Growing up in a traditional church, my concept of grace and intimacy with God was completely absent. I didn’t grasp the longing God had for a relationship with me and the desperate need I had for a relationship with him. Going through the process of confirmation at my childhood church, God began to reveal himself to me in a new way where he no longer seemed like a distant deity but a loving Father. As I went through high school, I lacked a sense of fellowship with other believers, and this faith God was growing within my heart remained internal and closed off, and I outwardly portrayed an identity completely different than the one God had revealed to me.
As I went to college, I was drained from the dissatisfaction I felt from the way I lived my life in high school. I intentionally sought out community through the ministry of Young Life. Through this, the Lord has blessed me with fellowship that propelled my faith. In this ministry he has given me the opportunity to share this hope I have in him with high school girls and create a sense of community for them that I so desperately needed when I was their age.
Throughout the past year God has called me to freely surrender many parts of my life. The more I release, the tighter I grasp hold of his nail-scarred hands and am reminded of his promises. When I think about being baptized, I think about Galatians 2:20 – “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and died for me.” This is why I am being baptized, to publicly proclaim the new identity my heavenly Father has given me through the cross and to proclaim the deep longing God has to do this within each one of his children.
— Hannah Arnold, Baptized April 2019
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