The day was chilly on November 21, 2021. In the father, son, and holy spirit, I was baptized at age 31 in front of family and friends in my church, either live or via live streaming. That was one of the most important days of my life.
My birth mother, Linda, was more inclined to believe in a psychic medium named Sylvia Browne rather than the holy bible. I truly believe that only God knows what lies ahead for you. I grew up as a “closet Christian” as my mom and sister made fun of his holy word throughout my childhood; I often went to my other friends’ different churches during my childhoods because they invited me.
I have known my best friend for over 20 years, Jessica all her life. Christian values were ingrained in her family growing up. As a child and a young adult, I always looked up to her for guidance regarding the Christian way. As a child and young adult, I suffered from a lot of abuse and pain and made poor decisions. My parents were sinners, but I hope my beloved birth dad is in heaven with Jesus. I was blessed with a miracle over five years ago when God brought me into the Finos’ home. They are now my adopted family.
A message request had appeared on my Facebook timeline when I woke up one morning last April. When I realized it was from Lizzy, I was shocked. She was my long-lost godmother and a second mother. I called her my Godmommy even though I was never baptized, Lizzy’s faith always keeps me in awe, even to this day. Godmommy gifted me things from the bible and VSHs from a Christian perspective during my childhood. Recalling a video of someone telling us “Jesus says Let the children come to me.
Back in June 2021, It was a pleasure to visit my godmother and her family once more. Lizzy and I, our regular communication has resulted from this. It was wonderful to continue the relationship we had started when we last saw each other back in 2004.
My search for a church that will accept me with cerebral palsy has lasted a very long time. I never felt comfortable or even fit in at the church I attended in Williamsburg, though I attended many services there. During one of our conversations, I discussed my desire to find a good neighborhood church with my Godmother. Using Google to search “church near me,” I discovered a Presbyterian Church nearby with values similar to mine that seemed kind-of fit.
I had visited a Presbyterian Church in August of 2021, and moments after stepping into its chapel, I knew I had found what I was looking for. As if this was the perfect church for me, I was at peace and peace with God. It was a place I could see myself growing in, growing older, and taking this Presbyterian Church as my second home.
Within a few weeks, I seemed to be liking this church more and more. As a result, I joined their six-week discovery course. I must decide whether or not this church is the right one for me. I must uphold my church vows and show my commitment to them. Getting baptized at my new church is especially important since I was never baptized as a child. It was as if a man had proposed marriage.
It was something I discussed with my father, my mother, my grandmother, Jessica, Lizzy, and a few of my closest friends. In the end, after much prayer, thinking, learning about Presbyterianism, making a few friends who saw the real me despite my cerebral palsy, and meeting the two pastors of this Presbyterian Church, I reached my final conclusion. That led me to say “yes” to this Presbyterian Church is my church. However, the pastors and elders of the Presbyterian church had to decide whether to accept me or not.
On October 31, Halloween Day fell on a Sunday. As part of my membership interview, I met with two Presbyterian elders, my dad and myself. The experience during this interview was very emotional and moving, resulting in my taking my vows that very moment. I will always celebrate Halloween as the day of rebirth, pledging my allegiance to God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit.
Since then, I have fully embraced being part of my church while making new friends. Christmas eve church candlelight is particularly enjoyable to me. The Women’s Ministry at my Presbyterian Church enables me to grow in grace and truth by enabling me to become a better woman.