I almost named this blog “Rough Start.” or else, “Baptism.” because so much has happened, but no matter what, God is Awesome!
I couldn’t think of a more appropriate title not only because it’s true, but because He proves this over and over again, even in the smallest of ways.
Last month I started my devotions by going through the book of Proverbs. We read more than once that it’s about Wisdom. As I finished reading the book of Wisdom, I moved into my new devotional plan, The 30-Day Praise Challenge, and the first item of praise was for God’s Wisdom.
God’s timing is just amazing. It was a great flow from one devotional to the next and
I also came to a new conclusion that as I embark on a new journey of actively growing closer to God, as I seek after wisdom, that I truly am re-dedicating my life to the Lord. That’s why I decided to get baptized.
I was asked if I was interested in being baptized but I didn’t think I was. To me, it seemed like the kind of thing you do closer to the beginning of your walk with God but I’ve been a believer for a long time so I felt like if I did it now it would just be because someone happened to be offering to do a baptism…
Anyway, as I was going through my devotional one night, I was praising God for His wisdom and thanking Him for allowing us to access that wisdom… and also repenting for waiting so long to take advantage of that gift.
See, I’ve been a believer for a very long time (my parents came to faith when I was a year old so I was raised in the Ottawa Messianic Fellowship, and then I really dedicated myself to the Lord at my bat-mitzvah) but I hadn’t been actively strengthening or deepening my relationship with Him, or trying to grow in my knowledge of Him.
I was content in being stagnant. I felt like I could just go along and keep doing that.
For many people, or I guess I should say for many American young adults, their 21st birthday is a mark of “being allowed to drink, legally” but for me, it was more like, “I’m actually an adult. I need to take responsibility for my own faith.”
So, I am interested in being baptised to mark a new chapter in my journey.
It’s really been amazing to look back and see where I was and where I am now. As a child, I went to church because I had a few really good friends there. I’ve had a hard time with friendships in the past so I really clung to people when I could, when I felt we had a connection… but I wasn’t clinging to God as tightly, and I certainly wasn’t going to church with the right mindset, or the right heart. Then I decided, at my bat-mitzvah, that as a “woman of God” I needed to step up my game. I needed to do it right.
It was born out of a sense of “I have to do this now” rather than “I want to do this” but it did start to change my heart and I was more interested in going to church to learn. I still clung to my friends but I would be ok if they didn’t show up one week too.
That continued throughout high school and it was slow but there was a bit of growth there because as I grew up, I was given more responsibility and I became more active in certain ministries.
Then I got to university and it was a whole new environment. I was an adult, I was so much more responsible for myself, I had to make new friends and new habits and I had to decide what would be important in my life. I knew God had to be front and center, so I sought out solid Christian friends. And I found some.
And they pushed me hard!
I changed a lot in that first year, and then continued to grow through my second year as well.
Last year, as you all know, I spent ten months in Brussels, Belgium. I was far from “home” (the meaning of which has since come into question), but more importantly I was far from my parents and spiritual family.
I learned a lot, about myself, about life, about school and about my Heavenly Father.
Now I’m back in Canada, and I know I want to keep growing!
Back to God being awesome and having the best timing for things, (as well as an explanation for the alternate title, “Rough Start”) I’m actually a fourth-year student. But having gone away, I was set back a year in the Journalism program. So I’m taking third-year courses right now. But I’m still a fourth-year student in the systems at school.
So I missed an important email sent out to third-year students.
And therefore missed a mandatory equipment training workshop.
This launched two days of hell for me.
I was beyond stressed out, I felt guilty for something completely beyond my control and I was scrambling to find a solution but I felt helpless. I was so discouraged. I reached out for help but was met with weak excuses or complete silence for a long time. Finally, a friend agreed to help me out, and then one other person dared to be kind and offered to help, though she felt unqualified.
And eventually everything worked out.
Genesis 50:20 tells us: “But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good […]” (NKJV)
That was so true in this case. I felt overwhelmed and attacked and useless against forces working against me, but God turned it around, used it to teach me, and really made everything better than I even could have hoped!
*To be continued in the next post (kind of like last month, it’ll be up very quickly after this one)