Here is the life-change story of one of the persons who recently was baptized by our church:
“Before I trusted Christ, I was very lost and distrusting that anything or anyone could help reshape me into the person I was meant to be. I felt alone in life, as if I had no one to turn to that could accept me for who I am and guide me in a way that could bring positive change to my life and those around me. My life before Christ was filled with chaos and destruction. I faced hardship, and looking back on that hardship, now it is clear that I had no intention of trusting God or handing any part of my life over to him. Everywhere I turned there seemed to be another thing that went wrong, or I did wrong, another relationship I destroyed or that destroyed me, another regretful decision I made. I stayed ashamed and consumed by guilt for those I had hurt. I lived in my own selfish desires. I turned into a person I didn't like and a person who was filled with so much hate and resentment and fear. I turned dark and numb. I treated people poorly because I was hurting and decided to drag everyone around me down so that they could feel the pain too. I considered taking my life on multiple occasions, thinking there is no purpose for me here—I bring nothing to the table and offer no one anything except for disappointment, resentment and sadness. I felt empty as if I had already died, just going through the motions to make it another day.
I was deceitful, manipulative and untrusting. I gave up. I just threw up my hands and said, “I quit!” I felt like everyone had given up on me because of all the pain I had caused them. I lived with constant anxiety and fear of the unknown. The toll my actions had taken on my relationships, on my mind and my body, was unbearable, and the possibility of ever restoring any of that seemed so far-fetched. I wore a mask. I learned to hide my pain because I was too prideful to let my guard down. I didn't feel like anyone or anything could actually help me. I placed myself in dangerous situations with no regard as to what would happen to others or myself when doing so. There were more days than not when I felt as though my life would never get better. I was alone. I needed to loosen my need for control. It's something I wanted to do, but distrust and pride stepped in my way.
I decided to trust Christ because I have seen how he has worked in the lives of many around me. I decided that the only way to successfully release myself from that burden of control was to trust in Christ. I feel God is the only being who can ease my worries and guide me into becoming a better person. I have someone to turn to who will always have by back and will never pass judgment or be angry for coming to him. I have prayed and have been overwhelmed with warmth and comfort, and for that very reason I owe him my trust. I know he has forgiven me, and I can trust he will help me forgive myself. I know that my relationship with my husband, kids, family and friends will become stronger.
Trusting in Christ has given me hope. More hope than I have ever felt. I finally feel excited about life and how I can make it better not only for myself but for others. I am enthusiastic about finding self-worth and my purpose for being here. I don't feel I need to be so selfish because when trusting Christ, I can put my life in his hands.”