VV Baptism Testimonies

Emily Payne

I have grown up in a conservative christian family, attending church services and inspiring, christ­centered events all my life. Although this is true, only in these past few high school years have I been uprooted from selfish ambition and overwhelmed by our Holy God’s unfailing love and Grace. At camp before my sophomore year, I learned what it meant tolive for God. I learned to relinquish my hold on earthly desires and objects, and made decisions to focus and rest in God. Sadly, I learned these things but let them go. Many times throughout high school I made short-lived “commitments.” Eventually, I became apathetic in my faith. Instead of pursuing the creator more fervently, I dwelled in my anxieties and found my worth in my own interests and the opinions of others. Consequently, this left me completely joyless. It seemed my mind was perpetually bruised because I was all consumed with yearning for the approval of others.

I attended another camp called Wildwood the summer before my senior year. After a week of revelation from the Holy Spirit, I felt whole again with my mind cleansed. I felt it had finally fully resonated with me what a beautiful, undeserved act the cross was. It fully hit me that my efforts will always fail, because “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). I understood that it was “by grace [I] have been saved, through faith...it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8). This elicited a response in me, a true, genuine response out of reverence for the deep deep love that God has for his people.

I am now humbled by our Holy God, and am daily thankful for Christ dying for my transgressions. My boyfriend, Joseph, and I have made decisions together to stay focused on Christ and to honor him with our relationship. This has also helped my personal relationship with God. I continue to struggle with depression and anxiety on a daily basis and as anyone does, I have days when I stray from what I know to be true. I am always going to be a follower of Christ and desiring to abide in Him.