Baptism Weekend is Easter weekend! We want to take the chance to introduce you to the individuals who are getting #dunked, so be sure to check out our blog daily leading up to Easter! We’re going to start today with Jeffrey Kim:
Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand.” – Proverbs 19:21
Hello, my name is Jeffrey Kim. I was born in Baltimore County but after the 3rd grade my family moved over to Howard County and I have been here since, now working full-time over in Hanover. Aside from being a pretty typical 90s kid, I was raised in a Christian household, attending church regularly since I can recall. I still remember going to VBS each year as a kid, the many retreats my parents sent me to, and later learning the guitar just so I could join the praise team.
Although I was blessed to have Jesus introduced to me early in my life, I started going through the motions and created many churchgoing habits. Later, I noticed that over all those years I’ve never felt less transparent. Around high school, I went to church and served like it was all on a checklist. Even worse I built these walls up focusing on trying to be that model Christian in the eyes of others that made me try and be someone I was not, which raised a lot of questions about my life. I looked for approval in people. I put all my trust in others, and myself and I lived each day to please everyone and everything except God. During my college years, I started to go to church less and ultimately did not want to go anymore. Instead, I found more joy in drinking with friends and meeting new people through it, thinking I had complete control over my own life.
I don’t have an exact moment in my life, but it was definitely a journey of ups and downs that led me to make the best decision I would ever make in my life — the decision to lay it all down and put all my trust in Jesus.
Early 2015, a close friend and I decided to check out a church together that she heard great things about. That Sunday sparked something in my heart that I knew was a “wake-up call” from God. This became the church that I started to attend and serve in regularly. At first, I approached the church with some distance and started to feel more ashamed of myself if anything. But as the year went on, I started surrounding myself more with the brothers and sisters God placed in my life who I consistently walked with, and I gradually started to break down all of those walls that I built that shielded me from being me. I started to see that I was not alone, and it started to lead me to a life where I put more and more trust in Jesus. Although it seemed like things were going great, fast forward some more, the serious relationship I was in suddenly ended leaving me feeling like I was stripped of everything, and ultimately I lost hope. This led to me having really bad anxiety and panic attacks, and, on top of that, I made the very hard decision to leave the church we both served in.
In this hurt and confusion, I decided to take a lot of time to reflect on my life, and, no matter where it went, I somehow always ended up in the thought of how amazing God is. How much he loves me, even though I have turned my back against him many times and how he never left me to be alone when that’s all I felt. He held onto me and never let me go, and it suddenly all became so obvious. Through this struggle God perfectly placed in my life, my heart was pierced with the amazing amount of love, grace, and mercy that he showed me, a sinner. For the first time in my life, I felt this assurance and felt free from myself. He took away the worldly things in my life that I idolized so much and realigned my focus onto what mattered most. I remember sitting, praying, and repenting daily and breaking down each time because I was simply in awe of his grace and mercy towards me. I know he has been constantly molding and shaping me to be more like him with the help of my loving friends and family.
I no longer want to live life on my own terms. I fully believe that everything that happened in my life so far was no mistake and Jesus has given me a new life that is now yearning for his return. So, in the meantime I will continue to pursue him and live a life according to his calling and plan he has set for me. Today, I’ve never felt more confident in my faith and I fear less of the world and what others think of me. I know things will not be any easier in this new life (if anything it will be harder) and I will still stumble and fall, but I now trust God that any suffering that I endure will end in hope that does not put me to shame because of God’s love that was poured in my heart through the Holy Spirit that was given to me like it says in Romans 5: 3-5. God has given me a new purpose and a passion to help others in need in any way possible and be a light to all of those I cross paths with in my lifetime here on earth. I no longer live for myself who was crucified with Christ but for Christ who now lives in me.
Although I was baptized as an infant, I’ve now made the personal decision to get baptized as a symbol of God’s grace. I want to publicly proclaim my love for Jesus Christ, who I believe is my Savior, and declare my new identity in him. I am no longer in control and want to fully trust and rely on him with my life, lifting him up in everything that I do.