Friday, August 5, 2011

Memories with Katie: Baptism

A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of baptizing Katie.  It was such a special moment for her which made it a special moment for me.  Once every summer, our church offers everyone the opportunity to be baptized in a local lake.  There is usually quite a turn out because there is something much more Biblical and special about getting baptized outside in a natural body of water than in a hot tub in our worship space.

A couple weeks before the baptisms took place, I was sitting in church with Katie when an announcement for "Baptisms at the Lake" flashed on and off the screen.  Suddenly I wondered out loud, "Katie, have you ever been baptized?"  She hadn't.  "Do you think you would want to?"  She had been thinking about it.  We decided to get together that week to talk about what getting baptized means and what it's all about.  A few days later, we were hanging out at Ella's Coffee Shop discussing if it was the right time for her to "take the dive" as we so eloquently call it at Impact :)

Katie thought about it for a couple of days and decided that now was the right time for her.  At our church, anyone you want can baptize you, as long as they have been baptized already.  I let her know right away that she did NOT have to pick me to baptize her.  She could pick any of the many women who have impacted her life to do it, and my feelings wouldn't have been hurt.  As much as I wanted to be the one who was with her in that moment, I wanted her to have the freedom to pray about and choose who should do it.

Needless to say, when she finally asked me to do it I was THRILLED.

So on July 17, Katie and I sat together on the shore of Pebble Beach with a couple of hundred others watching the nearly 20 people who had chosen to be baptized that day. We sat, whispering, trying to figure out exactly how we were going to do this.  ("Ok ok ok, I am going to say this, and then you say that"...)  Because, you know, we didn't want to leave any room for error or embarrassment!  Finally they called her name.  We made our way in to the water.  As we waded out into the deep, Katie said under her breath, "Wow this is a really stoney beach." Which made perfect sense... since we were at Pebble Beach, of course.

Standing knee-deep in the water, I was able to share a couple of words about my sweet sister.  I shared about how special she is and how she is beautiful inside and out.  I briefly talked about how she loves people, even the not-so-easy-to-love people, in her school and in the world.  I held the microphone out for her so she could read the verse that she chose as her "Life Verse":

Proverbs 3:5-6 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; but in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight."

Getting baptized is the outward expression of an inward belief.  It is showing, publicly, that you have died to yourself, and are living for Christ.  It is evidence that you have been washed clean by the life and death of Jesus Christ, and are planning to live for him.  I am so, so happy that Katie made the decision to follow Jesus with her whole life and her whole heart and that I got to be the one to guide her through such an important spiritual experience!

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