I was dedicated when I was a baby so that I could make my own decision about baptism and faith. And when I was a little girl, my parents showed me what it means to live as a Christian, but let me make my own choices about church and Christianity. I didn’t go to church very often as a child and when I was about fourteen I stopped going all together. I doubted it all so much that I didn’t see the point of any of it. I felt that it left so many questions unanswered, and I think the main reason I thought that was because I felt that science had disproved it all. I read Richard Dawkins, who uses Christianity as a foil for all his arguments, and just sunk further and further into disbelief. I don’t really know what happened after that. I just decided to go to church again in my gap year. This time though it wasn’t like when I was a child at all, and I kept going and learning more. I really wanted to believe that it was true.
Then in my first year of my undergraduate degree, when I really struggled with living away from home and looking after myself, I really felt that I wasn’t getting through it in my own strength but that Jesus was somehow helping me and slowly, as I prayed more about how I was struggling, I started believing that that was true. Over that year with the Christian fellowship I shared in, I became more and more certain of that belief and that Jesus has done much more for me too. I thought deeply about baptism, but had serious doubts about it. I felt that, all the challenges I heard about each week at church, that I just couldn’t ever rise to them, or live a life that showed that I love God. But I eventually realized that this isn’t the point: that I am weak and that I will fail, but that Jesus loves me so much that he will forgive me and give me a second / fourth / tenth chance and the strength to try again. God’s love is deeper than the deepest ocean and that our doubt and sin, when we talk about it with Him, becomes like a drop in that ocean: it just gets lost in it. My baptism was a response to that love and the time I decidedly put my trust in Jesus Christ.
I have moved towards and away from him since, and have been through periods of agnoticism and atheism. Ultimately, in the words of Hannah Hurnard, I cannot slip through God’s fingers, because I am one of the fingers. God is always faithful to me, and I will always belong to God. For that I am more thankful than I can say.