scared.

The days, weeks, and months passed. I don’t know if it was the Holy Spirit’s conviction that I felt, Satan’s debilitating lies that I believed, or both, but I was afraid of the word “baptism.” It reminded me that I had failed my Father, that I wasn’t enough, that I wasn’t as fearless as I should have been for having God on my side. I couldn’t forget about my failure to “Christian-up,” and it haunted my soul for longer than I should have let it.

Then January 1, 2019, rolled around. I wrote in my journal that I was going all in, like Matthew West proclaimed in his song. I thought I was ready to walk in God’s plan for my life and to live free. I wanted the heartbeat of the apostle Paul–the man that endured more than I could imagine all for the sake of Christ. I pledged that 2019 would be better– it would be different.

But January 3rd hit, and boy did it hit hard. Everything I read for my devotional time spoke of baptism. I couldn’t escape that word because it was everywhere. Just when my soul was starting to heal, it was blasted by more guilt than I’ve ever felt before. I truly was at rock bottom. I silently prayed in despair, “God, provide the opportunity, and I will try to follow through. I will do my best to walk in your strength if You’ll just do this for me.”

I walked into church on the 6th, the very next Sunday after I prayed that prayer. And wouldn’t you know, my pastor announced a baptism service. Oh. My. WORD. No words can fully explain how I felt in that moment. All the guilt and fear just melted away, and in their place I felt peace–amazing peace. I felt empowered, like I could do anything.

With Christ’s strength, I was finally able to talk to my parents about it and then to the pastor and elders two days later. That girl who was frozen in her spot on the grass is now going to be baptized in February.

Our God is good, isn’t He? I am absolutely amazed at His faithfulness, and I feel free. I feel in tune with Him and my future looks bright.

If you feel chained by your guilt, glued in place because of fear, I proclaim to you now that there is hope in JESUS’ name. He saves those who seek Him, and He will make a way even when all you see are walls. He certainly did for me.

Hallelujah you have saved me // so much better this way // Hallelujah Great Defender // so much better Your way.

~Rita Springer, Defender