Taking Off the Old Self; Putting on the New

Keri Smith of Deprogrammed
6 min readJun 4, 2021

I got Baptized today. It was going to be at Blue Hole, but the all of the rain and flooding pushed us into friend’s very nice, warm pool. I was surrounded by close friends and church family. And guess what? God was there too. One day I will tell the story of how I ended up hearing God after practicing closing my ears to him for so many years.

My Preacher, Bradley J. Helgerson from Church on the Square

Three and a half years ago, when I was still at the beginning of crawling out of my dark night of the soul, I had just been to a church service where I felt the presence of God. Grace and love washed over me there; an experience hard to put into words. A mix of joy and understanding — a knowing in your gut. Unworthiness made worthy. I opened the Bible and read these verses and found that they spoke to me so loudly I had to write them down:

“But I know your rising and your sitting, your going out and coming in, and your raging against me. Because your arrogance has come to my ears I will put my hook in your nose and my bit in your mouth; I will turn you back on the way by which you came. And this shall be the sign for you: this year you shall eat what grows of itself, and in the second year what springs from that; then in the third year sow, reap, plant vineyards, and eat their fruit. The surviving remnant of the house of Judah shall again take root downward and bear fruit upward.” 2 Kings 19: 27–30

I recognized this, because it had happened to me. Because of my stubbornness and my arrogance, God had to put the bit in my mouth and the hook in my nose to steer me back on the path. I insisted on doing things the hard way. In my journal, three and a half years ago, I wrote this under those verses: “It will take me a while, maybe three years. I will start planning for the future now. Not putting off for tomorrow what could be done today. God helps those who help themselves.”

I remembered this today when a friend told me I am at the beginning of a race, but starting so far ahead. I don’t believe I am starting far ahead. It’s a matter of perspective isn’t it? Though I achieved trappings of worldly “success,” I spent 20 years stagnant in many ways, my soul preserved in alcohol, my mind imprisoned in ideology, both waiting to be set free. In comparison, a lot has happened in the past five years. In the past three and a half years. And in the…