Bella (pronounced “Bay-a”) and her family moved from Minnesota to Illinois at age six. She grew up in a Christian home; she has pastors in her family, her dad coached soccer at Bethel (a Christian university), and Bella herself attended Willow’s Promiseland at a young age. She became a Christian at a young age as well, and her faith has been an integral part of her life. She and her family currently attend Willow South Lake where she’s a member of an Impact small group.
While attending small group, Bella began to ask herself the hard questions and why she believes what she believes. She said, “It’s okay to ask questions. Questions mean you’re thinking.” She wanted a faith that was her own; she didn’t want to follow God just because she felt like she had to, or because her family is Christian, but because she wanted to--she wanted to discover a truly personal relationship with Christ, not based on expectations, but on truth and love.
While studying the Bible and Jesus on her own, Bella came to an amazing truth, a truth worth sharing with everyone. In her words: “I am enough for God. No matter what I do or who I am, no matter what mistakes I make, I am enough for God--no matter what.” She discovered being a Christian is exactly who she wanted to be; she wanted to continue having her life revolve around Jesus.
With Covid and the quarantine, it was hard to hold church services, let alone have the ability to baptize. However, early into 2021, Bella asked Impact pastor, Roni, if she could get baptized. Bella wanted to take a public step and let everyone know who she is and what she believes. She said, “I wanted to show it’s okay to be a Christian.”
Scott Woods and the staff at South Lake made a baptism service happen (with safety measures in place), and this past March, Bella was baptized by Roni in front of her family and two best friends.
Bella has two younger sisters, and she said she wants to be a role model for them, but also someone they can learn from and grow from. By taking a step of faith and going public, Bella announced fearlessly to the world she’s a Christian; is there a better voice to follow than that?
Bella wishes to encourage anyone contemplating baptism by saying, “You’ll know when you’re ready, God will tell you, but baptism is for everyone. Baptism is for any person at any age, no matter your gender, culture, or race. If you’re ready to get baptized, God is for you!”
As we get ready to go into our baptism services this weekend, know this: baptism is for everyone! As long as you believe Jesus Christ died for you, and you have accepted Him as your Lord and Savior, jump in and get baptized. Your life doesn’t have to be put-together, you don’t have to have all the answers, and you don’t need anyone’s permission--take a step and go public with your faith.
Bella described her baptism as an “indescribable feeling.” We invite you to join us for a baptism service this weekend. If you’re on the fence, listen to your heart; what is God saying to you?
To learn more about baptism at Willow, or to register, click here.