October has always been my favorite month. I'm originally from western New York, but lived most of my life in the mid-Atlantic. I experienced the four seasons every year, with Fall as my favorite. October always had the most fantastic smell, ambiance, aesthetics, and overall vibe I loved the most. (If you know, you know.)
Surprisingly, I've never been a fan of Halloween… I don't have a sweet tooth, and I have never liked any of the "spooky stuff." I prefer the sound of football, warm food, and a cozy, brisk October evening with great company and a bonfire. That, plus the beauty and smells, make me feel so peaceful.
These things are why October has always been my favorite month, but it now holds an extra special place in my heart.
On October 8, I was baptized!!
As a baby, I was baptized, but I solidified the initial baptism blessing by CHOOSING to be baptized. The man who originally baptized me was a mentor for my parents when they were becoming ministers. He passed away a few days before my rededication, so he was able to witness my baptism in heaven. Such a beautiful, bittersweet thought.
Let's back up briefly to understand how I got to this baptism.
To many, this is a 180 flip. In all honesty, I'm just coming back home. (Full testimony is coming soon when I finally write it out.)
July is when I officially went all in with my faith. I ended my relationship with all of my new-age practices after feeling so much resistance, emptiness, and, honestly, confusion in my soul. After a 10-year hiatus on a communion Sunday in August, I returned to church.
I was immediately welcomed home at Calvary Chapel St Pete. The teachings resonated with me and brought me back to my youth when I was a devout follower of Christ. I loved that the church was going over the Book of Matthew because that was the first book I chose to read when I got my Bible. Everything was lining up.
In September, I felt a strong pull to be baptized. I read the Bible daily for weeks, joined a seven-week women's Bible study group, started receiving one-on-one discipleship mentoring, and learned more about Jesus and His beliefs by attending a lively Messianic Jewish synagogue. (In short, Jews for Jesus.) I went all in on my faith, and baptism felt like an essential piece of the puzzle 🧩 to help me embody what I have been integrating. I prayed, asking for guidance on when that should be. The next day, my church mentor told me about the upcoming baptism our church provides in the Gulf.
It was easy for me to share about my choice, but there was strong resistance from a loved one. I knew in my heart that I was following the right path so I continued without wavering. It was God's will to outwardly claim me and my will to claim my Heavenly Father, His son, and the Holy Spirit.
October 8 was such a beautiful, chilly day. It was the first day that felt like Fall here in Florida. The temperature was refreshing and the sun was shining. A plane flew by us with a banner that said "Hunny Bunny, Will You Marry Me?!"
My parents, one of my brothers (the other had to work), and my two best friends were there to support me. In addition, the incredible women in my Bible study and the rest of my church family were also there supporting my choice to show my praise and devotion to God. (I wish I had pictures with everyone!) The feeling of love was so strong. I'm forever grateful for their support!
Forty-nine other beautiful souls declared themselves to our Creator on this day. It was an honor to walk through the ocean's tumbling waves to be baptized in its warmth. Being safely dipped into the Gulf of Mexico and receiving the blessing of being baptized was exhilarating!
The choice to be baptized and to be One with God was easy:
I'm renewed and free of the previous versions of myself.
I fully trust and give all my worries and prayers to the Holy Trinity.
I get to live an eternal life as a child and "soldier" of God.
It was hard at first as I was battling against fear and external resistance, but I have gained more than I could ever have lost. I know there will be challenges, but reading His word, we are all blessed. It is truly an honor to be a Child of God. (Matthew 5:3-12 NIV) Many understand my choice, but most make assumptions about what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ. I'm okay with that and hope my story inspires or opens doors to understanding. Still, I'm wearing my armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18 NIV), and I am more at peace than ever before.
Matthew 28:18-19: Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.."
My understanding is that you are not "required" to be baptized with water to get into Heaven because that is more of an external declaration of your faith. When you follow God the Creator and Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit is welcomed into your being, washing away your sins and baptizing you. As humans, we are constantly sinning, so of course, we must continually repent. I realize this word often has a negative connotation, but it means "to feel or express sincere regret or remorse about one's wrongdoing or sin." In short, you're just asking for forgiveness, like you would as a child to your parent when you do something wrong that you didn't understand or shouldn't have done. This is beautiful because when you ask for God's forgiveness, it's automatically given. No wrath, only love. When the Holy Spirit baptizes you, it doesn't change the fact that you are a human who makes mistakes; you change how you look at life and to whom you give your fears and worries. Speaking firsthand, it's the most liberating feeling in the world.
I feel renewed and wiped clean because I have consciously chosen to be fully in with God. I truly am in awe!! A post-baptism photo even shows a white glow on and around me as though the Holy Spirit is proudly shining bright in my acceptance of this life.
My baptism was such a blessing, and I'm glad I listened to that call. One of my dear friends in my Bible study group shared a beautiful analogy with me that I want to share with you: Baptism is like the wedding and consummation of one's faith in God.
I then added to that: All the days after are the marriage where you continue to choose that relationship, just like you would continue to choose your spouse through all the good times and all the challenges. Nothing will ever be perfect, but when you continue to choose through love, patience, and trust as you eat the fruit of the spirit and dive deep into the word of God, then you are destined to have an incredible life together.
How perfect that there was a proposal during my baptism! Look at that confirmation! 😍
The evening ended with a beautiful sunset that was absolutely breathtaking! The photos could never do it justice! I'm grateful to have had the perfect day. I was glowing and feeling radiant from the inside out, and I continue to feel that inner radiance even a month later.
In short, October is officially stamped & sealed as my favorite month. The fact that I got baptized on the date of my favorite number (8) and on the first day of true Autumn weather are cherries on top. All is well in my soul. 😍
Thank you for being a part of my journey as I continue to discover and dive deeper into my faith. I love you!