Lake Opechee…August 14, 2016
My first baptism was as a baby so I don’t count that one. After all, I had no idea what was going on at the time. You could say that the dribbling of water over my tiny noggin was for my parents’ benefit, not my own. I’m a firm believer in one getting baptized when one is aware of its’ meaning and symbolism. And years later I turned down confirmation because I knew I didn’t belong in the Catholic church. The priest actually agreed with me! It was my mother who was disappointed.
So my first true baptism was twenty years ago. I was twenty-one years old and felt I should get baptized because I knew, as a believer, I was called to do so. It was the same type of setting as seen above, but instead of a lake it was a small pond at the local park of my hometown. A lot of people turned up for it which I did not expect. I don’t recall inviting anyone but I must have because it turned into a big thing which kind of left me feeling awkward and on the spot. I remember holding a permanent smile on my face to show my family how “good” I now was. I tried so hard to appear as though I finally had it all together. I even hugged the two gentlemen who dunked me because I had seen the kid before me do it so I thought it was a good idea. Had zero clue on how to be myself because I hadn’t a clue on who I was to begin with. But I knew getting baptized was the right thing to do and I’m glad I did it.
I know getting baptized isn’t some magical act that causes one to suddenly become perfect, but at that time in my life I think I may have looked at it that way…as if it meant a do-over where I could start all fresh and new and never mess up again. So when I almost immediately started screwing up and making MAJOR life mistakes…well, to say I felt like a failure would be an understatement. I have a better understanding of God’s forgiveness now but I still don’t fully grasp its’ meaning. Logically I know that every time I sincerely confess my sins and ask the Lord for His forgiveness I am washed white as snow. My slate is wiped clean. As far as the east is from the west God remembers my sins no more. He forgets. Wish I could!
During the first ten years after my baptism I experienced a lot of pain…a lot of hurt. Major heart ache and struggles. It’s taken me many, many years to let a lot of it go. Some feelings of resentment still haunt me but God knows I’m genuinely trying to forgive. Thank God Almighty for His grace. The second half of the twenty year span wasn’t as bad because I had my husband, but I still experienced major bouts of severe depression and it was a difficult time. It’s been a long process of healing but I was finally delivered of depression in April, as I have shared in previous posts. SO, since it had been twenty years since my first public profession of faith, I felt it was a good time for a renewal. I love what the water baptism symbolizes. As we go under we die to self…we even stop breathing! Then when we rise up out of our watery grave we are a new creation! 2 Corinthians 5:17…Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
I’ve experienced so many changes over the last two decades…so many changes. I have grown a lot, especially over these last two years. I may not be where I want to be but THANK GOD I’m not where I used to be! I’m closer to the Lord than I’ve ever been and look forward to getting even closer to Him and gaining a deeper understanding of who He is and how much He loves me. I want more.