I have been a Christian since I was in elementary school - 51 now. I recall changing churches when I was in 5th or 6th grade and refusing to recite that I "now" accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior when my mother and me joined a new church. I told the person praying with me that if I said that now, then I lied when I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior when I was younger. He finally took me to the pastor of the church because I was refusing to repeat the prayer he was saying. I explained to the pastor my reasoning and belief at the time. I was OK with saying that He is my Lord and Savior and that I "had" confessed my sins and "had" been forgiven, but to confess that He is "now, today...", would mean that I did not believe before and that I would be lying now, or that I lied before. The pastor agreed.
I recall going to a baptism class (maybe more than once), but not fully convinced that I could turn my life over to God 100%. I wasn't sure what type of teenager and/or adult I was going to be and didn't want to disappoint my Heavenly Father. During the years, I continued to attend church, read the Word and volunteer when I could. As the years continued to pass, both me and my mother's relationship grew stronger and closer. She lived with me as health issues developed. Many mornings we prayed together, had bible study and I would bring home the communion bread and wine when she was unable to attend church. She transitioned in April of this year.
A coworker told me about the Griefshare support group at HDC and I began attending in May, or June. I have found a loving and supporting community at HDC, but most importantly I have discovered the true meaning of fellowship and God's love. I was given two tickets to the women 20's event. I had never before had an issue going anywhere by myself, but I was a little apprehensive. I had a wonderful time, and after listening to the speaker, I realized that God wanted to take me on a date night. Just the two of us, holding my hand and walking with me on my journey from mourning to joy.
I also found out about the Women's Small Groups and signed up for "What Love Is". My mom and I shared a close, deep passionate love for one another and I wanted that same relationship with God. What I discovered at HDC is that my relationship with my mom was never the two of us, but a three-way relationship with God always at the center. And that my mom and I had been fellow-shipping with one another since I was a child through the power, grace and mercy of God.
One night during "What Love Is" bible study and woman mentioned that she was getting baptized. Bells and whistles went off in my head: "I forgot to get baptized!!!." That night when I got home, I went online and signed up for the baptismal class. I want to thank HDC for providing the tools and resources that I needed when my best friend and cheerleader transitioned and for creating an environment of love, support and fellowship. I am excited about the future and the close relationship that God and I have developed during my mourning to joy journey! I am thankful that He wants to take adventures with me and I look forward to loving Him passionately and giving my life 100% to Him.