Thursday, April 22, 2021

Reflection on my Baptism Anniversary of 20 years "It is for Freedom that Christ has Set Us Free"


I'm back on the blog after a five-year hiatus....for something amazing to reflect on.  This 20th Baptiversary, my anniversary of being baptized when I was 30yrs old.   

One of my college buddies recorded it and put it on DVD.  What a blessing to watch it last night as a family.  Some parts made me laugh, and some parts brought some tears.

Over the years there were many times I've felt the need to edit my story of coming to Christ, of stepping out to follow Jesus.  You see, my awakening was tied to something in our culture not many talk freely about.  We can talk about the death of a loved one, we can talk about divorce or other very personal things, but when was the last time you felt comfortable hearing someone talk about their abortion story? Yet I am one of the "1-in-4" women who did have an abortion.  There's no pretty way to dress that up.  Yet the beauty of it is how my story is now one of Redemption by the One who set me free.

Me with Book Manager Lori 

It was on a Sunday back in 1994 when I was selling books door-to-door in Massachusetts that I was invited to hear a theologian sharing the beauty and the agony of the cross.  On this day, I saw all my doubts about Jesus being "the Way" being shaken up, and then removed, as I saw the truth so clearly....but I was left with a huge roadblock.  My sin of abortion was right there before me, my guilt, my shame and feeling that the gates of Heaven were closed to me! I was in agony.  

That day, when my dear spiritual mother Lynette shared, I saw I was stuck in the "Old Covenant" of the Commandments --"Thou Shalt Not Kill" and she helped me to see clearly the New Covenant of Jesus, the Lamb of God, in shedding HIS blood, all would be forgiven if I reached out to Him which I did in a personal confession inviting Him in.  That day my faith went from one where I knew about and tried to follow a religion to one of relationship, of Lordship,  Jesus as the Center, where the old me was forever changed.

Then in 2000 I settled back in Madison and heard a Christian radio station sharing about the Whole Heart healing ministry for abortion.  There I met my dear friends Cassie and Mary who led the Forgiven and Set Free bible study.  I found this little excerpt from my Dec. 2000 journal today and it made me smile:

"I am learning the Bible so much Lord. I am doing studies w/Cassie that has me knowing where Samuel is (near Kings for example) and that Romans is before Corinthians and Galatians is after that.  That 1John is before Revelation. I am bringing HIS WORD into my life. Lord it is making me so strong in you!!" 

John 3:1-5 sums up this call to a new level of belief as Jesus talks to the Pharisee Nicodemus about being born again.

Feeling the tremendous weight of my "roadblock" being removed by the cleansing of His forgiveness and later finding a small church on State Street in Madison that became my "Sunrise Family" where I began to grow and love God's word is where the call came to my heart to be baptized -- to solidify this "New Tracey" and be freed up to shine my light, His light, so that I could free up others to find Him and do the same. Some day it'll be great to share the Next Chapter, with some postpartum breakdowns that signaled the need for revisiting my abortion wound, and to again find great healing and restoration in the process.

It  is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
Galatians 5:1

♥♥Bless your heart for reading my story, and may it encourage and move you in your own journey of faith, for God is so good!!♥♥