BY EDDIE CREEKBAUM, GRACE ATTENDER
We all are given life by God and God gives us our own path to living that life.
Mine started with my adoption as a baby into a loving home which has allowed me to become the man I am today.
When I was a child I attended a very traditional United Methodist church, with very little interaction with other children. I remember sitting with my mother for many years singing hymns and listening to a message I could not understand. By the time I was around 12, our family of five got too busy and we stopped hearing the Lord's message as it was never spoken about at home. I did not hear about and had no relationship with God until meeting my wife, Casey, in 2005. Looking back, I can see this was His plan all along. Had it come any sooner, I might not have reacted the same way.
Casey did not grow up in a church, but went to a private Christian School from 3rd-6th grade and attended church camp every summer with friends through high school. But, regular attendance at church was not pushed by her parents.
As a young couple, with two jobs and new baby, Casey and I felt it was a top priority to raise our son, Eli, in a church.
In 2013, we moved to Fishers and Eli, our oldest son, was 2 at the time. We wanted to hear the word of God again, and raise our children in the word. We found God's love in one of our neighbors (which was all part of God's plan as well in so many ways, but a fun story for another time). We tagged along with our neighbors to a church and although we loved the music we did not fully connect with the message or the church as a whole. But, we stayed since Eli seemed to be enjoying it. In the back of our minds, we were still searching to personally connect.
Then in the fall of 2014, we heard of Grace opening a campus here in Fishers. We came to check it out and quickly got connected with the people and the sermon. We both agreed with the broken places and the need for disciples of Christ. Soon after, I got involved with the setup team and that lead into the morning group. Through the growth of leadership and examples of how the Men of Grace have a relationship with God, that lead to the start of my personal relationship with God. Because of the men in these groups, I began to listen to my heart and explore how God had been in my life since the beginning (even when I was not listening to Him). God pursues us all...always! We all have our paths. My walk with God actually started this year (2017) at the age of 38.
Casey also got involved after our second son, Alex, was born July 2015. She started volunteering in Little One's Way which has strengthened her relationship with God. She says that her Women of Grace group has been instrumental in giving her courage and allowing a safe place for real questions and tough conversations. This group has impacted her so much that she got baptized in September of 2015!
This past year, a brother from Men of Grace asked me about baptism. Although I was baptized as a baby, I did not feel that it was my own will or desire. But at the age of 38, I prayed about it and I felt God pursuing me.
In the spring of 2017, I felt the calling to the water. I asked my brother to baptize me and he had the courage to say yes. Thank you, Jeff Asher!
As I stood in the baptism tank, I saw my wife and son standing behind me. I could actually feel Casey's love and excitement for this moment. I also felt the hope that Eli, at 6 years of age, would remember this day! This hit me truly hard because my father never once attended church, so I never got to see him make this commitment and am thankful my son will always have that moment.
My heart was jumping out of my chest with love and grace. Kevin Roth was on my left was talking about something, but I was too excited to really be focused on his words. But, Kevin eventually motioned for me to look over at the crowd, which I was totally not expecting. I look over and there was a large group of my brothers from Men of Grace. My heart STOPPED.
To see my brothers there celebrating with me took my breath away!
Men of Grace has helped me listen to how Jesus speaks to all of us through our hearts and through others. I will now have an open relationship with God forever. How God moves through us and into others is amazing. Once we all truly believe that our daily life events, sometimes gifts and other times challenges, are all given to each of us by God to strengthen us as His people. Just think of the life of Jesus his daily gifts and challenges...WOW!
How God moves through us and into others is amazing.
For those out there still searching or wondering, I've been there. I've walked in your shoes. I know how you feel. Now I know all I need to do is just breath and feel how our Maker has been at work and continues to work every second for us to hear Him and see His work.
Being called to the water as an adult, a husband, and a father of boys is a feeling of joy (a.k.a. Kara) that I'll be eternally grateful for.
Step Into the Water
During the first weekend of each month, Grace holds open baptisms. They provide everything you need. All you have to do is say "yes" to God. If this has been stirring in your heart, I encourage you to do it. If you need to talk to someone, there are tons of people at Grace who want to know you more deeply and walk with you. You can get connected and/or pray with/talk to someone. Just take that first step. You won't regret it.