A few weeks ago, we had the privilege of baptizing Anna Kneller at Soma Downtown. Baptism is one of the most significant events in the Christian life: it's the moment we publicly acknowledge our faith in Jesus and our hope to be found in his life, death, and resurrection. Here's the testimony Anna prepared for her baptism:
Growing up attending a Lutheran Church, I was taught to believe in God and I never doubted my belief from the beginning. Throughout my childhood, attending church became a habit. Eight a.m. service, nice clothing a must, and obligated to eat fiber cereal every Sunday before church made it something I dreaded going to every Sunday morning. Though I always believed in Jesus as Christ, I felt no happiness during the service.
Life moved on, and throughout high school I still involved myself with church by being a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and attending a mission trip. Throughout it all though something felt like it was missing.
I started college and was excited to figure out who I really was. I joined a sorority and found myself wrapped up in the college atmosphere. Difficult classes and partying with friends became my norm. I never went to church, figuring I had too much studying to do or would rather spend time with my friends. I put everything before the Lord.
It wasn’t until I lived with a strong Christian in my sorority that my eyes opened to what loving the Lord was really about. My friend Ivana invited me to Greek Cru several times, until finally one day I obliged to go. There I learned about everything I was missing. Ivana and all the other wonderful Greek Christians who went taught me what having a relationship with Christ should look like. I knew then that my journey was really just beginning.
Between my junior and senior year of college, I attended Greek Cru weekly and began forming a relationship with Christ. Though I made more of an effort to put Christ first, it was still a sin I struggled with daily.
I graduated, moved back home, and sunk into a depression after unsuccessfully finding a job for months. Though I knew I should reach out to God, I couldn’t seem to find the strength to do it. Eventually I did move to Indianapolis, rented an apartment in the same complex as my boyfriend at the time, and started my first job. Two weeks after living in the current situation, I was broken up with and had never felt so alone.
My older sister recommended I try out the church one of her friends went to: Soma, and wow, am I sure glad I did. I had never felt so loved the day I first went to the Lyons' missional community. (I mean, come on, myself, a stranger to the group burst out crying when our female leader asked if anyone had any prayer requests.) From the get-go, the group and church itself not only welcomed me with open arms but also saved me.
The past 20 months of attending Soma has really transformed me. Not only do I look forward to attending church every week, but I have never felt so close to God. Through triumphs and trials, I know now that I must first turn to God. I am no longer a victim of my circumstances, but have full hope in the Lord and his plan for my life. Because Jesus died on the cross for my sins, I now live my life according to him.