Baptismal Statement by Hannah Usey
February 14, 2010
I am being baptized today to show that I want to be Christian and to me, that means following Jesus. It means trying to do everything Jesus said. Doing what Jesus said means to me–doing the things He said to do, like helping others and showing God’s love. Honestly, being a Christian feels right to me, because, for me, everything makes sense in becoming a Christian.
When I was little, I remember learning about some miracles and stories, like the one about Noah and the ark. But I slowly grew older and matured and learned a lot more through Sunday School classes. I started reading the bible more. I remember being about 5 and in my room at night, going back over certain stories in my children’s bible, like the story of Samson and Delilah, which was one of my favorites. I also loved the story of the Garden of Eden and thinking about that garden with all its beauty. I also have good memories of Sunday School; I liked all of my Sunday School teachers. This may sound dumb, but I also like that they made it nice by serving us lemonade and cookies. I have great memories of playing teacher during break time with some of my friends in class like Mariah and Blair. We would also do fun crafts. I have always been in church choir. I’ve always loved singing, especially with Rydell, and many of the songs I’ve learned in church stay in my mind.
Also, I learned more from listening to my dad’s sermons, when I could finally sit stiller. I enjoy them, but sometimes I wish he would use less bigger words. But, even when I can’t understand the words, I still get the main points, because I can figure out what he means. They make sense to me. Some people have asked me if I mind when he mentions me. I actually like it, cause I get a dollar for each time, because my dad says my experience are copyrighted.
This last summer I went to Passport camp, where I had a great time. Everything about it was fun. We had bible studies and acted out things by putting on skits. I loved all of that. In fact, I’ve always had good feelings about church and lots of happy, good memories. When I think about it, I think of church exactly like my second home. I feel so comfortable there; I enjoy the people there. It’s a lot different than other people’s memories of churches. For instance, I was reading this Laura Ingalls Wilder series of books about the 1800s in America and I was shocked to learn how strict the churches were and how you felt pressure not to even smile in them. You were supposed to always act and look serious. And I thought, “Wow! I can laugh and smile at church and my dad makes jokes. Back then, it was like you HAD to like church, even if you didn’t really. I thought to myself, how terrible that was. So I feel very glad my church and my life isn’t like that.
I feel comfortable here and enjoy everyone. For instance, Miss Agnes has set next to me since I was little because my parents can’t sit with me. It’s meant a lot to me that she’s been there for me for so long. I think of her like a grandmother. I remember going to her home and her giving me a Santa ornament out of her big collection. I know she really cares. Lots of other people—like Patsy and Frank Kendall— have shown me in special ways that they care; I would like to be like them when I grow up.
About becoming a Christian: It’s not like I am suddenly now a Christian. I have wanted to follow God since I was little. I know God is real; I especially felt that ever since about a year ago when I had a friend problem and I prayed about it and God really helped me and made it better. I pray to God about problems and God always helps me. I try to be a Christian. Earlier this year I was being bullied and so was a friend of mine. I stood up for her and felt good about that. I try to help other kids when I can. Last week, this one guy in class without many friends didn’t have a partner, so I invited him into my group, and asked him if he needed help going through some of the stuff. I definitely think being popular seems stupid to me. So I feel like God helps me and I have tried since I was little to follow God.
How do I think about God? God’s loving—not scary to me at all. I think of God as bigger than all the planets; I think of God looking down on us. I find it easy to pray to God, but sometimes I forget to. I mostly pray to God when I have problems, but I thank Him too.
I think of faith as something you believe in, without knowing for sure. You have to have hope. I asked my mom once if, when she died, to send me a sign. But she explained that’s not what faith is—needing a sign. She said faith is believing without having proof. The whole point of being a Christian is faith; I get that now.
There are things I still wonder about and understand only a little. Like that place “down there.” I asked my dad about it and now I get it now so much more. He explained it this way: it’s a place where God isn’t. He believes you’ll have a choice to be with God, but that some people will choose not to be with God. But most everywhere has God, and everything has God in it, and I think everyone has God in them, so half of me can’t even imagine a place without God. I can’t believe how much God forgives. I mean, that’s amazing. God forgives even really horrible people like Hitler; I’m pretty sure God forgave him. So maybe he’s in heaven.
I think of heaven as a nice old-timey place—like things were supposed to be before everything got all technological and crazy like it is now–everything peaceful and beautiful. Only not old timey as in big hoop skirts and sunbonnets and like those old-fashioned churches back then. I couldn’t deal with that! So it sounds like a wonderful place, comfortable and natural and beautiful.
Anyways, the main thing about my being baptized is this: I want to follow Jesus. Like I said, that is the one thing that makes sense to me.