faithwriters: coming back new


Written by Dan King

Christ-follower. husband. father. author of the unlikely missionary: from pew-warmer to poverty-fighter. co-author of activist faith: from him and for him. director of family ministry at st. edward's episcopal church. president of fistbump media, llc.

October 18, 2007

I must have asked myself if I was sure about this somewhere around a million times. Am I actually going to go through with this? Why do I need to do this anyway? Isn’t my salvation enough?

After my salvation experience about a year and a half earlier, I did notice some great changes in my life. However there was always the sense that I could always go back to my old way of life if this Christianity thing turned out to not be what I thought it was. After all, I was a liar with an immoral heart and a hypocrite. I never did open myself up completely to those close to me. I was a Christian now, but wondered why I still struggled with things. I even started serving as a helper with the youth group, and often found myself talking to young men telling them that they shouldn’t be doing the very things that I know that I struggled with in my own mind and heart.

I was told that the water baptism was about a bunch of different things, and it all made sense. But most importantly my Jesus told us to do it, and to me that was enough. However, I still struggled with the idea of going through with it. Now I understand why. I didn’t want to let go of the past. I enjoyed my past. I had fun, and if I were to do this whole baptism thing, then I knew that it was done.

I don’t know about everyone else, but to me the act of water baptism was about laying it all down. I had to take the old me and lay it all down before Christ and let Him know that all of the good ole “fun” stuff is not what I wanted out of life anymore. I wanted Him. I was dying to the world that day, and quite frankly, that scared me. I didn’t truly know what life would be like on “the other side” for me. That’s the next thing…

The “new” life. For me water baptism is also about a “resurrection,” just like my Jesus did. After He beat death and rose from the grave, I always imagine that he came back greater and stronger and even more confident. I doubt that the Son of God lacked in these areas to begin with, but the other side of resurrection had to be pretty special. And, that’s where I was about to go. I didn’t know what to expect, but I did know that it had to be a special place.

Finally, it was all too public. Why did we have to do it at a public beach? In front of all of those people? Now I know why. I needed my life to make a statement to the world. I had to make the statement that I was leaving it, and coming back different. People had to see me go down, and come back up.

So the day came, and I walked out into that water and waited for my turn. I was excited, but still unsure. When my turn came, with a pastor on each side of me praying, they laid me back into the water. There I was, completely submersed. I know that I was only down there for a second or two, but it also seemed like an eternity. As the water swirled over my face I remember opening my eyes and looking up. I saw the sun shining down through the water on me, and I remember thinking that God was out there somewhere smiling over me.

When I came back up, I came back up as the “new” me. All I could do was to stretch my hands up to the sky and praise His Name. And as I looked up to the sky, I was suddenly reminded of how cloudy it was outside that day. Then I just smiled, and took my first step forward knowing that God had smiled upon me that day, and that my life would never be the same again. Amen.

Note: Written for weekly writing contest [Christian Baptism] at


  1. smkearney

    Hey Dan, great post! You put it so succinctly. We don’t want to do it, because then we’ve made it all so final. We’ve really died to self. Blessings to you!

  2. kristabelieves

    Great Job Babe!
    You do such an amazing job at writing your thoughts so clearly where everyone reading feels as if it is them telling the story! Amazing!


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faithwriters: coming back new

by Dan King time to read: 3 min