When we walked into church this morning we were surprised to see 4 giant pools all along the front of the sanctuary.
Our pastor talked about baptism and went over many of the verses we had been talking about as a family lately. Only Garrett (10) has been baptized and the other children have been thinking hard about it. Dave and I really want it to be their decision. I don't want to pressure them in any way.
When it was time for the invitation our pastor said that if anyone wanted to come down and get baptized right then and their they could. They had towels all set up and people prepared to mop up the water, etc. I thought to myself, cool, this is going to be great!!!
So, I prayed for the Holy Spirit to speak to my kids and give them the courage to walk down the steps and be baptized. Only Tyler and Samantha were with me. Dave and Zach were at his ballgame and they are going to church tonight.
I turned to Tyler and asked him if he was ready. He paused and then said no. Samantha also said no. So, we watched as hundreds of people came down to get baptized. It was truly amazing. We go to a mega church of over 5,000 people so the thought of walking forward in front of all those people is daunting. I know my kids were afraid.
We ran into Samantha's best friend before church and she and her family ended up sitting with us. We don't usually see each other as they usually sit on the other side of the church but today we ran into each other and we all sat together. Later I would realize how God had orchestrated this whole scenario.
As we watched and clapped and were amazed at all the people going forward I felt Samantha looking at me. I looked at her and asked the question again. This time she said yes. She asked me and her best friend, Michelle, to go down with her (we were sitting in the balcony). Michelle's father and mother have been great friends of Dave and mine for years and her Dad actually married us 23 years ago. I kind of chuckled and told him that he always seems to be around for the important moments in our lives.
Both of our families went down with Samantha and she was baptized this morning in her jeans and sweater. I cried and cried. It was such a joyful moment.
We called her Dad right afterwards and he was really sad not to be their with her. He is going back tonight and we are praying the boys will listen to the Holy Spirit and swallow their fears and go forward. Will you please pray with me today? Last year on Good Friday Garrett was baptized, today on Palm Sunday it was Samantha's turn, my joy would be complete if the older boys would also go forward tonight and step into that water to make their commitment to Christ complete. They have said they want to, they just need to get over the fear of being in front of all those people. Both of my older boys are pretty shy in front of those they don't know so this is a much harder act of obedience for them than it was for my more outgoing children.
What ever happens tonight I know their hearts are in the right place and at some point they will walk forward and be baptized. Again, I don't want to pressure them in any way. However, I will not hide the fact that I will be doing the hallelujah dance if it does happen tonight.
I'll let you all know what happens.
Update: It didn't happen tonight. From both of their responses though I am pretty sure it will happen soon. Some times being a parent and letting your kids make their own decisions is really really hard. Why can't they just listen to me? I am really smart you know (ha ha ha)? Thanks for your prayers and kind words, I really enjoyed reading them.