Why I want to be baptised


By Renée Christine Chen


My parents are the pastors of Zion Praise Harvest church. Growing up in the church, being the pastor’s daughter meant that my childhood wasn’t considered ‘normal’. Everyone knew who I was, what embarrassing stories I had, and seemed to have a strange fear of me.

At first, I welcomed the title ‘Pastor’s Daughter’, for there were certain advantages, like getting away with a lot of trouble that I gave to the older brothers and sisters in church. But after awhile, the title became more of a burden as I started to experience the real world. 

Responsibilities and expectations were placed upon me, as I was now representing my parents. Any move that I made could possibly lead to people judging my parents’ values and upbringing of me.

This led to my building walls around myself, putting on a mask, and bottling what I truly felt.

My defence mechanism

The girl that was confident in the title ‘Pastor’s Daughter’ was gone. I became afraid, afraid of getting things wrong, afraid of speaking out in class, even asking for water in restaurants. The immense fear of doing something wrong became so great that a defence mechanism developed: lying. Because I didn’t want to disappoint my parents, I began to lie, from eating my lunch to not doing my homework.

Ham sandwiches 

You may think that not eating my lunch isn’t such a big deal, but when you have ham sandwiches every single lunch for the past year and counting, you obviously want some variety. So I threw my sandwiches away at school. But because there are teachers on duty, I had to resort to hiding them in between the gap of my bed and the wall and other nooks and crannies in the house. Here I threw away some seventy to eighty ham sandwiches. Unfortunately, my parents started to smell a foul odour in my bedroom. It wasn’t long before they found my ‘stash’ and I was busted. For my punishment, you would think it would be something like no TV. It wasn’t. Instead I was forced to take out all the decomposing sandwiches with my bare hands and count them right in front of my family. Luckily, they were in plastic bags. To this day, we are still finding sandwiches all over the house that are seven to eight years old. It really amazes me how many sandwiches I managed to hide. This is only one out of many of the rather outrageous and rebellious acts I committed as a kid.

Can I stop doing this?

So, from young, lying became so easy that they flowed out of my mouth like a waterfall. I was so ashamed of this problem, and every time I tried to stop, I would lie again. Unknowingly, my identity in Christ grew smaller and smaller and insecurities about myself grew bigger and bigger. This reached the point where I no longer knew who I was, what I was put on earth for, and why I was living.

Handing over to Him

After a lot of prayers, tears and laughter, I am still finding my calling in life and letting God mend me slowly, piece by piece. So why do I want to get baptised? For one, this year so far has been very challenging, emotionally and physically. After an unfortunate turn of events in my school and social life, I have learnt to rely on Him even more than I ever have before. I also have a conviction that I must be baptized this year, as I want to become even hungrier for Him, to draw closer and bring my relationship with Him to the next level. I know breakthroughs would not be possible except through Him. And to start, I will honour and obey His Word and get baptized – this is my own decision and conviction. end48

Renee is 13 years old and in Year 10 in Perth Modern School, Perth

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