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.