A couple weeks ago, we were able to witness the baptism of high school senior, Courtney. I always get chills when I watch baptisms. I think it’s because there’s something so raw and honest about them. The complete surrender involved, the commitment, the imagery and intimacy in baptism is breathtaking. And Courtney’s was no different.
Courtney has been attending 1BL for a couple years now, but it wasn’t consistent until about two months ago. “Things would be going good and I’d stop going thinking I’m okay on my own without church,” she said. The main thing holding her back from surrendering to Christ’s love was the want to follow her own desires and plans.
It wasn’t until a low point in her life that God grabbed her attention. She had lost relationships and felt worthless and used. She knew she needed the love and comfort of God so she went back to HSM. “The sermon was as if it was written for me,” Courtney says. “The message was about feeling hopeless and worthless, but that in the eyes of God you are His child. He sees your hurt and knows your pain and He’s the good Shepherd that goes to find His lost sheep. I was in tears as I heard that. It was my turning point.”
Courtney decided to get baptized because she felt like a new person and wanted to proclaim that victory. It is important for her that people know she’s not perfect and that she’s unworthy of God’s love and forgiveness, but because of Jesus and His sacrifice on the cross, she is forgiven. She is worthy.
So a couple weeks ago, on Sunday morning, we watched as our High School pastor, Nick, baptized Courtney. We watched her surrender completely and proclaim her commitment to Christ – the imagery and intimacy of the moment causing chills.
“I think the biggest characteristic of God that has been really apparent in my life is that He is my Protector.” Courtney says. “He has shown me that He’s protective over me by removing me from situations and relationships that were harmful. It’s beautiful to look back and see that. And I can’t wait to spend forever serving and praising him.”
God pulled Courtney out of her old life and into new life with Him. As she surrendered to the water in baptism, she surrendered her plans and desires to Him, trusting that He would continue to protect and care for her needs.
Are you allowing Christ to be your Shepherd, your Protector today?
What is it that you need to surrender to Him?
Written by: Hannah Hagen