Whoa, baby. That's quite a title, isn't it? You probably think I'm going to go down memory lane and write about my infant baptism from 35 years ago. Uh, no. THIS baptism hasn't happened yet. But it's going to, this weekend. This Sunday, to be exact. On Father's Day.
And, whew! I have been so excited but also so freaked out about it that I haven't really mentioned it. Well, except for alluding to it here.
Why would I be freaked out, you ask? Well, there's the issue of being in front of masses of people. That alone is enough to make me want to throw up. Seriously. If you know me IRL or have ever met me in passing, you might not think I'm shy. But add an extra 10 or more people, and I start to clam up. It's the reason I failed miserably at being a TV news reporter, and why I froze during a live shot once. The thought of more than 10 people watching me at once and probably judging me makes me shut down. Completely.
So there's the going public thing. But there's also the going public with my faith thing. Whoa, baby. There's a whole ball of wax for you. The thought of professing belief in something that so many people think is a crock scares me. It's not that I don't believe. It's that I worry, again (and yes, unnecessarily), about the whole judgment thing. I know, I've been on the other side lots of times. I've seen those "crazy Christians" and all the stuff they swallow hook, line and sinker. So professing my faith publicly might make people question my sanity.
Well, then... y'all go right ahead. Because, honestly, I am totally sane. And even though my fear of public exposure STILL might make me throw up, I am walking into the water on Sunday night with a clear head and a humble heart. Because I want to. Because I NEED to. Because Jesus is holding his hand out to me, asking me to dance with Him. I know that I could go on dancing alone or sitting on the sidelines and watching others dance, but that's not fully living. I want to be in the thick of it, because it is so darn blessedly beautiful.
I am already in the thick of it, whether I go underwater on Sunday or not. The baptism isn't what saves me, Jesus is. But Sunday's celebration will be my public acceptance of His dance card. It's me stepping out of my comfort zone and learning how to live with fear and judgment from others, and learning how to let go of that fear and judgment. Because, in the end, it's just me and Him.
When I first heard that this year's baptism is on Father's Day, I was kind of bummed. I hadn't mentioned even to Dan that I wanted to be baptized (because I thought even he might think I was off my rocker), and didn't plan on doing it this year. But as time went on and then Good Friday changed my heart, I realized I really really wanted to be baptized at our church. Every single time I watched one of the baptism videos at church, I cried. Heavy, heavy tears. (Go here to see one from 2005.) God tugged on my heart, and I finally told Dan about my desire. He fully supported me, and we started making plans. And now I realize how great it'll be to be baptized on Father's Day. It's a day for recommitment to my Father, and helps me realize the ways God is filling those holes in my life that were made when my family died.
So, now you know. And, of course, now you are free to judge. But now I'm going to step away and rest in my Father's arms. He is so good to me. So very good. Especially when I don't deserve it. I am humbled, and I am Loved.
Keep me in your prayers this weekend, and I'll be sure to post some photos after the big day!
"It was down with the old man, up with the new./Raised to walk in the way of light and truth./I didn't see no angels, just a few saints on the shore,/But I felt like a newborn baby cradled up in the arms of the Lord." Kenny Chesney, Baptism