“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” John 8:36
The scorching summer heat pierced through my skin as I moved toward the pool to position myself in the best spot for taking photos. I was assigned by our Victory group leader to take pictures that day for one of our members who will undergo water baptism. The searing heat did not douse my excitement for my friend who will be making a public declaration of her faith and love for Jesus.
As I took snapshots of MR and the other participants of this quarter’s Victory Weekend, I remembered myself feeling the same excitement after making a heartfelt decision to truly surrender my whole existence to God in May last year.
I participated in Victory Weekend just a few weeks after coming out of a challenging episode that wounded my heart as much as it wounded my soul. Back then, I already had my mind set that God would lead me out of the dark pit soon and that He has given me the grace to overcome the obstacles that He allowed in my life. I saw baptism as a first step into ‘sealing the agreement’ with God that He would deliver me from the pain and that I would come out of it polished and better in many aspects.
It has been a year since the challenge and God has been faithful with His promise of healing and restoration. Not only did I come out of it better off than I thought I would, there were bonuses and perks along the way. God is more than amazing. I wish I could illustrate how many times ‘He showed up in my life’ to comfort me and to assure me that I am loved. God ‘hugged me ’ several times through His word and through the loving words spoken by some friends.
Interestingly, God has increased my friends too. Truly, the Lord has several ways to make sure His plans will come to pass.
Victory Weekend is a two-day seminar or retreat that includes worship, Bible teaching, prayer, and personal ministry. One2One is the prerequisite for the Victory Weekend. One2One is a six-lesson discipleship guide that includes discussions on salvation, the Bible and Prayer and repentance. Water baptism is a public declaration that God now lives inside us and that we have allowed God to have control in our lives.
As MR descended into the pool, two Victory group leaders prayed over her prior to her water baptism. I am especially proud of Kai, who was one of the people who baptized MR. Kai has turned into one of the most innately beautiful persons I have known. Young as she is, Kai’s maturity in emotions and in the spiritual aspect inspires me.
MR and I are in the same Victory Group that gathers every Sunday to pray and encourage each other. Yes, we also talk a lot about girl stuff. (^_^)
I almost became emotional when it was MR’s turn to be baptized because I remembered my experiences last year.
At a time when I was still hurting and coping from the pain of a failed love, I saw Victory Weekend as the most logical and most important decision I have to make if I want to move on happily sans anger or emotional baggage.
After the leaders prayed over me and I was dipped in the pool, I imagined myself rising from the pain and receiving God’s healing, restoration and blessings. Back then, I was already certain that the day will come when I will be completely healed and restored. I knew in my heart that God will use my story to serve Him - that someday, I will help people who are going through the same dilemma.
Here is my photo after my baptism. I believe my smile made me look like the happiest girl in the world. MR, I also think these are our best photos - second to our future wedding photos. (^_^)
**if you have a twitter account, I’d like to connect with you at @I_will_flourish <3