come, live, die.
It's a wedding and a funeral. Those are the words of encouragement that I received after I got baptized today. If you want to hear more about it, let me know (it would mean a lot to me). There are a lot of emotions running through my head (all good!) and I think I might go on forever if I wrote them down here. Anyways, I have my notes and testimony that I got to share below! I will post the video of it later. Good morning Mission Creek, my name is Katie Maryschuk and today I have chosen to be baptized. After talking a bit this week with Pastor Keith, I asked if there was a time when I could share my testimony. Now, I have never actually publicly shared my testimony, so I am a little nervous but also really excited.
I figured there are a lot of things I could say to tell you about my background and how I have come to have a relationship with God. In fact, I wish I could tell you about every single time I have felt Jesus in my life, but there simply isn’t enough time for that. Essentially, I don’t want to tell you my life story, but instead want to explain to you why I do follow Jesus and give examples that showcase His work.
I don’t actually remember when I gave my heart to the Lord. I think I was about six, and it seemed like the cool thing to do. Since then, I have grown in my relationship with the Lord through youth group, high school, church and now at Trinity Western where I am in my third year.
Now there are three main truths that get me really excited when it comes to God and following Him and these truths have also become extremely important in my life over the past three years. I would say that these last few years have been the most important in shaping who I am as a follower and disciple of Christ. There are six words that sum this up: Seek Jesus, Make Disciples and Love Radically. Matthew 28:16-20 also talks about this and at my school we talk about this a lot.
Simply put, I have come to seek and fear my Father in the best sort of way. It has been said that God doesn’t just hand us strength when we need it. Instead, he presents these obstacles and trials in our lives to mould us into the strong people we are called to be. With this comes giving up control to Him and trusting Him. Over this past year I have had a lot of obstacles come my way, and one in particular is that during my second year of school at Trinity Western, I got really sick. I missed a lot of class, and at one point I wanted to leave, come back home, stop my schooling altogether and stop competing in track and field as well. I felt as though I was in a pit of despair and there wasn’t any way out. Through all of it, Jesus never left my side and that strength was given to me through my weakness. God put certain people in my life to get through that season and I learned how to look for Him even in the darkest of situations. In Corinthians 12:9 it says that “my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness”.
The making disciples part is maybe perhaps the hardest part. It involves this idea that perhaps we are responsible to change others lives. During my first year at Trinity, I was faced with the idea of using my gifts to serve others. I learned how my gifts in sport and media could be used as an avenue to show Jesus to others. Now, somebody gave me the analogy that we, as followers of Christ, are simply window cleaners trying to let the light in. God takes that burden for us. I had to get used to the idea that I am not able to change anyone solely by myself, but that is where my faith in the Holy Spirit comes in.
The last part is trusting Jesus to love radically. Love Him, love others and to love ourselves. Upwards, inwards and outwards. Love is not an easy thing and many of you probably know that. Over the past year I had the wonderful opportunity to date my best friend from Trinity Western and learning about unconditional love and what that looks like with another person is amazing. God showed me how to love someone at their weakest but also at their best. This idea of radical love just blows me away in that Jesus came to earth for ME, and died on the cross so that I could have eternal life. Therefore we love, because He loved us first.
Ultimately, I am not perfect, but my Father knows that. Every time I try to look inward and find something within myself that points in the right direction or gives me truth, I constantly fail myself. I look inward and find brokenness, but it is when I look upwards, palms up, I know I am whole.
He is all-powerful and I fully believe that there isn’t anything that He can’t do. Giving up control to Him over the past few years has been the hardest thing that I have ever had to do – and not knowing what is coming is a trial in itself. My dad always reminds me that what God has in store for me is far better than what we can ever comprehend.
So why do I follow Jesus? Jesus sustains me and provides this awesome reason to life, He has never given me anything that I can’t handle and has held my hand through the darkest of seasons. He has given me amazing joy and is constant and I know He is my Saviour and that is why I am choosing to get baptized today.