Karen Trappett – Baptism Testimony – 5th May 2019
My Testimony – My Christian Journey
I was baptised into the Catholic faith at six weeks of age and attended Catholic schools on the south side of Brisbane, but we weren’t really a church-going family outside of school and the sacraments, and we never read the Bible – just the leaflets they gave out in mass that we binned on the way out of the church. It was assumed the priests and nuns were there for that, (we were unworthy, whereas they were holy) but I read my children’s illustrated Bible voraciously – as I did everything else – which has helped me to have a basic understanding of the life of Jesus. When I did read the Bible for the first time, I kept looking for the ascension of Mary in the New Testament, but, of course I never found it.
I’ve always believed in God and Jesus, but the thought of a 6000-year-old world was always hard to believe. However, I have accepted there are mysteries in this world that we will never understand, and we aren’t really meant to. I’ll ask Him when I get to heaven. In hindsight, I believe there have been many times that I have been saved by God. The house fire in 1995, that I alone woke to when the alarms didn’t sound, and we were saved. I just knew it was the clothes dryer and I still don’t trust them. I was seriously ill in 2009 – septicaemia and osteomyelitis of my spine and shoulder, 31 days in hospital and four months recovering; and on Christmas eve I suffered anaphylaxis at home after taking medication – not a fun season that year. My struggles with Diabetes, Diabetic Neuropathy and Depression, withdrawal from the world and self-destructive behaviour; even suicidal thoughts that I haven’t even shared with my family. God has saved me every day of my life; I am still here for a reason, and a purpose.
My experiences have shaped me – school, work, family, illness, loss and love. Don was meant to enter my life, the sparks flew, and we are still together after 33 years – our anniversary was on the 3rd. The strength Don and I found when we lost little Catherine in 1989, brought us closer together. Our girls; Zoe, Elizabeth and Danielle, are our miracle babies; here to teach us the meaning of overwhelming love; and worry. Danielle was the first in our family to be baptised in the Christian faith, and today I will be the second. I pray that I won’t be the last. This time I get to choose my own faith, I choose to follow Jesus all the remaining days of my life.
At first, I was sceptical of Danielle’s journey to faith. I never understood, and my eyes and heart were not opened; not then. It took many visits to church, intense discussions (sometimes arguments) with Danielle, reading, listening to sermons (particularly Simon Ward’s distinctive Englishness and John Armstrong’s flair for humour), watching the love and joy in others, seeing the Holy Spirit speak through Leanne, and singing praise in worship before my heart of stone started to crack.
Good Friday 2016 was THE day. I was in Nexus church for their AM service and towards the end of the service they asked for people to put their hands up to accept Jesus. Something stirred in me and I was compelled to raise my hand. Goosebumps, flutters in the stomach and finally bubbling joy as my arm shot up, and my journey as a God-centred Christian finally began. The Holy Spirit entered me and began to transform my unseeing eyes and disbelieving heart. I was stirred and shifted, but it was a slow progress at first. I read the Bible and began to understand in part. I remembered much from my children’s bible, and the words came to life. I watched Danielle’s mission in Thailand and saw how God was central in all facets of her life and she became my idea of how God’s love and light shines into the world. I was discipled by Joy Rawson; we did Christianity explained and I gave my life to Jesus. The more I read and understood, the more I yearned. John started the 100 days devotional early in 2018 and Danielle urged me to go for it. It was an immense blessing and I have embraced daily readings, devotionals and everything else I can get my hands on ever since.
I might be a broken vessel – I have only 6 toes, my legs don’t work properly, and Diabetes still ravages my body, I have good and bad days, everyday stresses and trials – but I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. He is strong enough to carry me every day and he continues to transform me from the inside out. I am no longer the same person I was; I still have my personality, but I am so much more than the sad shadow I was when life and the world overwhelmed me. I no longer sit all day watching television to escape, I no longer listen to the rubbish that passes for music these days, I read more, I pray, and I am always full of inner peace, joy and love – that angry person is dead and buried. I listen to Christian music all the time – the words move me so much and I read absolutely everything. Since 2016 I have almost completed a bachelor’s degree which I never thought I would ever do, and I have brought my spirituality into my writing. I am a new creation; thank You Jesus. I no longer look to the world to satisfy, (except food – I love food, sorry Father), but my heart hurts for what hurts His.
Do I miss my old life? Not one bit. I may have lost some things, but I don’t count them as loss as I have gained so much more. I have hope and forgiveness. The love I feel is exponential, the love I have for my family is so much greater for giving it to Jesus first. I have so many brothers and sisters, in this room and around the world. We share love and hope with each other and everyone. I feel so much inner joy and peace, even when I’m in a season of despair. I am no longer just me, I am a beloved daughter of the most high living God, and I am saved by the precious blood of Jesus Christ. He died for me, He rose from death and is now our eternal High Priest, sitting at the right hand of God, Abba Father. The veil is ripped asunder, and I am free to be in His glorious presence, now and forever.
My journey with illness may have started with a diagnosis and some really crappy years; times when I despaired of ever being normal again, but I count my journey as a blessing now. While I’ll never be normal – I’m quite fabulous really – my loss of weight (fluctuating weight really), amputation of toes and my stupid legs have given me an opportunity to learn and grow. I can help others, I can be happy in spite of my limitations, and He loves me just the way I am. I might be stumbling on wobbly legs, and my body sucks, but inside I’m dancing with an angel choir.
I’m Yours, Jesus.