I decided to get baptized recently, and I wanted to share my story with you - especially with anyone who has been thinking about getting baptized, too. But before I can explain why I chose to get baptized as an adult, I must first provide some context.
First, I have not been a "Christian" for my whole life. In fact, I haven't even been a Christian for most of my life. I only found Jesus around 2015, so about 7 years ago - and I'm currently 32. Yes, I was slightly familiar with Christianity and had heard of Jesus throughout my life, but not in a way that made me want to know more. [One day I'll post my entire, detailed testimonial, but for now, I've summarized it in my baptism video below - you'll get the idea.]
Growing up, I generally avoided religion, and Christians specifically, based on meeting some not-so-nice "Christian" people and due to my upbringing in a split household (my dad was atheist/agnostic at best and my mom was raised Catholic but not very religious, more secretly spiritual).
That is until I met my now-husband. When we started dating, he introduced me to a Jesus I had never known and a faith that seemed too good to be true. Good news, they called it. And it really was! Ever since then, I've continued my journey to know God more, to know Jesus more, and to be more like Him. Through that journey, of course, I've had ups and downs, questions and doubts, epiphanies and struggles, but possibly none more so than deciding whether or not I should get baptized as an adult. [I specifically say "as an adult" because I was christened, or baptized, as a baby in a Catholic church, but I obviously had no say or decision in that matter, and it meant nothing to me personally.]
And through that journey, I watched many people in our church community get baptized. I watched their testimonial videos and their baptisms, and I was brought to tears. Every. Single. Time. Why did these baptisms hit my heart so? What was in me that became so emotional during baptisms? I constantly thought through this. Was it purely tears of joy for these people publicly proclaiming their faith? Maybe a little. But also no. We're humans, so of course, there was something a little more selfish in me that was being triggered. If I'm really honest with myself, it was a little bit of jealousy or envy watching someone believe and profess so openly and so freely. I've been a very guarded person throughout most of my life (for mostly good reasons), and to see people with the ability to be so vulnerable - in public, no less - showed me a piece of me that seemed... broken. I wanted to be able to trust in God and have such a strong faith in Jesus that I could be so public and open about it, too. But it took me a REALLY long time to get there.
In fact, in the first few years of my faith journey, I barely talked to anyone about it besides those in my church and in my small group. And my husband, of course. But I hid that part of my life from most of my other family members and even my closest friends. I knew that some were not of the same beliefs as me, and I was afraid of being judged for my newfound beliefs. Or worse, being abandoned because of it. And maybe I was a little afraid of "committing" to the faith, because what if God let me down one day? Or fear of embarrassment from being on video and sharing my story, because I hate seeing myself and hearing my own voice... Stupid, I know.
But that's the keyword there... AFRAID. FEAR. Fear of commitment, fear of judgment, fear of abandonment, and loss. I've made too many decisions based on fear, which is exactly what the Enemy wants us to do. It is not how God intended us to live, and I've lived my life too long this way.
So finally, after years of being moved to tears by the baptisms of others and facing my own internal struggle with baptism, I really started to dig deeper inwardly. I started praying about baptism more. I even sat down and did a specific Bible study in the Word about baptism. Here are my Bible study notes from then (which was September 2021):
Why Should I Get Baptized As An Adult?
In 2021, I decided that I wanted to soon lead my first small group of women. As I began that process to become a small group leader with my church, I was notified that one of the church's requirements for all leaders was to have been baptized *as an adult* (because I asked, no my infant christening did not count).
So, while I was willing to get baptized just to become a leader, I wasn't personally satisfied with that reasoning along. It felt icky like I would be doing it for the wrong reasons. And I was right - what a selfish reason to get baptized! In fact, I had my baptism scheduled and ended up canceling it until I could find in my heart the RIGHT reasons to get baptized.
So, "why should I really get baptized as an adult" is the question I asked myself. I decided to go to Scripture to try and answer it. I first found Bible verses with the word "baptism" or "baptize" in them and then read each (I'm sure this isn't all mentions of baptism in the Bible, but these are the ones that God brought to my attention).
Matthew 28:19 - "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."
Mark 16:16 - "Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned."
John 3:5 - "Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit."
Acts 2:38 - "Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit."
Acts 2:41 - "Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day."
Acts 8:12 - "But when they believed Philip as he proclaimed the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women."
Acts 8:36-38 - "As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, 'Look, here is water. What can stand in the way of my being baptized?' And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him."
Acts 22:16 - "And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name.’"
1 Peter 3:21 - "and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ."
1 Corinthians 12:13 - "For we were all baptized by[a] one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink."
Galatians 3:27 - "for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ."
Ephesians 4:4-6 - "There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all."
In short, my studying of the Word lead me to this conclusion and direction from God: "John the Baptist baptized with water, and Jesus baptizes with the Holy Spirit. Be baptized in the name of Jesus Chris for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit."
And while my studies didn't seem to say that being baptized was a requirement of salvation (even though it was a requirement of our church for leadership positions), it did show that it is a public display of my commitment to Christ as my Savior. My husband made a really good point about this when I was struggling through it (hello, my commitment phobia!) - he said, "our wedding was the public profession of our commitment to each other through our marriage, just like baptism is a public profession of your commitment to Jesus as your Savior." DUH, right?! What a beautiful metaphor. That also really helped me make the decision to be baptized.
Lastly, I realized that my public baptism may be the ever so slight nudge that someone else may need to experience in their faith journey. Whether that's the women I lead in a small group, the other people in our church community who saw my baptism live, or those reading this blog post and/or watching the video online - all it takes is the smallest seed to be planted in order for a beautiful faith to begin. And that reason also made my decision easy. If I can help one single person in their faith journey, then it's worth it, despite all the fears that I had. [The fears were placed in me by the Enemy anyways because he tries to stop anyone's faith from growing. But not today, Satan! Not today.]
So, in May 2022 (yes, only 7-ish years of coming to faith and about 8 months after seeking out God's Word about it - call me a procrastinator, I know), I finally did it. I got baptized!!!