Transformed - Baptism as the outward manifestation of an inward transformation

We had just returned to the USA after living overseas for 4 years. It was supposed to be a relief moving back ‘home’. A place where I could be myself, find peace, and steady my life. Little did I realize what was in store for the summer of 2014 and the year to follow.

The life circumstances that were going sideways or south all at the same time would be too many to list. Work, home, family, finances, friendships, everything was simply not okay.

I looked to some friends online that seemed as though circumstances, even ones similar to some things I was facing at the time, didn’t effect them like they did me. I needed what they had, and when I looked at what that was, I found Jesus.

I began reading scripture, praying, and trying to focus on what it meant to follow Him. But it kept getting darker. I was lost, empty, alone, and afraid of what my future might look like. At the wise advice of my aunt I sought out a counselor. With my new found mustard seed of faith, I knew I wanted a Christian counselor that would help me work through things with God in the center.

That winter I was diagnosed with PTSD from childhood trauma and went into a deep dark depression. Never being brave enough to take my own life, I still wanted nothing more than my life to be over. I grew to a point where I was only praying for death, since this eternal life with Jesus included no tears, comfort, peace, and joy. Things I couldn’t seem to find in this life.

God answered my prayers! He gave me a new life in Him. He transformed my heart, my thoughts, and saved me. Not only was I saved from the sins of my past life living in coping mechanisms of anger, fear, addictions, hatred; but He saved me from having to walk in them and transformed my pain to purpose.

Looking back I can see now that He was holding me in His hands the whole time. He was hurt when I was hurt. He was protecting me under the shelter of His wings even when the sins of man broke me. It’s as if He trapped my traumatic memories in a box and waited decades to open it. He waited until I was ready to fall into His arms when I was wrecked to my foundation. Waited until I could say ‘yes Lord’ to Him being the foundation my life was rebuilt on.

It’s been over 5 years since I fully surrendered my life to Him and it’s been the greatest 5 years of my earthly life. He gives me wisdom and lights my path. He gives me peace that surpasses understanding. I can see Him working beauty from ashes in almost everything these days. Because of Him, I can live an abundant life despite anything that happened in the past and anything that may come in the future. Because of Him I can say, in all circumstances, that it is well with my soul.