Yesterday I had one of those Sunday mornings when I really didn’t feel like going to church.
It was one of those Sunday mornings when it felt right that our entire family was home in our pajamas relaxing after coming off a week’s cruise vacation with extended family.
It was one of those Sundays that I would normally be okay staying put.
Something in me really wanted us to all go though.
I threw myself together quickly, knowing I should’ve washed my hair, repainted my chipped up nails and chosen an outfit that I felt better in. Not feeling like myself, I was happy that we were even making the effort to get to church and not getting caught up in our comfortability.
Today was the day I was supposed to get baptized.
This summer I told my family that I wanted to be baptized this exact weekend in November. I was planning to throw a party with good food, yummy drinks and connective fellowship. I wanted to thank all those who have inspired my Christian journey.
As it turned out, I wasn’t going to be able to get baptized this Sunday after all. The classes at Scottsdale Bible Church fell on days that I wasn’t in town. Even though I was disappointed, I figured I had my timing off and told God, next time. I’ll proclaim my faith next time….
Pastor Jamie’s sermon yesterday was short and sweet, but very relatable to me. He talked about those “good people” who live moral lives, but are far from Jesus. That was me most of my entire life. I never saw a need for Jesus as I was a “good” girl. I’m beyond grateful for all of my friends who led me to my understanding of my need for a relationship with Jesus.
It came time for the baptisms and Pastor Jamie said something that I’d never heard in my time at Scottsdale Bible. “Anyone who feels called to commit their life to Christ today, can head out of the sanctuary and meet with a pastor to be baptized after the service.”
He was speaking to me. I knew that today was my day. But, wait. I had wanted a party. I had a guest list even written out. I am not prepared to do this today. I’ll do it next time. I also didn’t want to have to get out of my seat in that middle row at the front of the church. I kept trying to tell myself, this can wait. I’m not ready. I can always do it next time. But, I knew in my heart that it was my time and I wanted to honor God by showing up today, as ill prepared as I felt.
I made my way past my four children, my daughter’s friend and my husband and walked all the way around the congregation and out into the lobby. I was shaking and on the verge of tears in awe of what was happening. I came out and saw a friend of mine crying. I thought she was there to be baptized as well, but it was her husband who had decided to. We wept and hugged and it was beautiful.
Our church is amazingly organized as they had shirts and shorts for us to change into because obviously the handful of us who decided to do this were not prepared. I asked for our Worship Pastor Troy to baptize me, as we are friends through our shared mission trips to Mexico. As I walked toward him into the baptism pool, I could no longer hold back the tears. I was in awe of how the Lord had put this entire morning together.
It was in His timing and it was perfect. I saw several dear friends still in the sanctuary to witness my baptism. None of them knew that I was going to do this, but they had been called to stay. I heard a celeberatory scream as they announced my name and it made me smile inside. God had known my guest list after all.
What I realized is that we don’t need the party. We don’t need the right outfit or the manicured nails. We don’t need pictures or even video to commemorate such an important moment. What we need is to just say YES and put our faith into action.
God didn’t want me to wait to have everything lined up perfectly. He likes to make me uncomfortable and I like that about Him. He had chosen today as my baptism day long ago. I had felt that, but then let go of the plan as things seemed to not be falling into place like I had wanted. Today was yet another amazing testament to how God will move in your life if you just let go and let Him work things out in His perfect timing.