i'm writing this here to share with anyone who cares to read it. i am writing it down because i am going to be sharing it at church and i'm planning to read it. this is a rough draft.
we didn't go to church often untill i was in junior high. and then we went every weekend. my parents were helping to found a episcopal church in our town. there weren't many people yet, and i was one of the few acolytes. i was baptized and confirmed in that church. i did those things because my parents wanted me to. i didn't believe in God really. i had a lot of doubt and a lot of questions. after high school my family moved back to illinois and I met dave. he had a firm faith and was able to answer a lot of my questions.
dave and i were married in Grace Episcopal church here in freeport. i still wasn't sure what i believed, but I wanted to be married in the church. i liked the idea of God and Jesus but i didn't feel it.
after living in chicago for a couple years dave and i decided to move to austin, texas. we had visited some friends there on our honeymoon and really enjoyed it. the music industry was booming, so for dave it was a business move. our friends attended a modern seeker based church, so for me it was a spiritual move.
the church was the kind with contemporary music played by a band, they had dramas and multi media presentations. the pastor spoke about things i needed to hear, like why the bible was real and what it meant to me.
after we'd lived in austin for several weeks a friend asked me to come to a bapist revival weekend with her. i was on a search for God, and what other place could be more perfect to find him?
i don't remember much about the weekend. it was full of bible study, prayer and song. i do remember the sunday morning church service very clearly. at the end of the service the pastor asked us to come up and get the communion sacrement and go wherever we wanted to to take it. he told us pray to God silently and tell God what we needed or wanted help with. i went to the back of the church and got down on one knee and leaned on the pew. i took the sacrement and closed my eyes. i prayed to God and told him i wanted Jesus in my heart. i wanted to believe. i wanted to feel his love daily. and then i paused. i kept my eyes shut but i could see and feel Jesus beside me. he was kneeling on my left with his arm around me. he was wearing a white robe with a bright blue sash just like in the photo on my grandma's bedroom wall. and then i knew. he had been beside me the whole time. i had been blind to his presence, but when i asked for clarity he was shown to me.
i decided to be baptized again. It was important to me that I have a do-over. I wanted to mean it. Baptism to me means believeing in and loving Jesus and proclaiming yourself a christian. on a summer weekend i was baptized with several other adults. we stood in the colorado river. the same river that runs through the Grand Canyon and took turns as the pastor introduced us to the gathered church members. when it was my turn i told a little of my story and introduced the people i had brought with me, people that helped me in my faith journey, who were also standing in the water. the pastor stood with his hands on my back and my head. he prayed for my baptism and then gently bent me back until the water covered my face. and it felt so right to claim jesus as he had claimed me.
- ► 2010 (10)