I have been very blessed to have known Jesus as a significant part of my life since I was a child. My parents are people of great faith in their own lives and provided an incredible example for my sister and me. I can remember some time in high school needing to give my “testimony” for something at school. I went to my Dad and said, “I don’t know what to do since I don’t have a strong life-altering testimony.” He simply smiled and said, “If you love Jesus, believe he has died for your sins so that you can be saved, and you live your life according to that, of course you have a testimony!” Now as an adult who has had a Christian walk full of twists and turns like many of us, I have no doubt that I have a testimony that I want to share.
It was certainly in high school that I make the decision to have a more deeply personal relationship with Jesus. I can vividly remember being at a youth retreat in Ocean City listening to an incredibly dynamic speaker. He was telling a story of a father who traveled to New York City looking for his son who had run away. When he finally found him, he was in trouble and they found themselves on the wrong side of a gun. The father jumped in front of the bullet and saved his son. It was so impactful to me that I asked Jesus to change my life and I chose to live more for Him because of what He did for me.
So why I am I getting baptized now so many years later? Zechariah 13:9 says, “And I will put this third into the fire, and refine them as one refines silver, and test them as gold is tested. They will call upon my name, and I will answer them. I will say, ‘They are My people’; and they will say, ‘The LORD is my God.” This verse spoke to me as 2018 was by far one of the most challenging years of my life.
In the summer of 2017 I had intermittent lower abdominal pains. They were never very severe and would come and go with no rhyme or reason. I finally texted my family doctor, and she said, “let’s get some pictures and see what’s going on. Do you have a gastro doc?” I did not, but my husband did. So we started there. On my very first test, they found a cancerous tumor. It was October 6, 2017, the day before my son’s 7th birthday party. I was then subsequently diagnosed with stage three colorectal cancer. So, what was causing the pain I was feeling? God’s first of many blessings. It was kidney stones that caused my pain….nothing to do with the cancer, but boy will I be ever grateful for those stones.
From the time I was diagnosed through the end of 2018, I had 4 major surgeries, high-dose radiation treatments, six months of chemotherapy, an ileostomy bag for eight months, and countless tests and procedures. The good news is that the cancer is all out of my body and I am doing great now. The even better news is that God showed up so many countless times throughout this journey just when I desperately needed it. Not only that, he surrounded me with an unearthly peace that I will never be able to explain. Of course, I am still human and had bad days (just ask my husband). But overall, I felt like God was holding me in his hands and guiding me through a lot of hard things. Not only did he protect me, but he surrounded my husband and two small children as well. And he healed me!
So many times, it is difficult to understand hard seasons of life, but God was able to use mine to truly make my life better. The relationships that are stronger in my life because of this past year are too numerous to count. As the verse above says from Zechariah, God used life’s fires to REFINE me, not DEFINE me, and I am so ever grateful.
So, what does my life look like after this part of my journey?
1 Kings 19: 11-13 says, “And he said, “Go out and stand on the mountain before the Lord. And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper.”
Sometimes God is in the big stuff, like helping you battle cancer, but more often than not, God uses a still, small voice inside of you. That will be my path for 2019 and hopefully beyond. He is teaching me to listen to that voice and not be afraid to act upon it – whether it is sending someone words of encouragement, signing up to support a new ministry, or realizing what my family needs of me.
I am getting baptized because I believe that Jesus is my Lord and Savior and by his grace I am saved, and I want to share that with the world.
— Rachael Mull, Baptized April 2019
If you are interested in being baptized at Grace, click here to learn more and sign up to attend our next Baptism Workshop.