Last weekend, I got baptized.
Leading up to this event, a lot of people thought I had already been baptized. Although I was raised going to church (if you could even call it that — I was a Christmas and Easter kind of attendee), I grew up knowing who God was and was a believer.
For the past couple of months, everything about my faith has changed. I’m really happy to say that I now have an actual relationship with God. I am actively seeking him and praying to him, I go to church and I even meet with a group of girlfriends each week.
We call ourselves an Ohana Group and we recently finished a 6-week series titled “Daring Faith.” Over the course of 6 weeks, I have gotten to know these women really well — we have cried together, laughed, learned and definitely grew spiritually. We learned about our struggles and how to trust them and we took the leap of faith to leave things up to God.
About halfway through the course, my friend Torri asked me if I wanted to get baptized. At first, I wondered why. Why do I need to make this public declaration of my faith if already knew in my heart that I belong to Jesus?
And then I started to doubt — which in “Daring Faith” we were advised numerous times not to do. I doubted myself and my worth. Why should I make my love toward God public if I sin everyday? Isn’t that hypocritical? What if I continue to live a life that simply isn’t good enough for him?
I am so happy and grateful Torri invited me to get baptized with her and her family. She has definitely been a solid rock in my foundation of my relationship with Christ. Leading up to the week of our baptism, I started to get nervous. I kept mentioning to Torri that I didn’t think I was ready and maybe I shouldn’t go. A friend of mine even invited me to go on a trip with her that weekend and I heavily considered going just to avoid it altogether.
I’m not sure if I voiced my concerns to Torri or if she just knew. But she told me that we are never ready, and that’s where faith steps in.
“You cannot move forward in faith and hold onto the past at the same time. If you want to walk on water, you have to get out of the boat.” (Daring Faith)
Plus, that week we talked about taking initiative. Up until then, I was improving and doing things God wanted me to do and then I plateaued so to speak. A voice in my head started to ask, “OK, you’ve been reading the bible and doing daily devotions, even meeting with friends who share the same beliefs, now what? When are you going to start living and doing and practicing what you preach?”
So on Sunday, May 22, I showed up to Ali‘i Beach in Haleiwa — late of course — and got baptized. It was really a perfect day. My mom and Paul, my dad and stepmom, my Aunty, cousin, two grandpas and even my dog Bear were all there for me.
And I didn’t even get to the best part yet:
Still nervous, I asked my parents if they would come into the water with me for support. Of course they said yes. When we were about to go in, my mom asked me, “Wait, can I do it with you?”
I immediately burst into tears. I won’t delve into all of the details but this was definitely a miracle. My first reaction was, “Do you even know what this means?”
To which my mom responded, “Yes, Paul’s been explaining it to me all week. If I ever do it, I want to do it with you.”
“In all things God works for the good of those who love him.” (Romans 8:28)
“What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived — the things God has prepared for those who love him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9)