I was baptized the summer before my 9th-grade year. At a Wednesday night Bible study my best friend’s dad asked me if would accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior. I said yes. He led me in a prayer and then told me I needed to get baptized, so that’s what I did. That Sunday at the end of the worship service, I walked to the front and told a deacon what my friend’s dad said, and the next week I got dunked.
That was it, I thought. I’m a Christian now. But I was plagued by doubts for years. I was raised in church my whole life. Some of my earliest memories are of sitting in Sunday school at Oakwood Baptist Church in Lubbock, Texas, learning about Noah’s Ark from a silver-haired old lady and singing “Jesus Loves the Little Children”. Yet I had no idea what it really meant to be a Christian. I thought it was kinda like being Jewish; if your parents were Christian and if you believed in God, then that meant you were a Christian, too. I never doubted God’s existence or that Jesus died for my sins and rose again on the third day, but no one ever explained that that’s only Step 1.