I woke up yesterday morning and felt a strong need to make something right in my life. I can’t explain the feeling, but I can say that it was overwhelming. So, without giving it a second thought, I put the wheels in motion. At 6:00 p.m. last night, I was baptized at the age of 29.
I wish that I could say a lot of planning or thought went into my decision, but if I am being completely honest, that was not the case at all. One of my goals for the new year was to be closer to God. That was as much planning or thought that I had really given it. I have written before about how I didn’t grow up in a religious home. We were always invited to attend church on Sundays with my paternal grandmother. My sister always went more than I did. She was even baptized there. I remember her marching down the isle during church one Sunday, soaking wet. She might have been seven. Anyway, I never felt right going to Sunday school. I had never read the Bible stories and I always felt lost when the Sunday school teacher would talk about them. It felt like a secret language that I hadn’t been invited to learn. It’s not that my parents didn’t want us to practice religion, it’s just that they did not practice any themselves.
I became friends with a girl in high school, her father was a baptist preacher. I attended church with her on many occasions. I even went to church camp with her the summer between my freshman and sophomore years. Slowly, we stopped hanging out and slowly I stopped going. Then, I began attending a Gospel church while I was dating my high school sweetheart. Music was a very large part of that service and they often spoke in tongues. They had a really great youth group and one of my friends from school would go with me on Wednesday nights after I got my license. I stopped going after I got a job at the end of my senior year. I got a job which required me to work on Sundays. That was basically the story of my life until I got married. I know for a fact that I worked almost every Sunday for the last two years that I lived in Ohio. Sometimes, I would pull two shifts on Sunday. I was a waitress, so it was always one of the busiest days of our week.
After moving to Texas, I slowly began attending church with my husband’s family. I went a few times before we were married. I went more after and even more when I was pregnant with our first son. Something about being there was calming for my soul. It was like I had a hand on my shoulder guiding me through the week. I have been going ever since. Some days, with two little kids, it can be a challenge. But, I am a firm believer that it is the only way to start our week.
When I voiced my belief in Him last night and was dunked into that water, I felt a giant relief come over me. Mind you, that relief was quickly replaced with the vocal needs of two kids under the age of 3, expectations for my presence at a work event, and the ongoing struggle to juggle everything in my life. But, for those few brief moments, I was free. Life stood still so that I could silently acknowledge my love for Jesus.
I thought I would have many things accomplished in my life before I turned 30. I do have many accomplishments. I also have failures and I have committed sins. The best part about moving forward into the next chapter of my life is that I can do it with a new heart.
My sweeties and I right before.
God is good.