Friday, July 25, 2008

My Testimony - Part Four

There are those of you who read my blog because of my kids' quips, because I've been told that. And I really appreciate that you do. Just please bear with me while I finish up my last two posts. I promise I'll get back to lighthearted.

My dad and I, and an acquaintance of my dad's who was a minister of another organization, went to my brother's baptism on that Sunday night in October of 1981. I think my dad wanted him to come along to check out this church, to be quite honest.

I will never forget walking through those doors. For those who may not know this, Pentecostal churches pray prior to service starting - out loud, and with much enthusiasm - so it can be a little scary for a first time visitor who is not familiar with this outward display of worship and prayer. I was freaked out, to put it bluntly. But, since this was the church that God told me I was looking for, I went downstairs to the bathroom and prayed. And this is when God gave me what I call my second miracle - because I'll never forget the instant lifting of my fear. It was the first time that this had ever happened to me. I prayed specifically and asked God to take away my fear, and God instantly took it away and gave me peace, just like that. And it made a huge impression on this 14-year-old girl. It reinforced that this is where I was supposed to be.

I went upstairs and was thoroughly pleased to be in the rest of that service. I loved the exuberant song service (even when my brother, who shared a song book with me, clowned around singing We Shall See The King by doing the echo part in my ear, making it hard for me not to laugh!).

After the preaching my brother got baptized. He was fully immersed in water (because the word baptize comes from the Greek word baptizo, which means to fully immerse) in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of his sins, just like Peter commanded in the book of Acts (Acts 2:38). I stood behind the baptismal and watched. And I had never in all my life felt anything like that. I cried like a baby. I shook under the power of God. I repented and asked God to forgive me for my sins.

When my brother was done, I asked the pastor if I could be baptized. I remember his skepticism - after all, this was the first time I had ever been in the church and baptism is a serious step of salvation only to be undertaken after someone fully repents. However, he was sensitive to God, because he told me that if my dad said I could that he would baptize me. So I went to my dad and asked him. He asked me what I would wear home, so I produced my hidden set of clothes. And my dad gave me permission to get baptized.

And this, my friends, was truly the most remarkable thing that happened in my life up to that point. A 14-year-old girl, weighed down by the cares of this life, full of anxiety, worry and fear, carrying the weight of the world on her shoulders, went down in that water in the name of Jesus Christ and came up with her burdens lifted. And that is the truth. I had never experienced anything like it. To actually feel carefree and at peace. Instantly. I kid you not.

My full salvation experience is still to be shared, as well as the last miracles that God performed. I'll finish that in the next and last post.

I left church that night with my brand new bible, given to me by the pastor, and rode in the back seat for three hours all the way home. I held that bible to my heart like a mom holds her newborn baby, for I knew I had found the most precious thing life had to offer. When we stopped once to go to the bathroom, I took that wonderful book in with me - I just was not willing to part with it.

I got home not knowing how it was all going to work out, but more sure than ever that it would. And that's the final part of my testimony that I want to share.


Laura said...

These have been so good to ponder. They not only remind me of your salvation, but once again bring back the miracles God performed in our families lives. This has been sooo good to read, thank you Dar!!!

Darla said...

Your welcome.

Darla said...

Uh, that is YOU'RE welcome. Sorry!

In the Light Photography said...

Hmm..this is very interesting. I never realized how much there was to your testimony...

Darla said...

Which is exactly why I wrote it out - so my kids would know the "longer" version.

Thanks for commenting, Rach.