Nate Wilcox, Kelly's husband, baptized Kelly with Collin, their son looking on. Following the baptism, we shared in communion together. What a sweet picture it was to hear the words of Romans 1:16-17 which read, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, 'The righteous shall live by faith;'" then to see Kelly demonstrate this with her own confession. Kelly Wilcox is not ashamed of the gospel!
Pastor Bryan asked Nate for his thoughts after baptizing his wife and here's what he had to say:
How gracious and amazing is our Lord! As I stood next to Kelly I had many thoughts and one emotion: joy. My wife has been redeemed and today she stands proudly and proclaims her faith in Him and the power of His gospel. I have seen her transformed by the Lord’s gospel and it has greatly blessed her and our marriage. I love and respect my wife and as we continued on in our relationship she has faced a multitude of things that many don’t experience at such a young age. Together we searched for answers, we looked everywhere except to the Lord and when we did, He delivered us. She held fast to her belief in Christ and when things were dark and confusing she showed the wisdom to accept our Lord’s stretched out hand.
I am so proud of Kelly’s obedience and commitment to the Lord, for Kelly’s searching. Even when the world told her this can’t make sense, and she was plagued with doubt from the past - she has decided lived it. I am blessed to have a wife who is dedicated to our Lord, who can stand firm in who He is. I can’t express how much gratitude I have to Him. He has given me my life, our son, Collin, and my wife. How beautiful a memory it is for me that our son was able to see and will remember Kelly’s proclamation of our living Lord!
Prior to being baptized, Kelly shared the following testimony and confession:
I grew up being taught about and knowing a lot of God, and even felt I loved Him. My family and I went to church, spoke of God and Christ in our home, read our Bibles, I went to youth group. I was involved in worship and I had even been baptized at the beach when I was eleven (we were in California). For a long time, I struggled with deep insecurity, and began living a double life, being one person at church and youth group and another with my non-Christian friends. Shortly after I graduated high school I started dabbling with alcohol, and drugs. At 18, my parents decided to move to Utah, so I followed wanting change. Shortly after moving, I left the faith and completely stopped going to church in search of my own path, my own truth, my own ways. I met my husband, Nate, when I was 19. He and I would discuss faith and religion and began to come up with our own idea of what we thought it should be and decided we could define our own religion. I thought I had a newfound sense of freedom from the bondage I experienced in religion, and blamed Christianity for oppression and judgment. Years went by of going deeper and deeper into alcohol and substance abuse and immorality, of searching endlessly, seeking hope and comfort in any and all beliefs that had nothing to do with God. Yet, all this time I was never finding peace or fulfillment.
Nate and I were married a few years later in 2008, and a few years after that, we moved in with my parents. Something very strange started to happen, Nate was reading the Bible all the time. At first, his motive was to prove my parents wrong as we had always debated about religion and faith with them, and we were determined to tear down their beliefs. Then, my brother Rory, and his wife, Amy, started going to a Christian church nearby and loved it. It frustrated me that they never pushed their beliefs on us and I waited and waited for the day they’d invite us to church, so I could turn down the offer. Instead, they would have us over for dinner, invest time in us, cared for us deeply and I had no doubt whatsoever they loved us very much, genuinely. Then, I found out I was pregnant. And The Lord used this time to begin to probe my heart and mind about how I was going to raise this child. I often asked myself, “What would I teach him of the world around him?” For the life of me, I couldn’t come up with anything worth believing in. I began to feel the Lord asking me, “What are you going to tell your son about Me? Who will you tell him that I am?” My initial thought and answer was “I don’t know because I don’t know You.” And that thought was the beginning of the realization of how lost I felt, living in darkness with no hope for my soul or my life or the life after this.
Nate told me he wanted to start going to church. At first, I resisted and was scared to go, but facing becoming a parent and not knowing what to teach my son, knowing my own beliefs were severely failing me, I realized it was worth a try. I didn’t want express any emotion and I really tried hard not to let church phase me. I wanted to hold on to my pride for dear life and not let go of the illusion of confidence I thought I had built up all these years. And I was terrified to admit I was wrong in turning my back on God and faith in Him. I think I was also very fearful of facing God Himself, especially all I had been doing the last several years. After going a few Sundays, I began to actually appreciate what the pastor had to say. I finally started singing along with the songs. Then, a few more Sundays went by, and the song “How He Loves” was being sung, and a wave of the love of God poured into me so intensely I burst into tears and couldn’t stop myself. In the deepest parts of my heart, soul and mind, I was convicted of the fact that for years and years I was rejecting Christ Himself and His deep love for me, and all He had done to give me a hope, a future, salvation. A verse closely tied to this conviction flooded my remembrance, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8. This was a moment of freedom and receiving Christ I will never forget. Then, Nate told me he wanted to be baptized. I was a little shocked at first. And even wondered, “How do you know you need to be baptized?” I was earnestly curious about what was taking place in him, and wanted the same ability to know God in this way. From this time on, God truly grabbed hold of me, and I got into His word, being given answers to any and all questions and I couldn’t get enough of His truth, which was and is life to my soul. There was a sense of purpose, and belonging and true freedom, and even joy that had been absent for so long.
Today, I confess I am a sinner, saved by the blood and righteousness of Jesus Christ, and not of any work of myself. I am convinced that God lives and reigns because the word of truth, the holy Bible, and because of the evidence in the transformation of my life, and because His majesty, splendor and beauty are evident in all of creation. Psalm 19:1 affirms, ”The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork.” I believe the Bible is the infallible word of God. That Jesus Christ alone is “the way, the truth and the life.” John 14:6. I believe Christ took on the sins of the world on the cross and laid down His life, defeated death and sin for all who would believe in Him. That He offers a blessed hope, a promise of an imperishable, incomparable inheritance with Him from God. But it is not because of the promise of blessing and splendor that I worship Him, but that He is worthy to be praised, worthy of a life of devotion, worthy to live and die for. I believe the promises from God of liberty from the bondage of sin and from our flesh, which only knows selfish ambition, and can only offer emptiness, corruption and ultimately death. Romans 6:23 tells us, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” I believe that God is love, and that faith in Jesus Christ is the only road to the one, true, living God, to eternal life in heaven spent worshipping His majesty, becoming one with The Lord. The reason I am being baptized today is to publically declare that I identify with Christ’s death, to die to my old self, to be dead to sin, and alive in Christ. “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Galatians 2:20