Baptism | Leah Edwards

Baptism | Leah Edwards

September 11, 2022 |

What was life like before you met Jesus?

I grew up in a Christian home and don't remember a time that I didn't know about Jesus. I remember going to preschool and singing songs like "Go Tell it on the Mountain" and making a clay figure of baby Jesus in the manger at Christmas time. I went to Sunday school, church every Sunday, and Wednesday night programs at my church and friends' churches. My best friend invited me to a week-long church camp with her which brought about a new view of who God was in my life. For as long as I could remember, God was just a routine in my life — church on Sunday, say the Lord's prayer, etc. Going to camp with her was the first time that I really saw people living for God. I saw young adults (counselors) excited to talk about God and encouraging me to have a relationship with him — a personal relationship that didn't have to look so rigid and routine. There were a few counselors that I could just see the joy of Christ working through and it just oozed from them. They were people I wanted to be around and people that I wanted to be like. I wanted what they had, and that was Jesus.

How did you meet Jesus?

It was one of those summers at church camp that I knew I just had to dive in head first. I had a counselor pray with me and accepted Jesus into my heart. That was the first step in really allowing Christ into my life. I learned Romans 6:23, "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord," as a memory verse for a prize in vacation Bible school when I was maybe 7 or 8 years old, and while I don't do very well with memorizing scripture, this verse has stuck with me my entire life. It’s almost like God's voice is gently reminding me when I need it most. From there, I was just getting into my teenage years and had a rollercoaster of wanting this relationship with Christ, but also wanting to do what my friends were doing. Fast forward to my young adult years, being newly married and figuring out how to navigate life, I quickly realized that I couldn't do it on my own. I think the most pivotal point in my walk with Christ happened during these years. I was very short-tempered and was letting anger steal the joy in my life. I'd get mad in an instant and usually would take it out on my husband, Nate. I could find myself so angry over little things and it would just consume me. John 10:10 says, "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that you may have life and have it to the fullest." The thief, Satan, was trying to steal my joy and really, the joy of what a marriage should be. Through prayer and trusting God's Word, I've been able to cling to this verse and others to simply receive the joy that he gives from knowing he sent Jesus to pay the price for my sins.

After being saved by Jesus, what is your life like now?

One of the biggest changes God helped me make early on in my marriage was the ability to look at a situation and decide if the way I reacted was going to honor God or not. Having 3 kids now, he’s using what I learned in how I parent. I'm still human and mess up, but through those circumstances, he has allowed me to share the gospel with my kids. I often apologize to them when I've messed up or lost my cool and it's led to discussions about how even as grown-ups, we make mistakes and it's important to admit that to God and ask him for forgiveness. We've had great conversations about Jesus dying on the cross for our sins so that someday we can spend forever in heaven with him. He's changed my thought patterns in so many different ways. I often consider if my reactions to situations are honoring to God or not. I'm constantly self-reflecting and searching and praying for ways to do better and show people his love through my actions, not just words. I've seen people whose actions don't match with their words and in turn, have turned others to thinking that being a Christian is just being a hypocrite, and God has laid it on me that the way I live my life needs to speak volumes over the actual words coming out of my mouth. Sometimes I struggle with feeling like I'm not "good enough" and mess up and sin all the time. That has held me back from wanting to be baptized. I have just had the devil telling me these lies that I would be a hypocrite because I still sin. But Romans 5:8 says, "But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." While we were STILL sinners, Christ died for us. It doesn't say that all of a sudden we don't sin anymore, it says that even though we are still sinners and God knows we always will be in this life, he still sent Christ to die for us. That's how I know he died for me. That's how I know his love for me is far greater than anything I can imagine. While I am still a mess, he sent his son for me, so that someday I'll be face to face with him in paradise.