Today I, with my church, experienced the blessing of witnessing Ellery McDaniel be baptized. It was a beautiful moment and amazingly encouraging. Ellery professed her faith in Jesus and her desire to humbly confess to God, “send me,” just as Isaiah did. That was a poignant confession of faith and a commitment to a journey with God.
Thank you Ellery for that, and thank you to Caleb and Brandy for being sojourners and guides for Ellery. They have done a great job raising a fantastic young girl and this moment really brought it all together.
But this immersion in faith also points me forward. It points me to my own 2 children, a stepson and son. Aiden and Ryan are moving their way on their journey as well, lived out through life at Southwest Central Church of Christ and amongst their family.
Aiden and Ryan hold so much of Gods presence and story, and watching Ellerys commitment made me aware of my yearning for their recognition of Gods work in their lives. I yearn not for them to “just” be baptized. I yearn for them to see with Gods eyes. I yearn not for them to find salvation in baptism. I yearn instead for them to desire to join their story to Gods. I yearn for them to embrace the God whose love is pursuing and persevering and gently beckoning in Christ who became flesh in Jesus. I yearn for them to embrace life with God, and to further embrace that mission that Christ calls us to.
It’s not about them finding some moment to get baptized so that I can feel relieved. But I do look forward to seeing how their story becomes full of faithful purpose, which all started back on that day when Ryan was born and I prayed for him to be surrounded by Gods love. Brandy’s comment that they had prayed for so long and on those first days reminded me of my own first prayers. And it made me teary realizing my desire was really awe at Gods work, knowing that Aiden and Ryan’s baptisms, if they ever choose it, will be an acknowledgement of Gods hand from that first day, first smile, and first prayer.
I look forward to those days, not for selfish joy or some cheesy relief. I look forward to these moments with anticipation of what God does in lives, and that every life and story really was Gods in the beginning. It’s pure joy to watch my child at baptism call God not solely his Lord, but his friend and partner.
It’s possible these thoughts are not too clear, but it’s okay because I’m still sorting out this grateful hope! I love these moments and how I celebrate for others, but also how they give me pause, full of reflection of how God has transformed me as a parent and anticipation of how God will call me and my family further into his work.
Thanks Ellery, Caleb, and Brandy.