They are a small group of girls that fill up my soul in so many ways.
Not too long ago I had a late night ice cream date with one of them. We try to do this a few (one) times a year to catch up and laugh sans kiddos. We always meet after bedtime and enjoy a summer night with a yummy treat. It's funny to me that before kids our summer nights involved a meal on an apartment balconyand didn't begin at 8pm.
But that's the beauty of best friends... You create new traditions to stay connected and love continue on each other through all of the seasons.
One of the things I was most excited to share with her was my upcoming baptism. I shared how I had been attending bible study with our pastor. And how beautiful it is to learn about His Word. After every session my response is either "who knew? Or "wow!" My amazement at His love is a constant in my brain. It's the best kept secret that many already knew.
I have always been a good student. Now don't get me wrong - I was not a straight A or Top Honor kid. But I love to learn and I feed off the structure and organization it takes to learn something new. And let's not forget the yumminess of new pens and notebooks. So when my bestie asked what baptism meant to me, I reverted back to my good school girls days. I told her about the symbolism of baptism. How holding your breath and being submerged in water represents dying to self. How the water represents the washing away of sin. How coming back up is the moment of taking your first breath in this new way of life in walking with Jesus. And then I'm sure we got sidetracked and jumped back to a different topic. I don't know about you and your friends but my best girlfriends and I talk in circles. It's one of my favorite things. Or maybe it's just how I talk and they have grown to love me and keep up.
But ever since that night my response to her question has stayed with me. I feel that I gave an honest good answer. I shared what I learned in one of my studies. It's something I believe in my heart. But it still felt incomplete.
Since then I have really asked myself this question ... Deep down - what does baptism mean to me?
It means that I want to share with my family & friends what God and I have been sharing for the past few years and truthfully my whole life. How He has patiently continued to seek me out in so many ways through so many people. How He loved me even while I learned a little about Him and then loved me still when I got distracted by a shiny object.
Baptism doesn't mean the shiny objects will go away. Or make me perfect from that moment forward. Or keep my reactions to life the way He encourages in His Word. But it does mean that through faith, I trust that He will keep leading me and continue to restore my heart to be like His character. Baptism means that when I fall, I will pray to see myself through His loving eyes and learn how to get up and conquer that fall. It means I will continue to let Him in my heart to help me be a wife, to help me parent my son, to help me be a daughter, sister and friend. Most importantly, to help me share His love with others.
It began with Him seeking me out.
It continued through Bible Study.
I will declare it through baptism.
And with His Holy Spirit I will continue to live it.
Thank you Lord.