Hello, my name is James Nicholson, I am 19 years old, and this is my testimony. I was born in Markham Ontario into a Christian household with a wonderful family… and an older sister. For as long as I can remember I’ve been going to church and learning about God, but I didn’t truly understand what Christ’s word meant until fairly recently. Growing up, I felt like I didn’t have a place in the world. I wasn’t athletic, my grades were always below the class average, for a while I didn’t have any good friends, and I more or less never won any awards for anything.
But last year I went through a life-changing experience, which was my basic training for the army reserves. It challenged me in a way I never had been before. One day I’m a high school student who’s never had a job before, and then the next thing I know I’m in uniform doing push-ups with a Master-Corporal shouting some not-so-church friendly things. A verse that I memorized while on course was Romans 8:18 – “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” It helped me to remember that whenever it got tough, (which it frequently did) it would all be worth it.
After completing Basic, I walked away with new friends, including the people who trained me, physically and mentally stronger, and a renewed sense of purpose and self-confidence that I had never felt before. This helped me to realize I needed to have a more purpose driven life in Christ by demonstrating more commitment to Him through baptism.
On the topic of baptism, I initially believed I simply wasn’t holy enough to go through with it. I don’t always have the cleanest mouth and I’m not particularly patient, alongside other struggles I’m sure many of you can relate to. What I failed to realize is that baptism doesn’t mean you need to be a perfect person. Many of my current sins I will continue to grapple with for a while. But it’s also not Christianity Prime, where like Amazon all your prayers are answered faster. It simply publicly symbolizes your commitment to the Lord, like how a wedding is a commitment to a spouse. The real question is are you willing to live up to that commitment. Now that I have opened a new chapter in my life and have a strong enough understanding of what it means to be a Christian, my answer is yes.