What's Your BOLD Next Step?

What's Your BOLD Next Step?

January 31, 2019

Three years ago today, we were baptized in the name of Jesus Christ - our Lord and Savior! It was one of the best days of our lives! We experienced this together and we will never forget this life-changing step in our faith journey. 

We were all sitting through the 11am Sunday Service at church on January 31st, 2016, when the message from the Pastor spoke into our hearts. 

The Pastor was speaking of reasons why people don’t get baptized (pride, embarrassment, fear, doubt, shame, etc.) but that God calls us to be baptized as a public declaration of our faith, obedience, and commitment to Jesus. 

God was calling us to be bold. My eyes welled up with tears, my heart filled with joy, and I couldn’t wait to take this step in my faith, out of love and obedience to Christ. But, I definitely felt afraid. I remember thinking: "I'm nervous, I'm not prepared, I'm intimidated to get up in front of everyone, and am I really ready for this?"

I peered to my right and stared down the row at my family. Each one of them were displaying nonverbal, anxious cues. Jake was rubbing his hands on his pants, Mom was smiling, Jeff and Nick were absorbing the message, and Dad was eagerly waiting for someone to say, “Let’s go!

After a few minutes of silence, we all stared at each other and knew it was time - time to be baptized.  We were not planning on it, but God was! 

I wouldn't have said the same thing 7 years ago before I knew Jesus - I felt guilty, unworthy, and that Jesus wouldn’t forgive my mistakes. I was prideful and even ashamed. Thankfully, this is not how God views us. He says that we are holy, blameless, and righteous through faith in Jesus (see Colossians 1:22). God doesn't call us to be "perfect" and "clean" before coming to Him and living for Him (see Hebrews 4:16). 

Now, back to the story. We all got up from our seats, headed to the front desk, registered, and got our name tags.  I could feel the joy, nerves, and excitement all bubbling up inside of me. We went to the changing room (thankfully, the church had clothes for those who didn’t plan to get baptized, but were prompted by God).  

We joined the long line and waited anxiously to enter the pool. A friend of ours was there and was so excited. He hugged us and said, “I am going in with you - we will need the manpower.”  

The music from the band was pounding deep into my chest- I could feel the powerful presence of God in that very moment. The love and excitement of the church community was incredible. The song, “Closer”, was playing and still brings tears to my eyes when I hear it.

At last, we all climbed down the ladder with boldness from the Holy Spirit. Dad was pumping his fists in the air and getting very excited. 

The six of us lined up in the pool- the moment was surreal. There are no set of words that I can use to describe the overwhelming amount of joy and courage that I experienced in that moment.  

The Pastor grabbed everyone by the arms and said, “Do you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, to follow Him everyday for the rest of your lives?”

We all yelled, “Yes!”, plugged our noses, and down we went (legs flailing and all).

We flew up out of the water and we were made new. I sensed Jesus saying, "I love you and will always be with you - don’t forget that.” 

Everyone hugged each other with gigantic smiles and open arms. It was an amazing experience to go through together.

God is truly great - thank you for leading us, loving us, and guiding us today and each day forward! Thank you for continuing to make a beautiful masterpiece of all of our broken pieces. Thank you for washing us clean by your Grace and Truth!

The whole church staff was amazing - hugging, offering congratulatory remarks, and filled with smiles!  Life was forever changed. There is no greater gift than to know you are loved, known, and honoring the Lord Jesus- our Savior and Creator.

It fully made me realize that nothing else matters but God and relationships sealed with love! 

“There is no life without You
You have all that we need
Where You are
Every fear is broken
And the darkness must flee

Closer and closer
We want to know You
Reaching out
Reaching out
Here in Your presence
We want to go deeper
In Your light
Come alive” 

Song: 'Closer' by Hillsong Worship

Over the last 6 years, our faith has grown tremendously. Through the highs and lows, we have grown in our relationship with Jesus and in our knowledge of Him - His character of love, truth, forgiveness, mercy, strength, and humbleness. We are far from perfect and have our share of weaknesses, but we are so thankful that God continues to guide and empower us, as we each imperfectly walk with Him. It isn't always easy. We experience fears and anxieties, but God is faithful as we step out, even if we feel afraid. 

So, what bold next step is God calling you to do? What bold step makes you feel afraid? What if today, you prayed for God to fill you with His Boldness to step out, even if you feel afraid. 

When we step out for the Glory of God, He shows off! Let's let our faith be bigger than our feelings of fear! Praying for God to fill you with boldness.

"This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Bold in Christ, 

Jess, Nick, and Jeff

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