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The First Time Wasn't Enough. This Time It's Personal.

Jesus continued, "I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent." (Luke 15:7)

I was met with a lot of confusion when I told people that I was getting baptized.

"Aren't you already baptized?"

"Didn't you do that as a kid?"

"Wait...I thought you were Catholic?"

The confusion is fair. Yes, I was baptized as a child. Yes, I was confirmed into the Catholic Church. But, if we're being honest with one another, I had no idea what it meant nor the importance.

From pre-school 3 through 8th grade, I attended Catholic school. I was essentially "raised in Christ." From my memory, though, we never really talked about Jesus. I knew Jesus was the Son of God, that He was part of the trinity, and that He was crucified, died, buried, and rose on the 3rd day. But, if we're being honest, we focused mostly on God the Father. To some degree, I think they expected us to understand who Jesus was after one conversation. Like, once they told us...that was it, that was all. We were to understand immediately and move on.

I struggled a lot with my faith growing up. Simultaneously, I took a lot of pride in telling people I was Catholic. I participated in all of the Catholic sacraments. I "knew" how to one day get to heaven. I "understood" why I needed to be "a good person." I thought that I was a model, Christian girl. Reality?

I was not in the slightest.

My struggles with faith came from my want to learn, but the constant reply of, "Don't ask questions." How was I supposed to grow my relationship with Jesus, if I wasn't allowed to ask questions to understand? It seemed backwards to me. (Fun Fact! Jesus commands His children come to Him to learn and understand...check out the book of Matthew.) I think it's important to note that I still have the utmost respect and love for my Catholic school educators. They poured so much into me and they laid the groundwork. At the same time, though, there was a disservice by limiting my curious and growing mind. I yearned to know more and to understand why I was participating in certain traditions.

The lack of clarity led to a great deal of frustration. So much so, that I hated church. I don't use that word lightly nor often, but for 26 years of my life, I despised it. I was adamant that God was everywhere, and if God was everywhere, He didn't need me to show up once a week to profess my faith. Church was a chore. Church was a place that told me God loved me, but refused to answer pressing questions. Church was something I'd try my hardest to sleep through so I didn't have to go.

If that's how I view everything, then why am I getting baptized again?

This time, I know better.

This time, I'm awake. I'm alive in Christ. When Jesus called me last summer and told me to trust Him and that it was time, it changed my entire life. I went from "knowing" Him, to genuinely knowing Him. I know what He sounds like. I know how He loves. I know what He thinks of me and what He wants of me.

I know what it means to be alive and to have eternal life.

I know Jesus.

And that...that is why. That is why I'm dedicating my life to Him and living how He calls me to the best of my humanly ability. It is why I want His will to be done and not my own.

Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior. He is my rock. He is my firm foundation. He saved my life more times than I can count, and this time...I understand why.

I love you, but Jesus loves you more. 


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