Baptism Anniversary

May 26, 2014

April 28, 2014

Dear New Life Staff,

Today my children (Sophia and Vincent) and I are celebrating the one-year anniversary of one of the most important days of our lives, the day of our baptism. It is with great joy that I take this day to reflect on how truly blessed I am and how grateful I am to the family at New Life who plays such an important part in our spiritual journey.

Sharps BaptismWhen I Iook back at where I was several years ago and where I am today, I can’t help but constantly praise God for all that he has done for me. It was as a result of a family crisis that I began to feel the strong need for God and it was in a broken state that he found me. When I had hit what I thought was the deepest level of grief and was terrified of what the future looked like, I suddenly found myself being enveloped by an overwhelming sense of calm as the words, “Trust me” swept through my entire body. I had no doubt in my mind that God had spoken to me and, from that moment on, I knew I would be okay. I began to accept that no matter what was happening, I had God’s love and that would see me through. I realized that, no matter how hard life gets, there is always joy to be found in the blessings that God gives us. I began to keep a ‘grateful list’ to remind me of how many gifts I have in my life and to keep me focused on what is truly important (that list today has well over 1000 entries). Most importantly, I began to give more and more of my life to God as I moved toward making the commitment of baptism. I am truly blessed that my children made that journey along with me, and that their father, who had already been baptized, began his journey back to God as well. I don’t think that I have ever felt more true joy than this day last year when I had the honor of sharing baptism with my children.

Since that time, I have come to know more about joy than I ever thought possible. I remember telling someone that life after baptism was like living life in HD. Before I came to know Christ, my life was kind of like watching t.v. in standard definition. Everything seemed pretty good and it was comfortable and I never felt the need for anything better. I didn’t realize that anything was missing. But then my life exploded and it became clear that I needed to make a change. Coming to know Christ was kind of like the first time I ever saw high definition t.v. Everything was suddenly brighter and sharper and more beautiful, in ways that I never thought imaginable. All of a sudden, instead of just seeing trees, I began to notice the intricate beauty of every single leaf. I found myself spending entire lunch periods mesmerized by the beauty of the American flag flying over the Capitol building or feeling honored to be able to witness everyday events like a grandfather walking hand in hand with his granddaughter. I began to stop and really see people for the first time and appreciate how truly beautiful they are in so many more ways that just traditional physical beauty. God’s glory is all around us but I never really saw it before I started living life in high definition.

I am so excited by how much I have grown, and continue to grow, in my understanding of what is truly important in this life. More importantly, I can’t even begin to express how joyful I am to see my children give themselves completely to a life walking with Christ. To hear my daughter praying with such wisdom and insight I can’t help but know that God has touched her. And I have watched my son draw some of his teachers and friends who had fallen away from their faith to New Life, simply because they knew that he goes there and they wanted to be around people that worshipped Christ in the way that Vincent does.

For me, I have always loved to volunteer but had not found much time for it in recent years and, unfortunately, started to look up on it as a chore in many ways. However, over this past year, I have regained the joy that I get from serving others, and have found that it is exponentially more rewarding when done in God’s name. I am so very blessed to have had so many opportunities to serve through New Life and Passion 4 Community over the past year and I look forward to continuing for many years to come.

Lastly, as my “re-birth” day was drawing near, I knew that I wanted to give a gift to New Life. While money is tight, I felt strongly that there was a specific amount that God wanted me to give. I was not sure how I was going to do this, as it was a somewhat large amount, but I knew for certain that was the amount I was supposed to give. I had decided that, even though I desperately need a new computer for the kids to do their homework on (mine has died), I was going to put that off in order to give my gift. Then, 4 days ago, I received an award at work for leading a team to organize a large international conference. When I read the award letter, I was shocked to find that it was the largest award that I had ever received – enough to both buy a new computer and still give my gift in commemoration of the 1-year anniversary of Vincent, Sophia and my baptism. What more can I say, other than YAY GOD!!!!

Christine Sharp

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