Karina Canales has been attending Liquid Church in Morris County for three years, and was recently baptized in the Fall of 2021. She now serves as our Liquid College Engagement Coordinator, where she connects college students to peers in their area for small groups so they can grow and live out their own faith together. She also helps coordinate, plan and host events specifically for college students. Here is her baptism story.
WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO GET BAPTIZED?
I have been attending Liquid Church for three years - but I've been serving at events and outreaches for like, seven years! I grew up Catholic, my family and I attended every Sunday mass, and my parents were very involved in the church, but we stopped attending after we moved and could not find a Spanish speaking Church.
My sister was the first to find Liquid, almost 10 years ago. She invited our whole family.... my brother was very receptive, the rest of us were not. My parents weren’t very open to the idea of us attending a non-Catholic Church, and I just listened to them. I was in high school at the time and felt, “well I know who God is so I don’t need this.” Even though my brother and sister were really finding their faith and making it their own, my parents had a hard time with their transition. So, years later, I was kind of afraid to tell them when I started attending, too.
I had made the decision to get baptized in the Spring of 2020 - but was bummed when I didn't get a chance due to the pandemic. However, this past Fall of 2021 turned out to be the perfect time. Within those years, I learned so much more about my faith and have grown in trusting God so much. Throughout the pandemic, so much had happened in my personal life and my family life to the point that I finally really sensed that I was coming to a place of surrender to the Lord. I was now giving him control over everything I was doing.
I came to realize that it's not about me and what I can do or what I can control, but it's all about God. I came to a place to really surrender everything to the Lord. When I got baptized, I was finally ready to declare my faith publicly.
WHAT HAS BAPTISM MEANT TO YOU?
Baptism has meant a lot of freedom - that's the one word that keeps coming to me. Since my baptism, I realized I don't have to carry this big weight on my shoulders anymore. I battle with mental health - but God has granted me so much freedom in that battle. Even when I don't feel like I am enough, I know I am enough in Christ. When I mess up, I understand, learn from it and truly experience grace now!
It's such a cultural thing to be hard on ourselves, but when I put those feelings aside, I remember that I am perfect through Christ's sacrifice and my challenges and mistakes are ways He can and will grow me. Also, my parents did end up coming to my baptism, which meant so much to me.
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO OTHERS WHO ARE CONSIDERING BAPTISM?
Take the plunge! If you know you are surrendering to God and you are ready to take your next step... announce it publicly. Taking this step really has changed my relationship with the Lord from where I was previously in my faith. It may feel scary and you may even feel like you are facing a battle to make a decision, but if you're considering it, that may be God giving you a good tug on your heart!
If you're nervous, I will say Liquid did such a great job of helping me by connecting me with a baptism liaison and sending me such detailed information about every step along the way. They also helped me tremendously when thinking about my testimony. I felt like I always had a safe space to share and was connected to all the resources I needed for support.
TAKE YOUR NEXT STEP
If baptism is the next step on your spiritual journey, we encourage you to sign-up to get baptized this Spring at Liquid Church! Spring Baptisms will take place on Sunday, April 10th across New Jersey. To sign-up to get baptized at your Liquid campus, just visit LiquidChurch.com/Baptism. Have questions? Check out our FAQs!