The baptism was amazing! Truly amazing. I don't know how to describe it without sounding like a babbling idiot, because it really was just amazing!
I was nervous as anything getting into that water and reading my testimony. Here's what I said:
I grew up in a loving home, the middle child of a school teacher and a homemaker. I asked Jesus into my heart at around age 5. I was the epitome of the invisible middle child, never getting into trouble; doing what I was told.
So I would imagine it was quite to their shock when I left for college as a good & responsible girl, and came home two years later as an alcoholic flunk out. I wanted friends and freedom, and did everything that I had always thought was wrong. I drank so heavily right from the start, that by April of my freshman year I had landed myself a 3 day stay in a psychiatric ward, after an alcohol binge that be all rights should have killed me. By the end of my sophomore year I stopped going to my classes completely, and did nothing but party. I was kicked out. I had gone so far from my childhood faith, and sadly, that didn't even bother me. I didn't see any of this as my own fault; I was just along for the ride somehow.
Somehow, in spite of my own issues, I was blessed to find love in a wonderful man. We eventually married and started a family, and life was perfect on the surface. But beneath that surface was a well of pain and turmoil within me. I was still drinking, and I had no answers for why I hurt so much.
I began looking at my life with the eyes of a mother, and I knew that I had to change. I started going back to church, and one night while laying in bed I tearfully recommitted my life to Jesus. I had so much joy in my heart, a joy that grew with each passing day.
But one thing remained, and that was my drinking. I was a binge drinker, not a daily drinker, and because of that I was somehow able to continue to convince myself that this was not a problem. But in 2001 I had a traumatic miscarriage. I had no way of knowing what God was about to do in my life as a direct result of this loss. A short time later He used it to show me the truth about my alcoholism. I poured out every bottle in our house and have been sober since that day nine years ago. (At this point, the congregation applauded me, and I totally cried with joy!)
We made the decision two years ago to leave our old church and come to BFC. We're thankful to have been led here. Because I had been baptized as a baby, I was not allowed to be baptized as an adult in my old church, nor could I go elsewhere to be baptized, or I would have been removed from the leadership position I held. It is a joy to be free to be baptized here today.
My life verse is John 8:36, and I think it says the one thing that I would want you to remember about my story. "He whom the Son sets free, is free indeed."
Pastor C. then baptized me, and as I came up out of the water, I felt every ounce of the symbolism of that moment. I have been re-living it in my mind several times a day since then, and I am beyond thankful that I was able to do this, and proclaim my faith in the way that He asked me to.
The Man was baptized after me, which is when we ran into our only glitch of the day. I had emailed in his testimony to the office so it could be approved ahead of time. It must have been mixed up with the one I had emailed in when we joined a few months ago as new members. That original testimony had some things in it that we had chosen to edit out for this public event, since our children were going to be attending the baptism. Our oldest child is almost 11, and we aren't looking to talk to her about the abortion for a few more years at least. Unfortunately the one they printed and gave him to read during his baptism was the original, and being on the spot, in the tank, in front of everyone, the Man didn't realize what he was reading until it was too late. Thankfully, we believe that God protected our daughter from hearing him, because she had no questions for us later, and when I talked to her about what she thought of the event, she was very positive and happy for us. I think she was focused on using my fancy camera to record everything, and didn't even register what all was being said.
Otherwise, the day was perfect. I felt so blessed that my family could be there. We had them all over afterwards for lunch and I just felt radiant, so thankful and happy. Yay God! \o/