Editor’s Note: Baptist Press is releasing a series of columns leading up to Sept. 8, which is Baptism Day in the Southern Baptist Convention. For resources, go to namb.net/baptism-sunday.
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – Kaylen Baker felt something unusual early this summer.
“I felt like something was pushing on my heart in bed.”
The 11-year-old knew nothing was wrong physically but that God was beckoning.
Kaylen had watched her brother Brayden’s baptism a couple years ago and her cousin Gavyn’s a few months ago.
Each time, Kaylen felt no envy, no stirring to do the same.
She and her parents, Courtney and Scott, attended a study at their church for children who had made a profession of faith in Christ or were thinking about it.
Kaylen listened but inwardly wasn’t nudged to make a decision.
She had seen a drawing of a stick figure facing a deep gulf that could only be bridged by the cross upon which Jesus died to save people from their sins.
She and the children’s minister – Josh Reyenga at New Vision Church in Murfreesboro, Tenn. – talked about the illustration, but she held back from making a superficial commitment.
Whenever Kaylen talked with her parents, she said their counsel was “God will tell you in your heart.”
Then came the moment this summer when Kaylen told her mom about “something pushing on my heart.”
“We talked about it and I said I wanted to make my decision and then she started crying,” Kaylen said of her mom’s joy.
“I prayed that I wanted Jesus to come into my heart and to learn more about Him and walk with Him.”
In giving her life to Christ, Kaylen said, “I felt good. I felt new.”
She followed the Lord in baptism a few weeks later. The feeling was “hard to explain” but again she felt “new.”
Kaylen remembers that three of her friends from school came for her baptism in addition to her extended family.
“You want everybody to see it,” she said of baptism, “so everybody knows that you’re a Christian.”
She has since shown the stick figure illustration to a couple of friends at school during a snack break and “tried to tell them about it,” that “I made my decision because God pushed on my heart and wanted to come into my heart.”
And Kaylen wants to be like her “Grampa” – Phil Baker, the SBC Building’s superintendent in Nashville – who does an impromptu Bible study with her, Brayden and Gavyn some Sundays.
“We go around and do Bible verses to each other, and we learn about them,” she said, voicing a desire “to teach more people to learn about God, reading the Bible and studying it more.”
Kaylen’s favorite Bible verse is Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
Already she has felt her faith at work.
“I usually was, like, grumpy. And now I’m, like, usually happy.”
Written by Baptist Press, the official news service of the Southern Baptist Convention.