Today was amazing! I had to start there...now I'll explain why!
I remember hearing about people getting baptized as "adults" when I was in my teens and twenties. Growing up around a family of Catholics the only baptisms I was familiar with were the ones for new babies. I had an uncle who our family considered a "born again" Christian and I thought these adult baptisms were something he would be more familiar with. My uncle stands out in memories from my childhood. He had a fire for Christ that I was curious about. I am thankful to him for the foundation he gave me as a child, that it's all about the relationship you have with Jesus, not the "religion."
I carried that message with me, but had a tough time finding a place that helped me relate it to my daily life. Am I the only one that tends to continue to do what I already know and am therefore comfortable with?
Evidently not, because the year before we got married, my soon to be hubby and I enrolled in pre-marriage classes at our local Catholic church (he was raised Catholic too)! We attended church regularly and dedicated our marriage to God, knowing that as long as we had faith, prayer and Jesus we could make it through any problems. We moved a few times since we've been married and often drove to a church at least 30 minutes away because we wanted to feel that we came out understanding how we could apply what we heard to our lives that week. We are attending a church now, for the second time in our marriage, that is not Catholic. Both churches we were invited to come to on a Sunday for church and never left...well the first one we left because we moved! I am thankful to those friends (SB & AW) for not worrying about what others thought, but instead cared more about sharing the relationship they had with Jesus!
Thanks to my friends I have had the opportunity over the past few years to see these "adult" baptisms. Every time I heard the testimonies and witnessed them getting baptized I was overwhelmed with emotion! I need the Holy Spirit to fill me, to help me, I want to make the commitment now, as an adult, to be salt and light, to be an example of His love and honor Him in how I live, what I do & say.
I have read and marked my copy of The Power of a Positive Mom by Karol Ladd a ton of times. This poem that she has in Chapter 15: Living Lesson Books attributed to Edgar Guest summarizes why I need Him to help me to raise my girlie:
I know that I cannot do this on my own. As my pastor shared with us, when someone says you use Jesus as a crutch, you respond I am a broken person in a broken world and I need help standing up!
Last weekend my Pastor gave an open invitation for people to get baptized. The night before church I had read the story of John baptizing Jesus to my girlie from her princess bible! We talked about how she was baptized as a baby, but that when she is older she can make the commitment and get baptized again. God's timing is perfect...and thankfully He is patient and persistent! I was too nervous to go forward last week. I did share with my girlie after church that they did baptisms and her friend's mom got baptized. She asked if I did and I admitted I was too nervous but wished I just listened to my heart. She told me the next time I need to just go!
My cousin emailed me this week:
When I say that 'I am a Christian', I am not shouting that 'I am clean living.'
When I say 'I am a Christian' I don't speak of this with pride.
When I say 'I am a Christian' I'm not trying to be strong.
When I say 'I am a Christian' I'm not bragging of success.
When I say 'I am a Christian' I'm not claiming to be perfect.
When I say 'I am a Christian' I still feel the sting of pain.
When I say 'I am a Christian' I'm not holier than thou,
After reading this, I was like OK God, I am listening!
Today they offered another open invitation and I was ready! Ready to commit, receive the Holy Spirit, to re-dedicate my life to Jesus. He died to give me life, and rose to give me hope. My girlie knew as soon as she saw me, smile on my face and wet hair, she squealed "You Got Baptized!" This is a Palm Sunday I will treasure always, a fitting beginning of this Holy Week and a new beginning for me!