By Rachel Lee
Exactly 34 years ago, my mom got baptized here and became a member of SJCAC. As a fourteen year old, I am here today following in her same footsteps. As Psalm 78:6 says, ”So the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children.” Like a lot of people, I accepted Christ at VBS multiple times when I was young but never really understood the meaning of dedicating one’s life to follow Christ. I was born into a Christian family, so I was surrounded by faith in God modeled for me by those around me at SJCAC and New Vine. However, my journey of faith had its struggles, as I was always scared and unsure about myself. “Was that God speaking to me or was I just imagining it?” “How come God is speaking to other people but not me?” I was unsure both in my spiritual walk but also just in the everyday parts of my life. Looking back, there were plenty of times where God had spoken to me. While I was at Winter Retreat, God spoke to me, telling me to stop doubting Him and trust that it was Him speaking to me. Another obstacle I faced was fear in general and taking a step of faith. Fear was holding me back from doing things in life that I wanted to do. For example, for the longest time I had been afraid of heights. When we went camping, I was confronted with the decision to zipline… or not to? Spending several hours watching people go by, I decided to just face my fears and just do it. Afterwards, it wasn’t even that bad. In the same way, silly as it sounds, the thought of going up in front of everyone prevented me from getting baptized. I just had to take a step of faith and let go of my fears. It seemed like every person that got up to give a baptism testimony had a big event, a miracle or gigantic problem that God delivered them from. For me, I felt like it wasn’t my time to get baptized because I had never experienced a big event or miracle firsthand. I felt like my relationship with God wasn’t strong enough and because I didn’t have a big event, it wasn’t my time. I kept waiting and waiting. One day while I was in the car on the way to school, I realized that one doesn’t need a big event, a miracle, or a sign to follow the Lord. I realized that God had been watching over me my entire life…. I didn’t have to be full of sorrowful events or problems to give my all to Jesus. Not everyone needs a giant life changing experience or a miracle. I had heard God’s voice many times and experienced His great deeds around me but I thought that it wasn’t enough. People all around me were accepting Jesus as their Lord and Savior and experienced His great love. God had told me to stop doubting Him and regardless of the fear and doubt I was feeling, to get baptized as an act of obedience. What was holding me back was my own reluctance to give to Him. After that revelation, I felt closer to God and experienced His presence more often. Now that I have accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, I will trust that He will always be here for me, no matter what obstacles I’m facing. Without God and His unfailing love, I wouldn’t be standing here today taking this step of faith.