It's Saturday morning at our church's Family Camp. I look over the schedule and see "Baptism" at 4:30pm. I get the sense we need to be there, that John is ready. I say a quick prayer of "okay Lord" and get on with the day's activities.
As 3:30 comes around the big boys who have been on their bikes or running around since 8am are exhausted and desperately need a nap. I inform them of this as the rest of our friends and their families are packing up to head for the lake. I remember the baptisms are this afternoon, but am more concerned about the "crabby" behaviors on display in my fellas.
At about 3:45, James is already asleep and Erik comes walking back to our campsite. John is hollering from his bed that he is ready to wake up (obviously shut his eyes only to blink). Peter caught an early nap so he was in great shape. We discuss the pros and cons of going down to the lake with grumpy boys. I tell Erik I feel like we need to go. He says, "well, we'd better go then!"
I climb into my bathing suit knowing how spectacular I must look in it and shove my pride away down with everything else in my "miracle suit". Some miracle. At my size, the fact that I am willing to be seen in a bathing suit is the miracle. I wish for a fleeting moment for a cute "cover-up" but figure there is no actual way to disguise the real me, so I let it go as quickly as it comes.
We get to the lake and there are many people there. Our group goes over to a more secluded spot so we can hear each other and Pastor David as he baptizes these precious members of our New Life family.
James is leaning against Erik who is sitting on a rock. I have Peter in my arms and John standing beside me holding my hand. We watch together as his friend Carson, who is just a month older than him, is baptized by Pastor David and Carson's dad. It is a precious moment. We watch as John's friend Mia, Pastor David's daughter is baptized, another sweet family moment.
John is quietly watching and while one of his new friend's dad's is baptized, he says, "Mom, I want to get baptized today." So, wondering if he is just moved by his friend's choices or if God is nudging him, I say, "no, not today, we haven't really talked about it." To which he replies, "No Mom, I want to be baptized today, right now!"
I say, "Why John?
"That is how I want to praise Jesus today. I want to obey Him and I want to be baptized. Now Mom."
I am, in that moment, reminded of the still small voice in my heart that said it was time. I walk John over to his dad and John tells him he wants to be baptized. I look over and speak to Pastor David's wife Ranell, and say, "John wants to be baptized today." She says, "Ok!" and calls out to her husband on the lake. He responds with a "Yes!" and we all wade out to where he is standing.
Erik comes alongside John on his right and Pastor David is on his left. Pastor David then asks, as he did for the other children, who have known this guy since before he was born. Our friends, many of whom walked beside us during our over nine years of infertility raise their hands. As I stand, holding my youngest on my hip, grasping my second son by the hand, I look out to the crowd of precious partners we have had on this journey. I look back to my John, the baby God promised me I would have (eight years before he was conceived), standing by his father, ready to obey his Jesus and be baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Tears fill my eyes as the moment sinks in.
Pastor David confirms that John is definitely ready to take this next step in his spiritual journey. He speaks of how tender John's heart is toward God and how John listens and responds already to God's voice. Pastor and Erik then baptize our Miracle, submerging him and bringing him up again, symbolizing the death we once were in, and the resurrection life that is offered to us when we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior (a story I will write someday, how John and James gave their heart's to the Lord at the ages of 4 and 3).
We hug each other as a family and I whisper a prayer of gratitude that God put it on our hearts to be sure to make it down to the lake today.
I am keenly aware that my dear friend is taking pictures and all of my not so spectacular body will be seen in these pictures forever. I am more focused however, on my precious Promise had an experience on his spiritual journey that will impact him from that day on.
Since Saturday July 24, 2010, my sweet son has "written" lullaby's for his little brothers and sung them to him. He has laid hands on people and prayed for them. He continues to have a caring and sensitive heart toward others, and while he continues to have all the challenges of being six, he is diligent about asking for forgiveness when he makes unwise choices or hurts someone. He did these things before. But, I see a stronger young man in the making. One who wants to obey his God, his parents, and those in authority over him.
I am so thankful for God's perfect timing. His timing for the birth of the Promise, His time for when John gave his heart to the Lord, and His timing for him being baptized. I look forward to what is yet to come!
You can see the pictures of this special moment here: John's Baptism
Who am I?
- Jennifer - Live Courageous!
- I have been married to my best friend for over 29 years and our children are 16, 15 and 12 years old. I have struggled with infertility, suffered the loss of a baby by miscarriage, and endured multiple career paths. I have experienced a crisis of faith that shook me to the core and lost dear friends to tragic death. I have a personal relationship with Jesus which is essential to surviving and even thriving in my circumstances. I hope you will be blessed by my heart and words. Thank you for being here..