I grew up in a Christian home with a Lutheran background, but church was a Sunday experience that made you feel good. However, in the summer after my seventh grade year, I went to a bible camp that showed me that Christianity could be different than a Sunday morning chore. From there, I grew very slowly and steadily. The very next summer, I had the opportunity to go on a mission trip with my youth group to Denver, and God opened my eyes to a lot of new things that weren’t present in my small northern Minnesota town, such as poverty. It was a revelation of the greatness of God in even seemingly hopeless situations, and it set me on fire.
Yet, like all fires, it didn’t last forever. For the longest time throughout later high school, I was stuck in religion, trying to please God through bettering myself. I would struggle with that on and off, never really letting God fully pervade every single part of my life. Through the little things, though, he would teach me a little at a time, and I was growing. It was a slow process, but it was growth nonetheless. The major turning point in my relationship was coming to College. Being independent was a whole new experience, and at Northwestern College, I saw what letting God work in every area of my life could look like and got so excited that I could have that! I started attending Hope Community part of the way through my first semester, when they were just beginning the Gospel sermon series. I learned a lot about my own faith in that way, and saw it more as a continual process.
Since then, a recurring thing God has been telling me is to let him work through me to achieve his purpose, not me working for him by myself. I’ve seen so much transformation in my life in the last few months, and on Sunday, it just seemed that the Holy Spirit was moving in me, telling me that it was time to declare this through Baptism. I had seen Hope do some baptisms a few months ago at an evening service, and it had been tumbling around in my mind ever since then; I had been baptized as an infant and confirmed later, but I wanted something more tangible than a confirmation service where many of the kids were confirmed simply because their parents were making them.
Right now, I am at the place where I am trying to maintain Christ as the center of my life, and I’m working to get to the place where I would give up anything for him! He has transformed me through the years, and I’m so thankful to him.