Baptism

67.  Baptism-

I hate being single.  I hope it isn’t too obvious.  I try to not wear my desperate loneliness on my sleeve, but there are times when I just feel like screaming “somebody love me!”  Sitting in church is often the worst spot, as anyone who is single will probably agree.  It isn’t just about wanting to feel loved, but about getting to have two perspectives on Christ, to know more of Him because you see Him through two sets of eyes, about unavoidable accountability, about serving God with two sets of gifts and having someone to tell when God teaches you something amazing.  I know all my married friends reading this will roll their eyes and say I am being idealistic, and I am, but to have just a crumb of that unity in Christ- that is an enviable thing.  I consol myself by reminding
myself that my very singleness is evidence of the work God has done in my life.  That a girl with my history could spend four
years faithfully married and then another four without so much as a flirtation, it’s my reminder that God is sanctifying me even when Satan wants to tell me otherwise.  But I don’t just want to endure singleness- that seems so wasteful, pathetic, and feeling unloved feels just like another one of Satan’s lies.  So instead, this is what I will remember:

I was baptized on Easter Sunday 2010.  It was my 24th birthday.  I wore a green dress and gold sandals.  I was so nervous I don’t remember anything up until the minute I reached the front of the church.  My children were with me, Elliana was one year old, and she wore a dress with lots of crinoline and polka dots.  The boys were three and five years old in their matching teal polo shirts and sandals.  I don’t remember the words Pastor Doug spoke; only that he was smiling and I couldn’t stop smiling either. Grace and posse were impossible, I was just so happy.  I didn’t look around, but I knew the people around me felt it too.  I knew my dad was probably crying, and among the many in those pews that had loved and prayed for me for years, there were probably more wet eyes.  I bowed my head when Pastor Doug lifted a handful of water, and fat drops sparkled as they escaped his fingers and sang as they splashed back into the basin.  I wore a tiara of pearly drops as he laid his hand on my head and prayed.  I still couldn’t stop smiling.  When he walked me down the aisle my three kids, who had been baptized too, skipped ahead down the aisle and out the
double doors.  The entire church was lit by the faces around me- I have never seen a church so full of joy.  My wedding ring is made of water, water that sparkled like diamonds as it fell from my hair.  And the amazing thing is that this heavenly bride-hood doesn’t just set me apart, it ties me into so many loves that I should blush to ever think of myself as “single” or alone, because everyone who wears the same wedding ring belongs to me just I belong to them.  The bravery of the woman who takes this vow and wears the ring although it is also a noose for her, that courage belongs to me, the passion of a man who sings his worship for all to hear, that belongs to me too, the age old wisdom, and newly born fervor, these are mine.  The shame of the fallen and the anger of those hurt, these are mine too, and all I am is theirs.  I am anything but single, far from unloved.  I am baptized.

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