Baptism of Kristen Rafferty
Growing up my relationship with God was that of a long-distance relative; I knew he was there, but I didn’t know him. I went to church and CCD class on Wednesday nights, but neither one really meant anything to me. Then I got sick and my world turned upside down. My only reaction toward God was anger. All of a sudden I couldn’t do anything on my own. I couldn’t go to school, I couldn’t dance, I couldn’t walk or be outside. I needed to be mad at someone and I decided that God was to blame.While everything familiar to me was slipping away, I desperately grabbed onto anything I could get control of and I held on tight. For a long time I was simply in survival mode and there was no room in my life for a God who didn’t care.
Over the course of time I became less angry but no more convinced that God cared. Three years ago I found myself at Hope Community Church and it was the first time I really heard the Gospel. I started attending a small group and getting involved in Hope and the more I did the more I realized what it meant to really put your faith and trust in Jesus. I saw how people turned to Christ in the midst of joy and struggle and I started to want that for myself. Never having been surrounded by Gospel-centered friends and still not truly understanding the implications of the Gospel, I held onto the misguided notion that I had to have it all figured out and know how to ‘be a Christian’ before I got baptized. I viewed it as a graduation of some sort once I had everything figured out on my own.
As I continue to listen to the Gospel message each week at service and talk about it at small group I realize that baptism is more of a first step than a graduation. I look back through my life and clearly see times when God said yes to me; it’s my turn to say yes to Him. That is why I’m getting baptized this weekend.