It was a very special day because today I got baptized in the name of the Lord!
One year ago on Easter Sunday, I tuned into one of our local church’s online service for the first time. And today, one year + one week later, I attended their service in-person for the first time AND got water baptized!
Mark 8:35 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it.
When the pandemic started, my heart (and I’m sure many of yours as well) started to be heavy with existential crisis type thoughts. People were dying, many were losing jobs, and the world was filled with anxiety and stress. I knew I could only gain peace through prayer and by strengthening my relationship with God. And so, one year ago on Easter, I tuned into my very first message with a local San Diego church.
The pastor’s message that day hit the head right on the nail – I felt like he made that message just for me! And even though it was all virtual, I was moved by the spirit of the community and felt so welcomed.
OK…it was Easter Sunday after all, maybe they were just having a really good day and the pastor was on fire with his sermon. I tuned in again the week after to see if maybe it was a one-time fluke. But AGAIN, it was like the pastor was speakin’ to me and answering the questions inside of me! It was like he could read into my thoughts and prayers.
One year later, I am STILL listening to and learning from their Sunday services. I even got Michael into this church too! Actually, a few weeks ago I had signed both him and myself up to serve. And earlier this week while we were on our trip, Michael got called to serve next Sunday! So exciting!! And so, this morning I said to him, “Hey, want to go to church in-person today? It might be a good idea so we can scope i.e. the parking situation and everything before you go serve next week!”
And AGAIN, the pastor was speaking directly to us!! Michael has been saying he wants to get re-baptized for a while, and today the pastor was offering same-day water baptisms!! They had it all – shorts, shirts, people to watch your belongings, everything you needed to get baptized – so there was no reason NOT to get baptized! We saw all these people already previously signed up for the baptisms. And when the pastor said, “Anyone else ready and want to make that commitment?? Just head on outside and we’ll get you situated!” , even MORE people made the decision to get baptized on-whim. It was incredible to see and we knew we had to be a part of it – and so, we went too. Completely unplanned and completely unexpected – like your girl did NOT wear water proof mascara and looked like a straight up PANDA afterwards – but completely amazing.
What made today even more special is that Michael and I did it together. Without the other, we probably wouldn’t have kicked the laziness today (esp after getting home last last night after our vacation) to actually get dressed for church (instead of watching the message online in our pajamas), we probably would’ve been too shy to go in-person alone to a brand new congregation, and we probably would’ve been too nervous to get baptized alone in this huge crowd. But with each other’s support and encouragement (and a bit of pushing), we did it!
Mathew 28:19-20 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.