An 86-year-old woman has finally faced a life-long fear of water and followed through with an act of obedience in her life-long faith.

Joy Stamey, a member of Liberty Live Church in Hampton, Va. had put off baptism for years. "All my life I’ve been afraid to (get baptized), so I just put it off and said I’ll do without it," Stamey tells Baptist Press. "But as I got older I got to thinking about it, and I just decided to do it. I thought my kids would be proud of me and I knew I had to be baptized eventually, and I’m very happy about it now. I felt really good afterwards.”

Not only did Stamey, or Mrs. Joy as the church affectionately calls her, feel good afterwards but her act inspired others to also take next steps in their faith journey. Pastor Zac Ethridge says that nine people came forward to be baptized after seeing her story.

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Stamey is in a wheelchair, so church staff gently carried her into the baptismal tank during a special mid-week gathering with friends, family, and staff.

“It is awesome to have your church family support you like that,” her daughter, Julia Dancy, says. “It felt like it was home, just the way it should be. I felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude and love.”

Mrs. Joy says that she would encourage anyone thinking of baptism to no longer make excuses and simply follow through with it. “I would definitely encourage them to do it because it’s something that they absolutely need,” Stamey says. “I feel a lot better since I’ve been baptized. It was the best thing I had ever done and I regret not doing it a long time ago.”