GUYS. I got baptized today. It was honestly so surreal and probably one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life. It wasn’t easy either. It took a lot for commit. I felt so bad… I had bailed about 3x before I finally was just like, DO IT SHIRLEY. I just felt like I was annoying them, but that’s my own insecurities and worries taking over. Even more of a reason to do the damn thang.
I went to Mosaic in Hollywood. It’s a non-denominational Christian church, and every time I go, I never regret it. My friends brought me here a while back, and I can’t say I’ve been the best at attending. Many asked me today how long I’ve been coming, and it was honestly very hard to admit I haven’t. I joined a kickball league in the summer, and that was my excuse. As I usually do, I tried to make light of the matter and bring humor into the situation to avoid facing reality.
I cried on my way over. I was pretty anxious. I knew I was only going to be worse when I got there. It’s been a long, long journey with God. My parents put me in Christian private schools my whole life, and the religion itself has been engraved in my brain. Going through life and its struggles, I’ve fallen off my walk with God too many times to count. Somehow eventually, I find my way back. My issue was I was angry. I would blame him for all the things that were happening to me, when in reality I was only a victim of my own sins. I have a handful of friends who care a lot about me and have always told me God is the answer. When they would tell me that, I would get so mad at them. They would tell me to pray, and I’d be like, “I’m talking to nobody!”
Okay let’s get to the point. I believe God is the Savior and I need to put all my faith in Him. It isn’t about religion, or how you glorify being a Christian. It’s not about going to church every Sunday, and it’s not about living a perfect life. It’s about believing in Him and asking for forgiveness. I used to hate my parents and blame my crazy strict high school on how I turned out. I acted out and I rebelled. This lead me down a very dark and lonely path.
I understand not everyone agrees with this idea of God existing, and I understand the doubts. The fact of the matter is, I was blessed to be exposed to such positive morals and values. While most may be common sense, the things I’ve learned have molded me into the strong, caring, female adult I am today. It’s about being the best person you can be, and living a life you can genuinely be proud of. Nobody is perfect, and everyone makes mistakes. God always gives you a second, third, fourth chance.
The people at Mosaic are literally nothing short of amazing. While I looked lost, as I was, everyone there was so helpful and quick to offer a helping hand. The reassurance we were given that everything was going to be okay was beyond what I needed. The pastor Rachel who did my baptism, her energy, mayne. I can only strive to be her. She impacted my day more than she’ll ever know. Just so much love, kindness, and positivity, without even trying.
I honestly feel like the baptism itself went by so fast. Before I knew it I was in the water. Also felt like I was numb for some reason. Oh yeah, started crying when the girl in front of me went. When the doors opened and exposed those of us getting baptized, I saw my friends in the crowd. In that moment, I was so thankful. The fact that they took time out of their Sunday to share such a special moment with me was everything. Shoutout to my LA fam, you girls are my rock.
Driving home, for the first time in my life, I felt at peace. For the first time in a long time, I felt okay. I felt like I was going to be okay. I really had to just cherish the feeling and hold on to it. I’m very quick to go into a negative space, no matter how hard I try not to. I called my best friends from home and shared the news and told them I loved them.
Currently about to go volunteer at an event tonight with the VMA’s. I honestly have no idea what it is, and it’s taking a lot for me to not just crawl into bed. Say no to naps.
“My name is Shirley. Jesus is Lord. And I’m ALL IN.”
TRACK OF THE DAY: Honestly, I’ve always been concerned about the negative stigma associated with rap music. Especially me, who lives, breathes, and sleeps this current wave of hip hop. It’s hard not to get judged when you hear the most ignorant lyrics and you see someone who just thrives off it. Honestly, it is no reflection of how I live my life. I really just appreciate the music in itself and the production behind it.
Here’s a breath of fresh air. Evidence is a dope MC from Los Angeles and part of the rap group Dilated Peoples. Saw this track in a tweet from a writer at DX. Don’t ever forget the good times. Stay up fam.