I will be perfectly honest, I don't remember my age or the exact circumstance I was in when I was baptized for the first time. Attending church from an early age, the whenever the doors were open kinda church goer, it was just expected that you decide to be baptized when you are young. However, I don't truly remember FULLY giving my whole life to God. I guess I could give myself some grace and chalk it up to being so young and not really understanding the power of all of it. I do remember feeling that I truly felt the presence of God, it always seemed like the Holy Spirit was filling me up. So, I do remember making the choice to climb in that baptism tank and wash away those sins.

BUT I didn’t know what "laying down that old life" "washing away those sins" "confirming in front of others that I will choose God's way over all other ways" really meant. I mean, I was young and really did NOT want to spend eternity in a lake of fire. So I knew, being baptized was something that needed to be done.

Fast forward a few years (okay fast forward a LOT of years) and walking away from my faith; which was another choice I made. In reality, it was more like running away from the path God had designed for me. Doing this only lead down another path that was filled with confusion. It lead to a great deal of disappointment and at times, deep and dark moments of despair. All because I whole heartedly believed the lies the enemy was screaming all around me. I wasn't good enough. I wasn't a firm enough Christian. I wasn't born into a long line of Christian faith. EVEN THOUGH, the DIVINE Truth is that I was created by the Almighty. Therefore, I was created for a specific purpose for His Glory and His Kingdom. Nonetheless, I kept trying to live according to my own plans created MANY situations that were either embarrassing or flat out shameful! All of which caused a crack in the foundation and that just gave the enemy the wiggle room to come in with all the lies and torment. Sadly, I fell for it, more than once.

Then, God moved in a mighty way in my life! A few years ago actually, God was pressing in to me, but I fought it like always. All because I still believed I wasn't up to a certain standard to be used by God. We forget this is when and how He wants us to come to Him. He told us to come as we are and share His redemption. Then it became obvious in January 2021 that a change (or a few) needed to be made. I started small, well in my eyes they were small steps but reality of it, they were big steps and finally steps in the right direction. The first step was fully surrendering my life to God and rebuilding my relationship with Him. The second step, attending a church. Something I said I would never EVER be a part of again! All because of "religion" hurt. Not church hurt or people hurt (even though there were a few situations that resulted in people hurt, but that's not what ultimately kept me away). If you would, allow me to be an example for you, when God has a calling and divine purpose on your life, He makes it VERY CLEAR!!! So this whole, "I will never be part of a church or THAT type of community again" was never a part of God's plan for me. He designed me to live in His ways and His path. He also created me to share in His goodness! That being said, the third step was making the choice to be RE-baptized. To willingly make the choice, MY choice, to RE-declare in front of family and friends, that I choose to do things differently, that I will walk in His path and lay down my old life and the old ways that lead to so much shame and unrest.

I will never forget the day I was RE-washed of the old me, May 30, 2021! Surrounded by family and friends that are like family to me and my church family were there to witness this rebirth. Not only for me, but for my children as well. You see, my older boys have WATCHED it ALL, the bad (some days the REAL bad) and now they are seeing the GOOD! They saw God moving in MY life and made the choice to be a part of this rebirth for our family! It finally felt like I was getting something right in this motherhood gig. So, as a family we became new in Him.

When I stepped into the baptism tank THIS TIME, a flood of the Holy Spirit came over me. I'm talking that warm presence of God that brings an electric feeling from head to toe. A safe and comforting hug of peace and new life. I could not hide, deny, or contain it. This was the most beautiful moment of my life. God was meeting me where I was in that moment, to take every single mistake, all my flaws, all the pain and heartache. so that HE could carry it. He knows it's just too heavy for our humanity to carry those things. In that moment, He washed me clean!

Now, NOW my responsibility is to share how God changed my life! I pray that I may encourage even just one person to reach out for God one more time. He will welcome you back with open arms, just as He did for me!

Embrace the power of God's redemption.

- Charity

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