I recently had the awesome privilege of baptizing one of my oldest daughters. She had been wanting to be baptized for quite a while and my husband and I kept asking her more in depth questions. Finally, she chose a date. A very special date. The Sunday before Thanksgiving.
The Sunday before Thanksgiving is a very special date for us because that is the Sunday my father passed away two years ago. I thought it very fitting that on the day he took a step closer to God, my daughter chose that day to also take a step closer to God.
To baptize my daughter is an experience I never thought I would have. Not only because my daughter could choose from a myriad of family members and mentors, but simply because in my Christian denomination tradition, men typically are the ones who do things in leadership roles such as baptizing. I go to a church, for which I am very grateful, that they are trying to change and expand the role of women in the church.
So I got to baptize my daughter. There was so much I wanted her to know. I had prepared a speech for her, but in the moment, I became very nervous and forgot about half of it. I think I will write it all down in a letter to her so she can have it as a keepsake. I want her to know that God has plans for her. Jeremiah 29:11 states: “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for you to prosper and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” I want my daughter to know that by taking Christ on in baptism, it allows her to go perfect and blameless before God, since Jesus made the atonement for our sins. I want her to know that she does not have to wear the robes of spiritual shame, but can shed the for a robe of righteousness. I want her to know that she is going to mess up, but that God loves her radically and will pursue her all of her days.
I think I hit most of those points when I baptized her. I think I just forgot to elaborate on many of them as I had planned to.
Nonetheless, It was a very special day for me not only because I got to baptize my daughter, but because I am wanting to go into women’s speaking ministry. Although there is much I need to overcome in the way of nervousness, my daughter’s baptism for me, in many ways, was like my initiation into that role from a spiritual perspective. I hope that continues to be true for me. For the church family that stayed, I thank you. For my family that came, bless you. And for those who were only there is spirit, that was a gift.