“If you wait until you are perfect, then you will never be ready.”

I meditated on these words in prayer throughout the week following my baptism class, for I felt inadequate as one of the newest believers among my fellow candidates. How could I, someone so new to my faith, be as qualified as someone who has known Christ for years? Riddled in self-doubt, I tried to quiet myself before the Lord and listen to Him.

I reflected on what God has revealed to me since He entered my life this summer. In those intimate moments, He reminded me that I am His beloved daughter above all else. By His mercy I receive salvation, not because I need to earn it. He transformed my anxiety into excitement, my weakness into strength.

While preparing my heart, I sensed God urging me to tell my family how greatly He is moving in my life. He was right; it felt weird to publicly declare my faith in front of my spiritual family without sharing the news with my biological family. I kept finding excuses to delay that conversation because I was afraid, until I received this verse-of-the-day notification:

“Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.”

(Colossians 4:5-6)

Jessica getting baptized

God could not have sent a more direct message. I finally called my family, having prayed that I may speak His words and not mine. Their responses were expectedly mixed –– they were concerned that I was rushing the process, assumed I would stop going to church after college, though agreed only I can make decisions for myself. However, of all the things they expressed, what struck me most was their fear that I would stop loving them in exchange for God.

At first my heart sank, but I grew thankful for their unconventional blessing under His grace. If anything, I found a stronger calling to be open with my faith so that they too may experience His goodness. When I started exploring Christianity, I was moved by the Tapestry community assuring that they would love me regardless of my belief. This is the vessel I hope to be for my family and friends who lack a personal relationship with our Father. I hope one day they realize love comes from God because God is love, it is real in flesh and blood, and He wants to love on us. He made us to be like Jesus, who loves perfectly. I am far from perfect, but befriending Jesus has given Him the opportunity to change me. And until the day I meet God face-to-face, I will continue to be transfigured so long as I love and welcome my heavenly Father.

And so, I was baptized at Tapestry’s 3rd year anniversary service (can we take a moment to revel in the fact that I get to share my new birthday with Tapestry’s?). What a glorious gift from our God it is to celebrate burying our old selves and being made new in the Holy Spirit. When I rose from beneath the water, I promised to work towards becoming more Christ-like with a missional heart. Although I will stumble and suffer at times, I am fulfilling God’s plan for me and trust that the best is yet to come. Thank You, Lord, for pursuing me, for making Your presence known, for giving me purpose. Now, this is for You.