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  • Sujuane Smith

Renewed & Restored

I did it! I got BAPTIZED!!!

It felt like everything was trying to prevent this from happening. Even a dang hurricane was threatening to postpone my big day. But God. The weather was beautiful and perfect. I’d be lying if I say I wasn’t nervous about it. Not so much the spiritual aspect of the baptismal, but the actual dunking me under the water. You see, I almost drowned in the Gulf when I was in my early 20s and I never confronted my resurfaced fear of the water. So the thought of doing that during such a sacred and special time had me on pins and needles. But you know what? I needed that anxiousness because it forced me to do what I’ve had trouble doing up to this point….trusting God. I placed my faith in Him and trusted that He would see me through this transition and He did.

What was it like being baptized? Aside from my fear of the water, I guess there was a little fear of what would be expected of me afterwards. I have a potty mouth and can be super negative when things don’t go my way. That’s been my comfort zone for 39 years and the thought of not having that dysfunctional way of being to lean on, was a little scary. I’ll be honest, I was relieved after I came back up after being dunked, I was glad that part was over. But as the day went on and the gravity of what I just did and committed my life to sunk in, something in me shifted. I caught myself watching the colorful language I would often spew. I’m not gonna lie, a few have slipped out, but the words taste different in my mouth now. They taste like they no longer belong there. So many of us have heard stories that you go under the water one way and come up a completely different person. As a child I thought there was some magical switch that automatically turned on and life would be perfect from that point on. Life is different, but not in a magical switch type of way. Like I described before, it’s like trying to wear the same clothes you wore in elementary school, they just don’t fit.

Why did I wait so long to get baptized? I was super scared of water for a huge chunk of my life. I think that might be the reason my mother never pushed me to do it. But everything is in God’s timing because it hits different when you get baptized as an adult. I understand the true meaning of committing your life to Christ. Don’t get me wrong I’m still me, but I’m much more aware of how my showing up in the world reflects on and glorifies God. I’ve been in so much transition lately this was ordained to be my next step. This white cat has been showing up at my Grandma’s house several nights and of course it showed up on the security camera the day I got baptized. White cats are rare and only make up about 5% of the cat population. So my furry friend showing up was no coincidence. I think that’s my Grandma’s way of letting me know she’s proud.

Everybody’s walk with God is different. It took 39 years to get to a point where I was ready to surrender to Him. I encourage anyone reading this to start small, even if it’s just a scripture a day or even a week. Make an effort and He’ll meet you the rest of the way. Remember this:

Your past is not too dark for the grace of God.

Thanks for reading.


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