Covenant member Charlotte Hayden will be baptized at our gathering this Sunday, April 15th, along with at least 12 others that have signed up as of this posting. Here she shares her testimony and her story of how the Spirit led her to choose to get baptized.
I can really identify with Paul when he calls himself the “foremost of sinners” in 1 Timothy. Obviously, my testimony is far from Paul’s, and it was not my life mission to put Christians to death. However, I find myself strongly relating to him in his extreme confusion and loss when he was living in the flesh while being dead in his spirit.
I came to the University of Oklahoma as a freshman last year in 2016 ready to begin my “new” life as a college student. I grew up going to church my entire life, but I never understood the Gospel and never gave my life to Jesus. I was living life selfishly in every way and unaffected by my choices, feeling no conviction. I joined a sorority and had all the friends, all the parties, and all the resources to live comfortably on my own. From an outsider and worldly perspective, my life seemed great. But I was constantly hit with this deep dark sadness from inside my soul that I could not find the source of. I remember walking up this same sidewalk almost every day and thinking to myself, “What is wrong with me? Why do I hate this so much?” Internally, I was dead, broken and so lost, clinging to anything I could to give me attention, love, and purpose.
Jesus had been planting seeds for months by this point, and I was finally starting to realize that the same thing every weekend was not what I was made for. Slowly I gained more and more conviction for the things I filled my time with. Jesus would sprinkle little bits of himself over me in my most vulnerable moments. He was never abrasive, never angry, never rushed. He gently whispered to me and broke me down little by little. He loved me through my older siblings, new friends I had made in college, and the Holy Spirit. In October of 2016 I became a believer and gave my life to Jesus Christ, and I have been running after Him ever since. I look back on that time in my life and see His hands beautifully piecing every event leading up to that moment together. My heart rejoices with the new life that abounds within me. My heart can be perfectly depicted by 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” Or Ephesians 2:13, “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.”
Choosing Jesus is the greatest thing that could have ever happened to me. After having a little more than a year to study scripture, the Lord has revealed to me the importance of baptism, and it is my joy to respond in obedience and get to be blessed through Providence Road.
Every day Jesus looks at me, all my brokenness and rebellion and He gives mercy. He “goes again” over and over and over. He leaves the ninety-nine sheep to find me and bring me back to His loving arms. What greater joy is there than to stand in front of your first Church family and proclaim Jesus’ beautiful mercy over you? I would have to say seeing Jesus face-to-face, but this’ll do for now.
Being baptized is an outward expression of an internal celebration. I want to officially share with the world the joy and peace that are overflowing from my heart every day because of the hope that I have in Christ. In Acts 22:16 it says, “And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on his name.” I have felt the conviction on my heart that the Lord wants baptism for me, and when Jeremy announced that Baptism Sunday was coming up, I knew it was time. Baptism doesn’t define my salvation, but it outwardly proclaims it, and I am so excited to share it with Providence Road, my first church as a believer.