Friday, January 21, 2011

More Than Just Baptism

****Extra long post ahead. Be prepared to read this one in shifts*****

Everyone's baptism is a big deal. It is a huge step and a very open declaration of a love for Jesus as your savior. So again I say, it's a big deal. For a Christian, I thought getting baptized was an easy decision (before I was saved). Then I was saved. I prayed about it and prayed about it and thought that it would be so simple to take the next step of faith and get baptized. From that moment I realized baptism was not just a "sure lets go do it" kind of decision for me. I think for some people it probably is, for most actually. I mean, you accept Jesus as your Lord and savior so being baptized should be an exciting proclamation. It's like you are shouting from the rooftops for all the world to hear that you love Jesus. Easy stuff, right? Well Amy it is easy if you really do love Jesus. Exactly what was going through my head for nearly two years. So if I have given my life to God and believe that He sent his only Son to die on the cross for my sins, why can't I go through with being baptized? Am I really saved? If everyone else can, why can't I?

I am afraid of water.

Not just a little.... a lot. Not like I just don't like being splashed when I'm in the pool. More like...

I can't bring myself to get into a pool while holding my children

I can hardly stand watching my kids play in the bath tub

I could barley focus or breath when my daughter was playing in the ocean, or near it even

I can feel myself getting nauseated at the thought of getting on a cruise ship

I I haven't gone under water without holding my nose ever because I breath in and panic instantly

I haven't "gone swimming" in years

The thought of my kids swimming someday makes me literally shake with nervousness

I would rank it in my top 3 biggest fears

To someone who is afraid of water, baptism takes on a whole new meaning. Being baptized would mean I would have to face a fear, which is something I am not good at. I am a runner. I run from fears and avoid them at all cost. I don't want to face them. Are you crazy? I'm afraid of it.... what makes you think I want to face it. With age and spiritual growth I am learning that I have to face fears. Not just some of them... all of them. Being fearful is a sin. It is saying "God I don't trust you". I went back and forth a million times with the thought of "how can I call myself a Christian if I am so afraid of everything? How hypocritical of me." At that point, I knew I needed help. Never before have I wanted to admit to someone, even my husband, that I had a problem and needed help. God's holy spirit within me was saying "Amy, it's time to free yourself from this bondage". My fears and sin have kept me held hostage on many occasions. My pastor opened my eyes to a lot of things in my life. He helped me realize that I am not crazy and I'm not alone. Talking with him was one of the best things I have done in my life. I am learning to let go. It is hard though.

On December 19, 2011 my pastor baptized me. It was a victory for me. As I waited for my turn I wanted to run, I wanted to cry, I wanted to throw up, I wanted to punch my pastor in the face (how terrible would that have looked!). He prayed for me and helped me win my first battle. I owe him big time. It meant a lot to me, and I could tell it meant a lot to him as he very generally told the congregation what a big deal my baptism was and began to get choked up. I am so grateful to have such a wonderful pastor and church family. Being baptized made me realize that I can win lots more battles in my life. I can start trust God, more then I was before. My life can be different and I can feel normal. I have made a few other changes in my life over the past few weeks that I don't really want to go into detail about. Just know, one was a big change. One that when I told people about, they were amazed.... even my husband. It was a change that no one even thought I would attempt. But, since talking with my pastor, I knew it needed to be done. I am learning to take baby steps to increase my faith in God. With each step, I can tell a difference. Slowly I am trusting Him, truly trusting Him. It takes a lot to truly trust and not just say you are trusting Him. A lot.

One battle is won, but I have many more to go. Baby steps.... it's basically my life right now.... even with changes I still fall short of the glory of God. Luckily, Jesus died for me and His blood washes away my sin and I am forgiven! I won't let being afraid stop me anymore.

The Lord is my light and my salvation- whom shall i fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life- of whom shall I be afraid? -Psalm 27:1


Tiffany said...

Oh man that is amazing! What a testimony of Gods patient love. He knew just how long it would take you to be able to face that fear, and He was ok with it.

Friend, I am beyond proud of you.

Heather said...

Every time Lula Mae plays the video on Eric's phone I get choked up! Seriously, watching you do what you did and the strength it took...I can honestly say that if I had to get baptized in a pool of spiders I couldn't do it.

"Mommy did a GREAT JOB going swimming Heather!" - LM

LaVonne @ Long Wait said...

That is so great! I didn't even know. Congratulations! I am so happy for you.

I was just told this week but a friend that someone she knows wanted to get baptized but was terrified of the water (a man). I had not heard of that one yet. I am going to point him to this blog post for some encouragement.

Blessings, my bloggy friend!

Rachel said...

Oh Amy! I am so glad you shared this! What an amazing story of what God can do - and how perfect is the connection to how His baptism signifies the NEW LIFE He has for us!

Just amazing - I am rejoicing with you!

Emmy said...

Thank you for sharing this! Awesome that you were able to overcome and be baptized.