After having just written a baptism scene for the main character in my latest book, I wanted to share something with you. The joy surrounding it made me reflect back on my own journey to a kneeling position at the foot of the cross.
I remember the exact moment when God's grace made sense to me. I was trying to figure life out as a teenager, and a few friends from school invited me to church. I hadn't been to church in a very long time, maybe even since I was a small child. Needless to say, God was not the forefront of my life or a priority in any way. When I finally accepted their invitation, it took me awhile to even let my pride down enough to fully engage and listen. On a whim (or what I thought was a whim, now I look back and see it as the work of the Holy Spirit), I signed up for a backpacking trip with the high school youth group. I didn't know anyone, but I went anyway. During a quiet time, they asked me to read a few verses from 2 Peter. Not knowing much about the Bible, I "accidentally" read 1 Peter 1:3-9. Everything I had been going through finally made sense, and in that one moment, my life was set on a new course.
When I came back from the backpacking trip, it was as if I had new eyes. I was seeing the world through God's glasses, and my heart ached for those who didn't understand the love and grace God freely gave them. I stood in awe how one little "accident" changed my life.
A few months later, my church did a few baptisms. I knew it was something that I wanted to do, publicly commit myself in front of my new church family to God. When I stood with my arms crossed, waiting to be lowered down into the water, I remember thinking "there's no turning back". Although I already knew in my heart it was the choice I wanted for my life, something I felt called to, it seemed like I was moving a mountain as a sixteen year old girl. When the pastor pulled me up out of the water, I remember hearing the whole congregation break out in applause and cheering. Their excitement for me matched the joy in my soul.
In a few months, "From Across the Sea" will be available for test readers. I can't wait to share with all of you the beautiful moments that are creating this story, that honestly, is such a joy for me to be creating.