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A testimony by Josh Baker

My desire to go through On Fire a second time with a young adult group was inspired by my wife’s experience with a cohort she joined with participants our age and the friendships and community she created during their 6-month journey. I wanted that experience, too. However, just a few hours into the opening retreat I realized God had another plan. During lectio divina, a type of prayer that involves reading, meditating and contemplating a passage of scripture, I found for the very first time God was speaking directly to “me” through the scripture reading. He was telling me I was exactly where I should be. My response to God was to teach me to love how He intended me to love.

Receiving God’s love for me had always been a challenge because of my own struggles with a distant relationship with my father and the lack of faith within my own family. I had also struggled with anxiety over the years but not for a very long time. Ironically, during On Fire I had a severe case of anxiety. The only thing that seemed to give me any peace came in the most unexpected way, serving my wife.

My wife is a teacher, and I started to help her with her school projects, something I begrudgingly did in the past due to my lack of creativity. One of the projects took several hours and doing it together was a really great experience for both of us. The school projects and helping her around the house became a path to peace for me and brought us closer in our marriage. My attitude towards these things had completely changed. I was finding joy in making my wife happy. God had answered my exact prayer, perfectly timed in a completely unexpected way. I learned how to love the way HE intended – Sacrificial Love. My wife became pregnant during this time and taking care of her was easy. God’s timing for our daughter was perfect too. I realized he wanted me to learn how HE intended me to love so I could then love my wife and my daughter as HE intended me to love them.