Wednesday, April 30, 2008

{Saving Grace}

I am going to my church tonight to record "my story". I am scared to death...We are in the midst of Deliver the Promise, a campaign to get us all involved more in our church and community. The focus is on what Zion has already done in the community and how it can help more. It is not just monetary donations but our talents as well. I love the quote they use, "Not equal money, equal sacrifice". Over the past few months they have been showing recordings of people sharing "their story", Mr. Braselton himself shared what Zion Baptist has meant to him and how it has affected his life. Yes you heard right, Mr. Braselton and yours truly. And my video is going to be shared at the big show, the big church wide brunch to end Deliver the Promise.

I am in awe, how am I that special? Why is my story so good? How did this Presbyterian girl become a Baptist that will share a testimony of her faith? Is it that good a story? I sure hope so.

Here is my story, lets hope it delivers:

I have grown up going to church, baptised when I was 3 months old (on my Granddaddy Hunt's birthday) and went through confirmation in the 8th grade. I went to church camp each summer to Montreat, I had faith. Chad and I had talked about going to church together ever since we started dating, the second time for those keeping track of mine and Chad's history, but we could never agree on a church. To Chad the Presbyterian churches we went to were too conservative, the Methodist ones were too Catholic, yeah, I don't get that one either. To me, the Baptists were too judging, "What do you mean they want me to get baptised, I was baptised. Why isn't that good enough for them? Why do they want everyone to be saved?" You are talking about a good Presbyterian girl, predestination people- no need to be saved, thanks to the almighty that has been taken care of...

Fast forward to 2 years to talking about it. Chad has been working in Jackson county for about 6 months and kept talking about this preacher that he has been working with and how he thinks I would really enjoy him. I was in a bad place. I could feel the emptiness that came from not have a relationship with God. I had the religion, I needed the relationship. I worried all of the time, about work, life, everything. I was unhappy. On the first Sunday we went to Zion Mike's sermon was on worry. It was surrounding the need to let go of your worries, hand them over to God and he will carry them. OK, can he read my mind??? No, it was God showing me I was where I needed to be and it was amazing. We kept going to Zion and each week it was the same thing, a message that was always what I needed to hear. I started praying more, turning to God more and I was changed.

I am not sure when it happened last Fall but I became a different person, I was saved. This girl that always had a bad taste in her mouth for the Baptist, sorry but it is true, was saved?!?! I am a different person, my marriage is different, my outlook is different and my life is different and Zion had a huge part in that.

Chad and I joined Zion in January and I was Baptised on March 16th, Palm Sunday. I guess you could say I am all set now, been blessed twice! I pray that the Lord is with me tonight and I am able to deliver my message and hopefully, change a few lives.

1 comment:

Buford Betty said...

Thanks for sharing your story - how wonderful! I grew up Baptist and I totally get what you mean about them being judgemental for sure. Some churches definitely can be. One of the funniest, yet true, things our pastor said (at our current church - Buckhead Church, part of Northpoint) is that the church has really screwed up in the past. So so true... it makes me so sad that so many people miss out on something so very simple b/c of the bad impressions of "Christians" they've come to know.

Anyway, our church is non-denomintational but with Baptist influences... i.e. we dunk. Andy actually did a great sermon on baptism and why we do it the way we do it, that addresses a lot of those questions you brought up. I can give you a link if you're interested. But anyway, great post! God bless! :-)