(Said as a speech on the day of my baptism)
Growing up in a Christian family has, I believe, had a huge impact on me coming to know the Lord. One of my first prayers, when I was three or four, was to ask the Lord to help me find my lost teddy bear! I'm pretty sure that's not what God had in mind when He told us to pray, but at least I was learning how important prayer is supposed to be in your life. Meal time Bible readings and prayers as well as going to Church and Sunday School were things that made a huge impact on my childhood. From an early age, I was taught about God and that I needed a personal relationship with Him. Basically, I've always had all the head knowledge about God, but it was really my heart and my life He wanted!
My awareness about God sprang into action when I was about twelve, and my younger sister became a believer. I remember being really depressed around this time, and often coming to tears as the realization of my sinfulness hit me day after day. I saw that my sister's whole attitude had changed and she understood the commitment she had made, despite how much younger than me she was. For the first time, I felt that she was wiser and better than I was, and I didn't like that! But my heart, still steadfastly in rebellion towards God, refused His clear calling. I convinced myself that it didn't matter now, and that I'd follow the Lord when I was older and understood more. I then went on living my own way. Although people may have thought me a Christian at school and other places, as I had been brought up to follow Christian morals and live by them, no one except God knew the spiritual warfare going on in my heart.
By 2008, I was again beginning to think about God. Over the years, I was constantly becoming convicted of my sin and my need for a saviour. But in my sinfulness, I continued to put God off and live my own way. Then one day, the elders from my Church came to our house for their pastoral visit. My sister and I were now considered old enough to sit in on part of it. Over hot drinks and bickies, my pastor opened a passage in the Bible. I can't remember now what the passage was or what he said to explain it afterwards, but I do remember that it struck my heart and convinced me more strongly than ever of my need for salvation.
So over the next few weeks, I began to seriously consider all these things over and over in my mind. And then it struck me - I shouldn't be waiting! God could come that second and excuses such as “I'm not old enough to understand” would be too late. So, on a normal sunny Sunday morning, as I lay in my bunk bed, I asked the Lord to help me to follow Him.
My baptism meant a lot to me. It symbolized my new union with Christ. The coming up out of the water was a symbol of cleansing, leaving my old sinful ways behind and letting God be the leader of my life. My prayer is that you, also, will come to know the Lord as I have come to know Him. Yes, you will still struggle with sin in your life, but you will have someone to lead you out of it and keep you on the right path. Accept Him today! It is never too early and He is coming again soon!