So, its raw and real time here. I normally focus my writing on encouraging moms and while that may be weaved on through this piece my purpose is to challenge you in some areas. That just sounds so fun doesn’t it?
Have you ever known so surely that God told you to do something but then you almost ‘talk’ your self out of it? Or in my case, I tend to ‘think’ my way out of things. And honestly, sometimes its with the best of intentions that I do it. Like my best of intentions could even come close to just following what God said to do- that sounds just so silly!
Just a couple days ago I finally did something that God had been dealing with me about for years. This sounds silly and crazy even as I type it, but I have been avoiding being baptized. I guess the history may help you understand better. When I was born my parents were Catholic, so I was baptized as an infant, may parents then became born again Christians and thats how I was raised. So when I was asked about being baptized in all my Sunday school classes I always just said, ‘yes I’ve been baptized’. But I didn’t really ever look to explore the differences or if that early baptism counted. Then I was a teen and young adult in the church and I was beginning to think that maybe I should do it. Like as an adult, of my own free will. But things just got crazy, there was always an excuse or a ‘reason’ for me not to, and then when we started having kids I was just like ‘I’ll do it when the kids do, and we can do it as a family’. We literally worked as Youth Pastors and my husband and our Pastor were baptizing people AT OUR HOUSE and I still didn’t do it. Because at some point I had let pride and embarrassment slip in and they took a deep root. I mean the baptism was literally at my house, what excuses could I have for that!
We ended up leaving the church we were helping at and started attending a rather large congregation, and honestly we picked this church cause of their amazing kid’s ministry but also because we were hurt and hiding. My husband and I were raised in church, we both have volunteered for as long as I can remember and have been been employed by a couple of churches. Church service is what we did and we loved it, but the last place we worked just left us really hurt. Hurt not just by people, but we felt let down by God. So, when you’re trying to stay under the radar at church, you don’t try get baptized! Well, our kids started asking to be baptized and God was prompting me AGAIN about this, and I really felt Him saying its a matter of obedience. It was hard to hear, I had all my own CRAZY and I do mean CRAZY insecurities come out. How could I do this after being saved for 30 years??!?!!? Like seriously, all the people I had seen baptized were kids or new Christian, but me- thats just weird. So the day came for 7 of the kids to get baptized and I was sick, women issues, sinus infection, and had 5 little kids with pink eye that started THAT DAY. So, Ryan and I talked and the best option was for me to stay with the little kids and him take everyone else. In that moment, I felt like a horrible mother cause I was missing my kids getting baptized AND I was further failing as a Christian missing getting baptized for like the 100th time! I was a hot mess, and had to call a dear friend, she reminded me that I was needed at home that night to care for the littles, that Ry and I made the best choice possible in the situation. But she didn’t let me off the baptism hook, she said you really should do it, just do it next time. Our church was usually doing it twice a year, and it always intimidated me a bit cause again, most people were new believers and had these great testimonies, and I just had been raised with God. I don’t know life without Jesus. I had been through some things but I didn’t feel like my story was as awesome. The devil uses all kinds of things to get to us, comparison is one of the best, embarrassment, and shame are right there at the top as well.
Well, this past weekend, Ry was sick and so were a few of the kids. I took some of the older ones to church. I got there and I was instantly reminded that it was baptism weekend! I had seen the announcement last weekend but totally forgot and I really had met to sign up. So, I’m sitting in church thinking, I should really do this today, I only have 5 kids with me. The older kids can hang after and wait (normally after Saturday night service the littles are DONE). But then I’m like ‘God, I have no clothes with me, what am I supposed to do’, ‘Can I just wait till next time?’ But I really felt like it was just time to deal with this thing, I needed to cast my pride, insecurities, and everything aside. I needed to put God first and just do what He said, in that moment. I had waited long enough, our church is amazing and literally had EVERYTHING I needed to be baptized and I did it. I just did it, I didn’t allow myself to ‘think’ my way out of it. Sometimes we just have to decide and DO IT!
My goal in that story, is simply to challenge you to go and do whatever it is that God has asked of you. For some of you its repairing a relationship, for some its writing a book, joining a ministry, giving that money He told you to, praying for that person; whatever it is, just choose to obey. I don’t know what that ‘thing’ is but you do.
I often think of it from a parent perspective, I as a parent LOVE it when my kiddos obey quickly and happily! There have been may time that God has asked me to do something that I haven’t necessarily been ‘happy’ about. Sometimes, He asks things that cause us to be uncomfortable or that stretch us in new ways. I’m working on responding ‘happily’ and ‘quickly’, I want to be like clay in the Potter’s hand. I want to be flexible to conform myself to His plans, not fight it tooth and nail then finally cave. I want my obedience to bring joy to my Father’s heart.
I love David’s heart in Psalms 119:32-34. He’s not hesitating He’s RUNNING!
I will run in the way of your commandments when you enlarge my heart! Teach me, O Lord, the way of your statutes; and I will keep it to the end. Give me understanding, that I may keep your law and observe it with my whole heart.