Baptism Transforms Goth to GLOW

It's been a long and winding road home for Michelle Willis.

Raised an Adventist, Willis was drawn as a teenager into the Goth subculture, a term most often associated with moods of morbidity and darkness. She adopted many aspects of the Goth lifestyle, including dyeing her hair black and wearing all black clothing and makeup. Willis kept a tenuous hold on her walk with the Lord, but moved to the periphery of church involvement.

One evening while feeling especially alone, she prayed for assurance and comfort. Hearing only silence, she says she "officially walked away from God," not realizing at the time he had her in his sight all along.

Partying, depression and loneliness followed until Willis realized something had to change. She knew she needed to surround herself with people who had her best interest at heart, but she fought against going back to church until she received an invitation to take photos for the Meridian (Idaho) Church directory. Willis laughs at the memory, "God is so good. He knew I wouldn't be able to resist doing the photography even if it meant going back to church for a couple of months."

While working on the directory, she began to reconnect with members she hadn't spoken to in a while, and when Gem State Academy held their annual evangelistic campaign at the Meridian Church, Willis attended the meetings.

One evening, Willis encouraged the Bible worker who was about to give a presentation. "I told her even if one person came to the Lord, it would be worth it all. To be honest," she says, "I wasn't planning on being that one person."

On Sabbath, March 20, Willis was baptized and rejoined her church family — who she realizes, never stopped loving and praying for her.

Willis says to anyone who may be deciding whether or not to follow the Lord, "You can follow the curvy road and think it's more fun, but the fun doesn't last — I know. If you're looking for an eternity of fun, however, then the God road is the one to take. It may have some bumps in it, but at least you'll have Jesus helping you over the rocks."

May 01, 2010 / Idaho Conference