The Choices We Make

Sister Montgomery, myself, Elder Carrol and Sister Blair the day of my baptism!

Throughout our lives we are given the opportunity to make choices that either make us or break us. We have the choice to either take what has been thrown at us and allow it to make us into the incredible person we all have the potential to be or to allow it to crumble us up and have it to consume and define us. Throughout my life I have made a series of choices that have led me to my life today. Two years ago today, I made the best choice yet - I made the choice to be baptized and confirmed a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or as many people say, “Mormons.” My conversion to Christ didn’t start two years ago; it started about 6 years ago. But 2 years ago, I built up the courage to seek out a church and become a part of something far greater than myself.

6 years ago, this November I was in a car accident that changed my life and shaped me into the person I am today. Though I don't have much recollection of the time of the accident I do remember I was angry. Specifically I was angry at God for taking my best friend away from me. Prior to the accident I didn't consider myself a very religious person - I had been baptized Catholic and performed my First Holy Communion as well as Confirmation but I was never really active. I was more of a Cultural Catholic rather than a practicing, devout Catholic. When the car accident happened, I was trapped in a submerged vehicle, filled with water, fighting for my life to find a way out. I needed to breathe but I couldn't find an air pocket. There came a point where I began to curse God and be angry with him for allowing this to happen to a 16 year old... I wasn't ready to die. I began to pray and ask that my mother wouldn't find me dead, that I would find a way out and everything would be okay. My body began to cramp up, (kind of like when we compete with our friends in the pool, seeing who can hold their breath the longest but then our bodies begin to cramp) and I knew that this was it, I was drowning and my body couldn't handle it anymore. I was talking to God and I told him that I accepted this fate, I was okay with His will and to just take away the pain that I was experiencing. At that instant, I felt something push me up to an air bubble that I hadn't found before and I was given a second chance. In the weeks to come I knew that I had to make a choice, a choice to either let this accident define me as a person, or to do good.. to live my life and give my life to God.

Following the accident there were many different church leaders coming in and out of my home, offering their support and prayers to myself and my family. In the following months, I began to attend a nondenominational, Christ-centered Christian Church, and I loved it. I found myself being happier, living with a purpose and having fun. This Christian life-style had become such a huge part of my life that my during my senior year of high school I even applied and was accepted to a Christian College, Biola University. Long story short, Prom came around and I began to fall into the habits of teenage partying and stopped living a Christian Life-style and I stopped attending church and youth group because I was embarrassed. I didn't want to be judged. That was the choice I made. I chose to allow Satan to convince me that I wasn't worthy of God's love and I believed him for about two years.

In May of 2014, I was introduced to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. During that time I was going through the motions of life and didn't really have a purpose. I was attending a community college in my hometown and working part time at a BBQ restaurant. A close friend of mine was dating a Mormon and we would always ask questions about his beliefs and why Mormons believed in certain things they did - such as why Mormons don't drink coffee, alcohol or tea. She was such a great missionary and she wasn't even a member herself! She would always invite me to the Young Single Adults, Family Home Evening nights, which is just another word for Youth Group and her boyfriend was always so willing to answer any question I had. Finally one night, after the many invitations I agreed to go to FHE and coincidentally two sister missionaries were there as well. I remember getting ready to go and had no idea what to wear, I hadn't gone to church to forever and had no idea what I was allowed to wear. I pulled into the Stake Center parking lot and was so scared to get out of the car and while I mustered up the courage to walk in, I was greeted with familiar faces that I recognized from high school! Everyone introduced themselves and was so happy to see me there, it was incredible. After the spiritual thought was given Sister Blair and Sister Montgomery came up to me and introduced themselves. They were so sweet and genuine and I remember telling them, "I'm interested in learning more about the church! Can we start tonight?" I had my first lesson that night, which was about the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and I loved it. Everything made sense, and the spirit that was felt was so strong. Once the lesson was finished, they asked when they would be able to see me again and I told them I couldn't for at least a week because I had finals. Once my semester was finished sure enough I received a text from the sisters asking me how my finals had gone, and if I could meet soon. The next week we met together everyday and breezed through the lessons and even set a baptism date. I loved them, the sisters, the lessons, the members. I couldn't get enough and everything made sense! I felt myself wanting to change, feeling the spirit and loving the people in my ward. I would go church on Sunday's and I loved the people. Mormons are known as having big families and having grown up an only child for the first 14 year, I loved seeing these families that would take up an entire church pew.

The day before my baptism my mother and I had a huge fall out and she had kicked me out of the house. The adversary was working real hard to try and make this baptism not happen but I refused to let him win. I remember that night I called Sister Blair and Montgomery bawling my eyes out telling them that the baptism wasn't going to happen and they were devastated, they told me that everything was going to be okay, and that I could stay at a members house that night. I didn't want to leave home and I remember telling my mom that I wasn't going to leave my house. I got down on my knees that night and prayed. I prayed for a straight 30 minutes asking God for strength during this time and to soften the heart of my mother because I wanted her to be at my baptism for than anything.

The next day, June 21, 2014 came around and it was the day of my baptism and I was so nervous. I didn't know what to expect and I didn't know if I was making the right decision. No one told me I needed to get to the chapel 30-45 minutes before my baptism so when I was pulling up 5 minutes before my baptism, everyone was freaking out thinking I wasn't going to show. I quickly got there and saw SO MANY members INCLUDING MY MOM in the room with the baptismal font, it made me feel so loved. I quickly changed into the Baptismal Suit, took photos with the sisters and walked into the room. Before I knew it, I was told it was time to be baptized and go into the baptismal font with Elder Carrol, a cute senior missionary who was serving with his wife. Mormons believe in baptism by immersion, which means when you're baptized, your entire body goes under the water, and when you come back up you are clean from any previous sin. When I came up from being baptized I felt light as a feather. I felt like I was on cloud 9 and I couldn't believe this overpowering spirit that I felt. I knew that the struggles I had gone through before, happened to lead me to this exact moment. I looked to the crowd and could see the joy they had in their eyes and I just started to cry. I was so happy. I knew that this choice was the choice that would change my life and allow me to become the women I was meant to be.

Since that day, so much has changed. I moved to Utah to attend BYU, something I never would have imagined myself doing. I've lived in a different country because of the opportunities this church has provided me with. I've met amazing people who help strengthen my testimony and continue to be examples to me. MY MOM EVEN GOT BAPTIZED!!! I am so thankful for this church and all of the happiness it has provided me with. I am so excited to see what these next two years have in store for me and to find out the adventure that this life has is. I know that God knows me perfectly and loves me, and he loves you too!

Thank you for reading!

XO, Savannah

3 comments

  1. Wonderful post. It's amazing how much one little decision can affect our entire pathway of life - or how a few choices led us to eachother. ❤️ I love you.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yes it was the greatest decision ever. It has brought us closer as a family. We have been given so many blessings to be members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I am so proud of the wonderful woman you have become. Love your mother always and forever❤️��

    ReplyDelete