I am celebrating the 10th anniversary of being baptized this year. I have been reflecting on the past 10 years and everything God has done for me.
I was 12 when I asked to be baptized. People in the church and my family questioned if I really knew what I was committing to. I prayed about it all the time, and I knew God was calling me. I had to wait about three months before the ministry would baptize me, and I am extremely grateful for that time. I read scriptures, and I met with teachers from my branch to learn more about the church. I felt so close to God, and when I was finally baptized, I knew God was with me.
As I got older, I became very distracted from God and the church. I was letting other things control my life, and I focused on all the wrong things. I would still go to church but out of routine and not because I wanted to be there.
I got a job my junior year of high school, and I was working every Sunday and Wednesday night, so I very rarely went to church. During that time, I became depressed, stressed, and empty. I felt like it was a good thing that I didn’t go to church because I didn’t have to face everyone. I didn’t want anyone from my family or my church to know what I was going through.
Soon, it was my senior year, and everything was changing fast, and I felt lost. When I graduated, I started college online, but I ended up quitting after the first semester because the college had issues and I didn’t have the motivation. I got even more depressed because I was seeing everyone I went to high school with go to college and experience life while I was still in my hometown, working my entry-level job.
I could barely look at myself in the mirror, so there was no way I could go to church. I was at a breaking point, and I didn’t know what to do. I was fighting with my family, and I was having problems with my job. Everything was going wrong, and the world that I built was falling apart. I felt alone and I thought God had forgotten about me.
I remember the exact moment I felt God’s presence again. I was alone, opening the store where I worked, and it was a Sunday morning. I was preparing for the day in the back-end of the store, and I started listening to the music that was playing on the radio. The song that was playing is a song that I used to listen to when I was first baptized. It is “Hold My Heart” by Tenth Avenue North, and when I heard it I froze.
I listened to the lyrics and felt a fire in my chest. I cried and prayed for forgiveness. I knew I needed God and realized how far away I’d gotten from Him. I was able to get off work early that day, and I caught the end of the church service, and I felt like I was back at home again. I hugged everyone a little tighter that day.
A couple of months later, I got a new job, and I got the weekends off — and I love the work. I recently moved to the Phoenix area to further my job opportunities, and I got a new position with the same company doing something that I love.
I am so thankful for my church family. Their love and support mean the world to me. My relationship with my family is so much better, and we are closer than ever before. I married my wonderful husband who stuck by me all this time. God gave me my husband when I needed him the most. More importantly, my relationship with God has never been this strong. God has blessed me beyond anything I thought imaginable and everything I have now is because of Him.
If you feel lost, confused, or depressed, please pray and look for God. He is always there, no matter what.
Editor’s Note: Today’s article and Tuesday’s article both mention spiritual birthdays — no, the writers didn’t plan it! — so, we invite you to leave a comment below about your spiritual birthday (how many years, how old you were, anything you’d like to mention)!
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.
Amen, it is wonderful what baptism can do. It is really powerful and it puts us on the right course in life. We should follow the leading of the Holy Spirit at all times. Thanks for sharing. I recently posted something similar: https://www.asrmartins.com/the-holy-spirit/
June 12, 1979. 41 years ago. 18 years old. Missed my high school graduation because I wanted to go to campout. Best decision I ever made.
Awesome testimony Sister. GOD Bless you!!! I wasnt going to share this because its quite lengthy but I was encouraged to. I Was Baptized through the ice at Branch #1 (Detroit MI) on Feburary 7th, 1999. Unfortunately I fell away from the Church in my mid 20’s then was reinstated approx 8 years later on July 13, 2014. Amazing how GOD Works and how HE lets you know HE still loves you and wants you back when you fall away in such a beautiful welcoming way. There were five amazing experiences that happen leading up to my reinstatement that let me know GOD was indeed welcoming me back home. A few months before I was reinstated, Two Brothers heard a voice say “He Is Ready” at different times. Brother Paul Whitton heard it when I stood up to be Prayed on for Spiritual guidance and then a few minutes later Brother Paul Stallard heard it when I sat in the Chair. Before the day of my reinstatement, Brother Richard Lafredo had a dream that I was in my works clothes and that I was going to back to work for THE LORD. The day of my reinstatement, Brother Nephi was saying the Prayer to reinstate me and Brother Paul Lambert heard these words, “Gary my Son, you have returned to me. I waited at the road all those years. My Son who was dead now lives. My prodigal has returned.” Lastly, I am a horrible singer and the night before I was singing “Victory in JESUS” at the top of my lungs and normally I would be told to go outside or to please shut up but no one in my house said anything. Well after the Prayer Brother Nephi said, Brother Lou Vitto started to sing “Victory In JESUS” and the rest of the Branch joined in. I should also throw in the between my request for reinstatement and the actual reinstatement I had my second open heart surgery and THE LORD saw me through. Thank YOU JESUS for saving my soul, thank you LORD for making me whole.
GOD Bless and GOD Love You all!!!
June 26, 1977 is my spiritual birthday. I was 19 years old. I had asked when I was 14 but my parents didn’t permit it thinking I was too young. I remember feeling convicted and knowing that I shouldn’t put it off any longer. The thought kept going through my mind “what if I de tomorrow and am not baptized, knowing that I should be?” I didn’t want to be judged by that. It was the best decision I ever made. When I left the church in early 90’s, it was 24 years later when I came back and got reinstated on April 20, 2014. 2nd chances are acts of God’s grace and mercy. I am so blessed He called me back to the family of God.
Amen! God will not allow us to go astray. He loves us too much. He will never forsake us.