Yesterday marked six years of the outward proclamation of my faith. Growing up in a Christian home, I recognized the importance of the faith yet only time has gotten me to realize the radical change that is associated with such occasion.
Six years ago, I believed I was mature, faithful and driven by the Spirit. Though some characteristics may be true, my humility was out of line. Pride ruled in my heart more than I would like to admit. But my goodness, I was nowhere close to being an obedient vessel for the Kingdom.
The day of my baptism, I sat in the corner of the high school room of NorthWest Bible Church debating on whether or not I was ready for this moment and if I should just postpone the ordeal. Brian Lonergan, a dear mentor, reassured and acknowledged the spiritual warfare that was occuring. Spiritual warfare is subtle. Isn't that always how it goes? It seems to sneak in the most apparent ways to kill, steal and destroy. When we think of spiritual warfare, it comes off as an attack yet when it is actually happening, it can be more gradual than we like to recognize.
Brian and his wife, Jess, has known me for 11 years. They know me, like really know me. Sometimes they know me better than I know myself. This baptism was one of many moments that I will forever hold dear to my heart with the Lonergan’s. One of their strengths is to call out lies and redirect to Truth. Brian stood next to me in that pool as I declared my faith and then baptized me. This outward proclamation allowed for an accountability with Jess and Brian that has faithfully continued to this day.
The day of the baptism marked the day of a life of joy and celebration. Though the day was filled with family and friends celebrating the new life that I was embarking on, I would admit that it surely began the journey in the desert that lasted far longer than 40 days and 40 nights. Those 40 plus days were beloved days that gave me a desperate dependence on God in new ways that I have never experienced. Of course in the moment I did not see the beauty in the vast emptiness that I encountered deep inside of my dehydrated soul in the midst of the desert. Yet, I kept walking high and mighty and ran right to the valley to celebrated the glimpse of light when I was surrounded by darkness.
Little did I know that three months after my baptism I would lose my innocence as I lost a friend in a car accident. Little did I know that I would struggle with self doubt and confidence. Insecurity was put on as perfume each day.
Six years later, I am not as put together as I thought I would be, but what I can tell you is that on that summer morning I was baptized with dignity and strength in Jesus. Today, I have graduated from high school and college. I have had many relationships come and go in this time. I have accepted a job that has given me twenty three new friends that will forever stand firm in my heart. Six years later, I am surrounded by respected women that have spurred on my journey. I am humbly obeying His calling in my life with confidence and boldness that was forever indebted deep in my heart that dear Sunday morning.
Time has a way to illuminate a story, Thankful for the growth that has occured over the last six years. I know that the next six years has a journey that will creatively weave a beautiful story in my life. On this day, I stand just a little bit taller with my head a little higher to boldly proclaim His goodness.
What have your last six years symbolize and how are you rejoicing? We all have those moments and I desire to know YOURS. Let the power of baptism forever hold a weight. There is sincere power in the movement of dying to our old self and joining in His resurrection into our new self. Thankful for the power of being born again. Dear friends, walk into this opportunity into experiencing the new life that has allowed for gradual victory and freedom.
“What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. …” Romans 6:1-6