I grew up in the Baptist church all my life, got up and sang numerous Sundays, was in the choir, and rejoiced every time some one asked Jesus to “come into their heart”. I was active in the children’s ministry, and thought I was a model christian.
On the weekends I would party with friends with no convictions. I went to a non-denominational christian college and graduated with a BS. I moved in with the” love of my life” and we discussed how wonderful it will be when we get to Heaven, and the joy of seeing all of our loved ones that had gone before us.
We got married in 2000 and joined a local baptist church. We raised our hands as the praise team played in their band and the choir sang with great enthusiasm. We had a baby girl five years after we were married. We dedicated her to the church when she was 3, and she was four when I explained that if she asked Jesus into her heart that she will be saved and go to Heaven. She said the prayer right then and boom! I told her she will now go to Heaven and will always and forever be under God’s grace.
When My daughter was five years old my husband told me that he had been having an affair for over two years and that he was leaving me for another woman. In a desperate state of mind I ran and grabbed my Bible showing him all the verses about Adultery. In response my husband replied that it was alright, because all he had to do at the end of every day was ask for forgiveness and all will be well with his soul. My entire life I was taught the concept of “once saved, always saved.” So just live however you want? Commit adultery and still go to Heaven? This raised many questions in my confused head. Could this possibly be right? I guess so! After all, that is what I ave heard all pastors say in every church I have ever been to. It must be true! Say the prayer, live how you want, go to Heaven. Sounded simple enough!
My husband moved out leaving Grace and I. DIVORCE. A word I never expected I would ever have to say. Just the two of us. This was something I would have to get used to and we adjusted as well as we knew how. I had to be strong for her, but broke down when she was not looking. I had to be her example!
After some time had passed I created a profile on eharmony. What… was.. I… thinking? Meeting someone on the internet went against everything I believed in. I just thought it would be fun to see what kind of people this infamous website would match me up with. Well, days of checking my profile, and scrolling through people i had absolutely nothing in common with, I ecided to give it up. I mean, what a waste of time!
The next day I checked it again, after telling myself not to, and I was matched up with someone who had everything in common with me! We answered all questions almost exactly the same! Wow! Long story short, we started communicating and the more I talked with him the more I realized what an amazing christian man he was! We talked for a while, and I quickly found myself back into the dating scene, a place I never thought I would be in again!
After a few weeks he asked me to go to his church with him. He explained to me that they don’t play instruments. What? Ok, I could probably get used to that. To each his own right? No big deal. When I got there I noticed there was no choir, no piano, no solos into the microphone. What kind of church is this? My whole church life was centered around guitars, drums, piano and performances! I really had feelings for this man so I will deal with it. At the end of the service the invitation was a little different than what I was used to. They said to those who were not saved to hear, believe, confess, repent and be BAPTIZED. Hmmmm…… what about asking Jesus to come into your heart? Of course my new boyfriend got an ear full of questions on the car ride home.
He explained to me that in order to go to Heaven, one must be baptized for the remission of sins. This went against everything I had ever been taught. I was “saved” when I was eight years old by saying the prayer. Several months later I was baptized to show a profession of faith. At the age of eight I let the whole world know that I was saved! Emotions bursting out the seams! I was already saved!
Different questions and emotions flooded my head. I refused to believe this idea! This was so wrong. After many sleepless nights and reading the Bible verses that spoke of this over and over I continued to question everything.
After endless questions and countless discussions with him on this subject, I finally realized that this was real. I had not been baptized for the right reasons, nor was I aware at such a young age of what I was even doing. I realized at once that I must be re-baptized. This time for the remission of my sins.
My fiance, yes we got engaged, baptized me in the middle of the day on a Saturday afternoon. I was met there by some of our church friends, as well as the elders. Jeff, my fiance, asked me if I believed that Jesus Christ is the Son of the living God. I said yes! I was immersed in the water, into Christ’s death and rose to walk in the newness of life in Christ Jesus! How could I have been so blind before! I thought that I was going to Heaven my whole life! I have Always prayed for the Truth and God was finally revealing it to me.
Jeff and I are now married and have a beautiful family. God led me to this incredible man of faith who is the spiritual leader of our home, something I am finally experiencing. All of my family and friends belong to the Baptist Church and struggled with why I decided to do this. I have struggled with knowing how to witness to them without offending them. A friend of the church gave me this book to read. Muscle and a Shovel is the most inspiring and truth based book I have ever had the pleasure of reading and I want to give every one I know a copy! Thank you for your testimony! After reading your book, I realized I am not alone on my journey to discovering the Truth.
2 Replies to “Courtney Holbrook’s Story”
Courtney, thank you so much for taking the time to write your story.
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