This past Sunday at Rock Hill, we celebrated and witnessed the baptism of Mikayla. In baptism, we see the beautiful picture of our union with Jesus.  Through faith, by the Holy Spirit, we are united with Jesus in His perfect life, His sin-bearing death, and His resurrection from the dead.  Baptism is a response for all Christians  to declare that we are made new by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. Christians are baptized in the name of the Truine God- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Mikayla shared the story of God’s grace in her life with us. Here is her story:

“My story is probably very similar to others. I grew up in a small town about an hour from the cities, and in my area every kid was expected to go to Sunday school, church and went through Confirmation in eighth grade. I went through all of these motions, mostly to please my grandma and the rest of my family. I didn’t really get much out of it or have a relationship with God, so I stopped attending church right after I was confirmed.

I made a lot of dumb decisions in late middle school and early high school with who I chose to spend my time with and my actions. I had a friend group who were essentially bullies. They made me feel worthless all the time with their harsh words and I developed self loathing that led to depression. Even when I went away from that group to a different friend group who were much more caring and loving (mostly because they were all Christians) I felt the same way.

I never thought that someone who was so damaged like I was could receive God’s grace and love. My friends kept inviting me to their youth groups or mission trips in an effort to change my life and discover who Jesus was, but I denied. I thought I was past the point of saving, and that I deserved this eternal punishment of being destructive to myself with my own thoughts.

When I moved to UMD in the fall of 2012, I had a really hard time finding people I wanted to spend time with. I tried to stay away from the party scene, but sometimes fell into that temptation and in return had to deal with the depression after I did it. I realized that I wasn’t going back down that road. So two of my high school friends who came with me to UMD suggested I check out InterVarsity. They were already in a small group and on the worship team, so they were willing to introduce me to everyone and get me involved. I kept saying no, but they wouldn’t accept no and were persistent in inviting me.

I gave in and went to large group, and each night it was becoming clearer that I was really missing out on a good life by constantly pushing away God’s grace and love. The next semester, I got more involved in IV. A wonderful lady by the name of Nancy became my mentor and small group leader. With her guidance and example, I got to see what it is really like to live for Christ. She was so wise, loving and caring for me. But she wasn’t the only one, everyone in the chapter radiated the same joy and they accepted me into their chapter with so much welcome that I haven’t felt anywhere else.

At the end of the year, the chapter went on our annual CFW trip to Cedar Campus in Michigan. The whole week we not only learned about Jesus, but got to bond as a chapter. I felt overwhelmed by love and knowledge, and knew I wanted this life as a Christian. One night at worship, the speaker provided an invitation for anyone who felt moved by the Holy Spirit to come forward and enter His Kingdom. I became a Christian on May 21st 2013, and entered into a whole new life.

It’s been a hard life adjusting to this new life, but it has been so worth it. It’s taken a while to summon up the courage to publically confess my faith in Christ. I am learning every day about Jesus and what it means to live like him. I finally feel ready to whole heartedly put my trust in Christ and live my life for him.”