Why I Chose to be Baptized

I was raised by a born-Irish Catholic mother and born-Southern Baptist father– neither of whom were practicing Christians throughout my upbringing.

By the time I came along, my mother was “Catholic’d” out due to her forced enrollment into Catholic school.  I never talked much to my dad about religion.  Anytime I went to church, I was a visitor with a neighbor or friend from school.  Every summer when I’d visit my paternal grandparents in Georgia, my grandmother would take me to church while my father would sleep in.  I always wanted a closer relationship with God but was afraid of what it might mean.

Religion was almost laughable in my household– don’t get me wrong, my parents believe in God and that Jesus died for our sins, but they’ve always had that, “Church is full of hypocrites,” sentiment.  They’d claim to be more “spiritual than religious.”  I’m guilty of it myself.  I’ve never been inside a church with my parents, needless to say, I’d definitely never been baptized.

Even with all of that– being baptized has always been something I wanted to do.  I always felt like God should be the driving force in my life but I wasn’t quite sure if I was ready to give up all of the worldly things I held so dear.  I was always afraid of what others would think of me but I finally decided that this is something I needed to do for myself.  A very close friend of mine inspired me to make that step in faith and start taking care of my spiritual needs.  I realized that all of my worldly possessions were temporary and really just crutches in fleeting happiness.  None of those things brought me genuine joy, maybe they did for a few moments, or even a few years– but nothing of the world is permanent.

In the past, my view of baptism and being saved meant that I’d have to change who I am completely.  I’ve grown to learn … that is not the case.  I am still the same me, but with a stronger hold in knowing who I am and what I want/need from life.  My friends (and family) have been completely supportive of my decision too and have even shared my sentiments in wanting to become better, spiritually.  I was really surprised at their reaction.  We’re so used to “turning up,” that I was afraid that they’d think I’d changed.  But instead they’ve been nothing but encouraging.  In life, we’re all searching for something to help us reach ever-fleeting happiness. Some find it in alcohol, in drugs, in unhealthy relationships– but I felt like it was time to find a way to surround myself with productive and positive people in the community.  What better way to do so than to fellowship with other people who are committed to doing right?  (Not to say that they’re always successful.) To know that you’re around people whom are genuinely committed to self-improvement is comforting. It is said you are the average of the five people you surround yourself with, and after a year of adjusting to my life completely removed from all I’ve known– I felt like it was time to improve my average.

My goal behind sharing this is not to say, “I did this, so you should too,” or even to say, “I was born again so from here on out I’ll never sin again.”  That’s not my intent.  I’m sharing this for any and everyone whom may have had the slightest inclination to take this step in their spiritual journey.  If you’ve ever had half the mind or the heart to make this small gesture to the world, I encourage you to do so.  It really is an enlightening experience in the quest for betterment.  The people and the judgement that you are so worried may be all for naught.  Your story may inspire others without you even realizing.  That’s how I ended up here.  I saw someone close to me make the same decision I made today and I’ve only seen good things while she’s changed for the better– the core person within is still the same.  She’s just on the quest for betterment and productivity … and I wanted to be apart of that.

So here it is, for you to see.  I hope that the small peak into my decision has got you thinking about ways that you may be able to better yourself spiritually.  Whether it be through religion or otherwise because that’s what life is about right?  I’m a strong believer in the saying, “public successes, private struggles,” so I’m not completely comfortable publishing my struggles for the world to see.  But just know that this was a step in the right direction for me and while I know I haven’t seen my last of struggle, I can say with full conviction that I feel that much more prepared for when the next storm comes along.

I wasn’t going to share this video but I decided that I would.  It was a classic “Awkward Danica Moment,” in that I asked my pastor if I could hold my nose because I have really big nostrils.  The congregation was cracking up.  Le sigh!  Any who, here’s to new beginnings …

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If I looked scared out of my mind, it’s because I was!  1/12/2014

Comments

comments

Comments

  1. The reality of the situation is that once you have been baptized in the name of Jesus you aren’t the same; you are a new creature and that’s okay. Yes that’s a scary decision to make but as you’ve seen for yourself those people who love and respect you will support you 100% through your process. Being a Christian does not make you perfect; some magic wand is not waved that turns you into a robot who can do no wrong but you are now accountable to yourself and God and that means you know the importance of repenting when you stumble and striving to be holy. Nobody is perfect but we walk in line with His word because He was wounded for OUR transgressions and bruised for OUR iniquities. I’m glad you posted this because so many people are confused about the whole process and the more we spread the Word the more people will understand what it’s really about. I love you and I love this!

    1. Author

      Omgosh! I couldn’t have said it better than the way you did here! Seriously, I always thought that being saved meant I could never do wrong ever again. While I don’t intend to use it as a “how much can I get away with/get out of jail free card,” I know that I will make mistakes– and that’s okay, as long as those mistakes don’t define who I am. It really is amazing to see how supportive everyone is. I couldn’t be more thankful to have people around me that only want to see the best from me and vice versa. Today’s message was about how people come up with a bajillion excuses to not go to church, ie. the church is too judgmental– not any more judgemental than non-church goers, people don’t want to be lectured– they really don’t want to be preached to, people in church are hypocritical– everyone has their own journey and everyone stumbles … so on and so forth. It was perfect. Bottom line is, definitely the best decision I’ve made thus far and I’m so happy to have your support.

  2. Sirmans!!
    I am so glad you decided to share this part of your life with the world! It took me a minute to decide to be baptized because I was always trying to be “worthy” of the baptism, or be “worthy” to be called a Christian. (When in reality, that is one of the biggest lies that keeps so many people from making the jump into a relationship with Jesus!!)

    I am so encouraged by your witness and example. I am glad you shared this because, you’re right, someone, somewhere is having the same conversation with themselves that you had, and your public baptism and you sharing your story behind your decision is such a testament to why we get baptized. 🙂

    So excited for you.

    Have a wonderful day friend! Thanks for sharing, this made me smile!!!!

    Jenn

    1. Lebron! That’s exactlyyy how I felt too! … Like I had to completely perfect for a certain amount of time before I could present myself to the Lord. I really appreciate you showing your support! It definitely helps to know there are others that understand my point of view and made the same decision I did!

  3. This is amazing and to God be all the of the glory! This is a very special moment and I am so happy that you shared this with others. I am save but your blog and explanation for salvation helped me to justify so much more in my life and simplify the reason I made the decision that I did. Nothing can compare to the agape love of God and the feeling of protection everyday. What profits a man to gain the world but lose his soul. Welcome sister. Salvation doesn’t make us perfect it allows us to be forgiven and forgivable for all the things we will do.

    1. Thanks soooo much, Cherell! And thanks so much for sharing! I completely agree with everyyything you said and it really just feels amazing to have other women feel the same. I hope all is well on your end! Thank you for helping me feel supported by another sister-in-Christ. 🙂 Well wishes!

  4. Danica,

    I am so proud of you! You don’t know how happy I was to see this. Especially knowing that my daughter, Stephanie was one of the friends from school/neighbors you “visited” church with when we lived in VA. Regarding sin, and change, and aligning yourself with God; you don’t have to worry about that anymore. While like you said, “it is not a license to sin,” the moment you received Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour all of your past, present and future sins are forgiven. There is nothing you can do to earn your salvation. That would defeat the purpose of Jesus’ death on the cross. All you have to do is what you already did which is to receive it willingly. It is a gift. That’s what a lot of people don’t get. They don’t want to accept Jesus because they think that they have to change their lifestyle and stop sinning when all they have to do is accept the free gift and he will transform them. For some people the transformation happens right away, for others it happens gradually and over time. I was one of those people that it took a while to align my lifestyle with His. It happened to me when I was finally able to really grasp the magnitude of what He did for me on the cross. Today, I am in such awe and so grateful for what He did that I don’t want to offend him, I don’t want to sin. Not because I am afraid of losing my salvation but because I want to honor Him and thank Him with my life. The bottom line is that just for receiving Christ as your Lord and Saviour, your sins are forgotten and God sees you as he sees Jesus. Sinless, perfect and holy!

    Again, I am very proud of you. Thanks for posting the video. I smiled the whole time I watched it. God bless you!!

    1. Ms. Jeannette,
      Wow! I think it’s sooo perfect that you saw this post because I was definitely referring to you! I remember going to Denbigh Church of God with you and heading over to the World Outreach Center with Stephanie over on Industrial! haha! Good times. I really enjoyed those moments and to think that you helped plant the seed is definitely worth mentioning! Everything you said is completely spot-on and I’m so glad you shared! Part of me is thankful that I wasn’t directly raised in church because it allowed me to see the value in it. However, I am especially thankful for having people like you to help mentor me in Christ and see me along the way. I hope all is well on your end. Sending you and your beautiful family all of my love!

      Danica

  5. Danica,
    I tabbed this link a while ago when you first posted it because it caught me completely by surprise and I was very curious to read about your new found journey into a deeper relationship with God. I almost closed the tab a few times while de-cluttering my browser but I am truly glad that I didn’t as I was blessed by this article and found it very refreshing. As a friend, I am very proud of you not only for your decision to brave a new path in life but also for the way in which you chose to share it. This being the first full-length article I’ve read on the Camarillo complex, I must say I am very impressed and I hope you and the girls continue to deliver valuable content such as this in very professional and eloquently written manner.

    Wishing you all the best individually and collectively. Keep it up!

    – Austin Q.

    1. Thanks, Austin! I appreciate you taking the time to read it and I hope it didn’t disappoint! We appreciate the support and I’m sure that you are holding up just fine in the “grown-up” world. I’ll be looking out for you, I have no doubt you’re going far. Thanks sooo much again for your support and you well wishes.
      Sending nothing but positivity in your direction.
      – Danica

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