Tuesday, August 18, 2009

My Baptism

This is one of those posts that I keep putting off because I'm sure I won't do it justice. But I don't want to miss the opportunity of saying how great God is in His timing.

This past week has been pretty busy with Jeff having people here from China for work and Easton turning 4 years old and me trying to entertain like I'm even close to a Martha Stewart and celebrate milestones that make memories. The week was capped off by my baptism as an adult. Yup. You read that right Family and Friends who come from a purely traditonal MidWestern background. Full immersion. And I didn't drown, the sky didn't part or a dove decend, nothing monumental happened on the outside. But hopefully on the inside and at an eternal level and in the larger battle.

This is something that has been a journey of faith as I was baptized as an infant and brought up in a loving, God centered home. I didn't see the need to be rebaptized. And when my husband first brought it up several years ago I bristled to say the least. I had been baptized, confirmed, a faithful church-goer, a Sunday School teacher, a church camp counselor, a faithful servant (somewhat at least)--Why did I need this? How many hoops did I have to keep jumping through? It was a thorn in my side for such a long time, a burr under my saddle that kept annoying me until I decided to really take a look at what bothered me so much about it. It really came down to Pride. My family's tradition of infant baptism was so deeply entrenched into me that I knew it was "right" in my eyes but I couldn't tell you why it was and knowing that bothered me too. There are so many people that I could name off who were baptized as infants and for some reason think that they have a "Get into free card" for Heaven just for having their parents do that for them.

Don't get me wrong. I love that my parents baptized me as an infant. They gave me back to the Lord and raised me in His word and brought me to this point in such a loving and God-like household and upbringing. They are an inspiration as a parent. However, as an adult it was a privilege to finally be free of the burden of tradition and do it again for the first time with a knowledge of why and a testimony of my journey. I want my sons to see that THEY need to have a personal relationship with Jesus. I can't do it for them. I can help them by being a good example, a good provider to them. giving them the tools and opportunities to make wise and faithful decisions, but when it comes down to it they have to decide what their walk will be. I want so much for them to have a life-long commitment to the Lord--any thought otherwise just sucks the life outta me!

The day was made even more special because the gentleman Jeff had visiting his work from China chose to spend the day with us on Sunday including going to church with us, making a chinese noodle dish for us for lunch, playing around on our 4-wheeler and with the horses and also to witness the baptism as he was unfamiliar with much of Christianity! Yes, he chose to do these things! Out of curiousity perhaps, but he was there and asked so many questions. It just blows my socks off how cool God is. I have such a heart for China and as a cherry on the top of the Sundae (Sunday) God sends a person from China to witness to on the day of baptism. Never in my wildest dreams could I have thought of that. I hope some eternal seeds were planted.

The actual baptism was supposed to occur at the beach at the lake about a half mile from our house. However, with thunderstorms lingering throughout the day it was forced to be moved indoors ... and due to a water-problem at our church it was moved to a different church with a regular baptism fountain. No doubt the lake would have been really neat! With the clouds maybe they even would have parted and it would have been WAY COOL! But the testimonies would have been difficult to do without a sound system and so weren't really planned to be shared. However, because the change of plans in location, our pastor decided that he would ask each of us an individual question. It was an honor to tell about my journey, my hesitations and my heart of God. I hope I did a good job for Him--because He never fails to do an AWESOME job for me!
Giving my testamony:


Tara Anderson said...

What an awesome experience for you! And for you children and your visitor to be able to witness it...I'm blown away!!! Thanks for sharing the event with us! :)

Michele said...

That is so great Valerie!!! It's it so cool how God orchestrates things we could never comprehend? Good for you! What an awesome example for your children. Congratulations!

PS - Now I want Chinese noodles.

Michele said...

OK, so the previous comment should have been "Isn't it so cool...". My bad.

The Sanders Family said...

So sorry I had to miss it, but so glad you did it! What a testimony you have for Him. I'm sure you did our Lord justice with sharing your story, and what a blessing you're giving your sons to see their mom make that testimony to God known through adult baptism. Congrats Valerie! Oh, and so awesome that you had a special guest for it all! I'm sure it made an impression, one that may even have an eternal impact! God is so good!

The family

The family