Elle Patti, one of our Digital Team volunteers, took a bold step of faith in baptism at the West Franklin campus in order to symbolize her spiritual journey from death to life in Christ. She shares her story below:
The Weight of Shame & Stress
I’ve always identified as a Christian, but I never truly felt like I was the ‘right’ kind of Christian. My family rarely attended church. I would pray every night and sometimes attended services with my friends, but I often felt like a fraud. I couldn’t recite Bible verses by heart, and I didn’t know any lyrics to the worship songs everyone else was singing. I always had an underlying sense of guilt and confusion.
Difficult seasons of life added to my stress. I lost my mom in a terrible accident a few years ago, and even at my lowest point, I still felt distant from God. I was angry at Him and felt hopeless and alone. My husband and I got married last fall, yet we had a rough start to our marriage, resulting in us spending some time apart. During that dark time, I finally gained a new perspective. Without even realizing it, I had spent the last 28 years of my life feeling like I could somehow do it all on my own. I finally let go of control and gave God the reins. He had always been there, loving me and waiting for me to open the door for Him. I will never forget the overwhelming sense of peace that washed over me the second I realized, ‘He’s got this.’
An Open Door
After reuniting with my husband, we were fragile, scared, and very hesitant about our next steps in life. Shortly after this, we walked into The Church at West Franklin and met Pastor Matt. That’s when our lives completely changed. From that moment on, we felt like we were home. I knew I was ready to demonstrate my commitment to God through baptism, and I knew this was the place to do it. I have realized that there is no ‘right’ kind of Christian and that no one in Christ is an outsider. I don’t have to be perfect. I don’t have to be able to recite the Bible from front to back.
I am enough. We are enough. God has always been there, and He’s just waiting for us to open the door.
To Walk in Freedom
Elle displayed her commitment to the Lord and is now openly walking in the freedom of her new life in Christ. What prevents you from doing the same? Is it fear, distraction, failure, or heartache? In what areas do you need the love, peace, kindness, and goodness of God? Like Elle, may we have the boldness to ask the Lord to heal and change our hearts, and may we confidently pass through the renewing waters to symbolize the glorious burial and resurrection in Christ.
“As they were traveling down the road, they came to some water. The eunuch said, ‘Look, there’s water. What would keep me from being baptized?’ So, he ordered the chariot to stop, and both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him.” —Acts 8:36,38 CSB