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Baptism Testimonies: Mr. + Mrs. Herms

Baptism(web_cal)

At our fall family picnic, we celebrated God at work through the sacrament of baptism. It's amazing grace to see folks publically declare their faith in Jesus Christ.

Two of those baptised were young couple Ryan and Joanna Herm. Here are the testimonies they shared:

Ryan:

“About 4 years ago, my wife Joanna told me that I was accepted - accepted despite my past failures and future failures, and not because of my good works, but because of what Jesus did on the cross.  Knowing I was accepted finally propelled me to understand the beauty of the gospel.  

Growing up in a bible believing family with parents that introduced me to church and to the word was unbelievable, and such an essential part of my growth in the knowledge of what Christ has done, but not until a few years ago did I finally understand that Jesus truly accepts me despite - despite my flaws and ongoing sin and failures.  He loves me because of who He is.  This truth of being accepted finally allows me to admit my sin and be authentic – the gospel allows me to search all the areas of my heart and bring hidden sins to light because I know that I’m accepted no matter what.  I know that Christ is with me and won’t forsake me.   And knowing that I’m accepted by the God of the universe has changed me and how I view the world.  

This truth allows me to rest.  I no longer need my wife or money or work or friends to be my saviors.  This means I can love my wife and friends even when they fail me, be a better coworker because I’m not trying to find my worth at work, and be generous with my money because it’s not my ultimate savior.  

And – when I fail at these things daily, I can look to Christ and know that I am still accepted and trust that He is working on my heart daily to become more like Him.”  

Joanna:

“God drew me into Him at an early age. Through my childhood neighbors obedience to God's calling, my mom and dad learned about Jesus and began a relationship with Him themselves. In turn, they brought all of us kids to church, Sunday school and VBS which laid foundation for my faith in Jesus. I have come to learn how patient God is, since it has been my whole life He's been working on refining my heart. In college God opened my eyes to what a selfish heart I had and how often I made decisions based on what others would think of me. God used this revelation along with interactions with others where my heart was largely wounded to capture me. While I felt so hurt and betrayed He helped to show me how much more my sin impacted Him and how awful my mistakes, sins and wrongdoings were to Him. It was my sins that sent Him to death on the cross. In high school I heard a sermon that talked through Jesus' death, and the spiritual and physical pain Jesus had to endure to cover my sins. It is real to me that I was a reason Jesus had to go through what He did. He did this for me. He also died for those around me. He did this for the whole world. His life made up for my faults and it is because of His life that I have mine.  

Recently my sister was going thru some of her storage and she found a plaque of mine. My parents had plaques in our rooms with our names and a Bible verse when we were kids. When I got it back I read the verse and was overwhelmed with God's thoughtfulness and providence. This verse seems perfect when I reflect on the path He's led me to Him.

Isaiah 30:18 But God's not finished. The Lord longs to be gracious to you, therefore He will rise up to show mercy to you for God takes the time to do everything right—everything. Blessed are all who wait for him.”