Baptism of Amanda Jahner
I was raised in a family where Catholicism was practiced on both sides of my immediate and extended family. I was baptized at some odd months old, had my first communion, and was confirmed within the Catholic Church. Growing up, I really did enjoy going to mass and desired to become a better Catholic. Yet, I always felt something was missing. I was a good kid but often only thought of God when I would attend church and my lifestyle didn’t necessarily reflect Christ in all the ways it could have. In middle school, I fell victim to bullying and experienced the darkest moments and depression, which, by the grace of God I will never return. It was in that season of my life that Christ sought me through incredible gospel-centered friends he placed into my life. At the age of 14, I surrendered my life to Christ.
8 years have passed since that moment and ever since it has been a desire of mine to publically proclaim Christ’s redemption of my life. Some may wonder why I have waited so long and I have pondered the same thing. My answer is two-fold. During these past 8 years, I have been on a spiritual journey to learn as much as I can about God and his Word. In that time, I have been exposed to many different pastors, Godly friends and family, and theology surrounding my faith. And, while I know that my life will be a continual journey of this, I have reached a point where I feel rooted in my beliefs in Christ. Secondly, during these past eight years I have experienced many life changes including the loss of my four, devout Catholic grandparents. Out of respect and love for them, I chose not to become baptized during that time. I recently had the opportunity to study abroad over January and in addition to the academic knowledge and experiences I gained, I also had a great opportunity to reflect and think on my spiritual journey thus far.
Through that, I came to the realization that by proclaiming God’s redemptive work in my life through Baptism I can still honor my parent’s beliefs and love them just the same. And, although I may not agree with certain aspects of Catholicism, I will always respect many things about it. Lastly, and most importantly, I feel God has placed the desire on my heart to publicly proclaim and solidify my faith as I enter a season of exciting changes in my life including graduation and beginning my career as a nurse.