Monday, February 25, 2008

Blessed...And Baptized

I began this post late last night, but my sleepy eyes got the best of me. I could have hurried and wrote something quickly to go along with the pics I had uploaded ... However, I wanted to spend as much time as I could - on what I feel is THE biggest event thus far in my life.

I've gone to church ever since I can remember. My parents took me even as a baby, and they had me & my sister dedicated. They continued to take me as long as I lived with them. For that I'm so very grateful! I've continued to go even now as an adult. I've not always gone as faithfully as I should; there have been times when my faith itself wasn't all that strong. But now as an adult, I know how important God is in my life. Ever since my daughter was born, I've felt completely different about Him... I see how much He's done for me, and I'm just amazed! I truly don't deserve all I've been given.

Something I decided that I to do for Livia was to raise her up going to church as well. I take her to Mackey Church of the Nazarene just like my parents did for me when I was a little girl. I've known this Church and my Pastor my whole life. There are so many loving, caring people at my church - even though I didn't really even have a baby shower for Livia (what can I say - I was a crazy pregnant person!) SO many people got gifts for her. For several weeks after Livia was born, I came home with an armload of presents from my Church family.

I do not deserve all that God as blessed me with! Within the last few months especially, I've truly begun to realize how much God does for me. Perhaps it's that realization of how much HE blesses me, and that got me thinking that I should be doing more for HIM. I'm trying to be a better Christian as not only an influence, but in my life as well.

It was just very recently that realized how much of change I have made (and still am making) in my life. About a month or so ago in church, it hit me like a lightning bolt - to give a public testament to God of the change in my life & heart... by way of baptism. I felt that God was almost speaking directly to me. Telling me that it is time in my life to be baptized.

As soon as the service was over I rushed out to Pastor Reed and exclaimed, "I want to be baptized!" I meant it with every ounce of my being. I would have been baptized right then and there if my Pastor had said, "OK, let's do it right now!" But our Church (like many others) usually does more than one baptism at a time. Pastor Reed told me I wouldn't have to wait long though - that they would probably be doing it within the next month or two.

And yesterday was the day!

I was so lucky to be baptized in the Church from my childhood & adult life, by my lifelong Pastor. I am also very fortunate to have some of those who mean the most to me there. I always have my little sidekick [Livie of coarse!] with me, and Mom & Dad are always there as well. But today was extra special since my hubby, Perry, came as well! His mom & dad - Trilby & Bill - also came to be there for me. How sweet was that?! Unfortunately, my sis-in-law Kendra is still under the weather. I would have loved to have her there for the special day, but it is NO FUN being sick (*Please continue to say a little prayer for her if you would*)

Back to my baptism... I was definitely the oldest of the 7 of us that were baptized. The closest to my age is nearly 10 years my minor. My husband was 16 when he was baptized. Ironically, just a few years ago I told myself that I was too old to be baptized - now here I am at the age of 25 feeling lucky to be baptized at such a young age!

Long-time family friend, Phil Boger was kind enough to take pictures for me before and during the baptism.

This was all of us as we stood in front of the Church while we read with Pastor Reed a piece out of the hymnal on baptism. We then sat for just a few minutes while he read a few verses out of the Bible & told everyone of the importance of baptism.

Pastor Reed then dismissed us to go to the back so we could each prepare.

When it came my turn, I remember thinking how much it felt like the excitement I experienced with getting married & with the birth of my daughter... only even more intense! It meant so much to me.

Pastor Reed had us each give a brief testimony before we were immersed. I don't remember exactly what I said, but it went something like...

"I have been so blessed in my life. I have a loving husband, a wonderful daughter, amazing family & friends who love and support us... I don't deserve all I've been given. I haven't always made the right decisions, and God knows I have made so many mistakes. But He is becoming more and more important in my life. I wanted to be baptized so show, as Pastor Reed says, an outward testament of an inward change...
I can't say there was a specific time when I said, 'I now believe in Christ!' I've gone to Church my whole life, and I've always believed in Him; I just haven't always been living for Him. And that's what's more important - not just to believe, but to be living for Christ. And I want to live for God every day, in every way I can."

Pastor Reed then immersed me in the name of The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit.

I still get tears in my eyes just looking at the picture and thinking about what it was like!

Normally, I wouldn't even think of putting a picture of myself up like this - totally unedited (except for cropping & color correction so it's easier to see). But I could not be more proud of this snapshot!

I have given my life to Christ completely - both publicly and in my heart.


Afterward our whole family went to Stoll's Country Inn to get lunch. I think everyone stuffed themselves silly - I know I did. Even Livia had quite a bit to eat! It's the nicest buffet I think I've ever been to.

Anyway, it was absolutely wonderful to have everyone there for me on such an important day!


Conservative SuperMom said...

So happy for you. K~

Vonda said...

This is so wonderful and I am so happy for you. Blessings!

Valarie said...

That is so awesome. Ya know I think it does mean so much more to you, because you were a little older than the others. I have gone to church all my life and was baptized when I was nine. I love God and am so glad to be getting closer to him everyday of my live, but all I really remember about being baptized is that I was to short to stand in the water so I had to stand on a concrete block. :)

catheryn said...

What an inspiration you are!!!!

Nan said...

This really is a beautiful post, I can see why it was your entry into the contest. I'm glad to see that at least Catheryn read your post!! I was hoping to get more people to read each others, there's some good stuff entered, and this was one of them!