The Beginning Stages—Regeneration and Baptism
My life as a believer began when I was 7. The denomination my father went to had children’s meetings and they invited us to receive the Lord. The problem was that after I received the Lord no one told me what had happened. I had had a major life event but no one helped me understand it.
As life went on I became very unsatisfied with all the different denominations my father took me to. It finally came to the point where I would go to the Sunday “services” and watch the congregation, wondering what they thought of God, the pastor, and the other people they met with. Why did they go through this boring ritual every week? I became disgusted with the shallowness, so I stopped going. I decided if that was God I didn’t want Him.
I remained bitter and hard, challenging my parents’ and friends’ beliefs. One day I was walking home with a friend from grade school and the topic of church came up. I asked her where she went, and she said that it didn’t have a name. That was too mysterious. I told her it had to have a name, and I wanted her to find out what that name was.
This friend was puzzling to me. She would do things like write “I Love J.C.” on her shoes. I asked her who J.C. was and she said Jesus Christ. She truly loved the Lord. This caused me to wonder what she had, what she knew about God that made her love Him.
In 7th grade the people she met with started having meetings for the junior high age group. I went and found God, a personal God. In those meetings God was there. Instead of a feeling that God was not with these people, I had the sensation that God was with them, even that I should listen to what they had to say.
I also went to the Lord’s table meeting. The times I had gone to the meetings with my father I had napped along with half the congregation. But here there was life, and no one was sleeping. With these people I really began to know the Lord, and I found that He is not what I had thought. I also began to see Him in the Bible, which I was encouraged to read.
There were also retreats with people who were sweet and kind. The young people were genuine and just loved to sing. At one retreat they spoke about baptism. The Lord began to work in me. I had never been baptized—I didn’t even know what it signified. So I made a deal with the Lord; He actually fulfilled his part and I needed to get baptized. My mom, being Lutheran, wanted me to be sprinkled by a Lutheran pastor, but the believers who met with the church in Boise practiced emersion. I asked a brother about the difference. He said that it was really a heart matter and told me to read Romans chapter 6. I did and I was sprinkled by a Lutheran pastor. It was a private ceremony but I felt washed—clean and light in my being that whole day. Later on when I found that baptism was a testimony I wanted to be baptized again in front of many people. I wanted Satan to know that I did not belong to him, I belonged to God. So, I was publicly baptized at the meeting hall in Pullman. The Lord, I believe, was satisfied.
I was going on learning new things when another friend went to a “training”. The speaker was Witness Lee. Wow, I thought, that’s an unusual name, but she wanted to tell me about it. So I went to her house and for six hours we talked about what she had enjoyed. When she spoke to me I felt as if Christ was being dispensed into me. My life with the Lord would no longer just be on Sundays. He was in every aspect of my life, and He wanted to grow in me.
These were the beginning stages of god captivating my being.
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