Let me tell you about my day on Sunday, July 28, 2013. Because it’s an unexpectedly special one. And that’s the best kind of special day.
On Sunday morning, I woke up early, had a cup of coffee, and drove to church with my dear friend, Justina. It was just an average Sunday morning. As excellent as the sermon was, nothing outstanding really happened at church. Just the usual amount of fellowship, worship, and free coffee. After church, we went “home”, half-argued with the other YL leaders about when, where, and how to have Campaigners that afternoon, and cleaned the house for an impending surprise party. After cleaning, we came to the conclusion that instead of Campaigners, we would head to our church’s baptism service to witness one of our soon-to-be-Senior Campaigner kids get baptized. Boy, am I a sucker for baptisms. I’ll take any excuse to cry happy tears.
So we got to the church and I popped a squat next to one of my high school friends. Before the service started, she asked me when I got baptized, probably out of curiosity. I’d imagine she was thinking about getting baptized herself and wanted to know my experience. If that’s the truth, I’m sure she was momentarily disappointed, as I had never been baptized as an adult. She then responded saying that she hadn’t been either, but wanted to soon. I had been thinking about getting baptized for a while (and by “a while” I mean “a ridiculously long time”), so I suggested that we both get baptized the next time they have a service. She cheerfully agreed, then we stood up for worship, tucking that thought in the back of our minds.
Three people had been baptized, which was half of the people who had planned on it, when one of the pastors gave an intriguing offer. He pointed out that they had more towels than they needed and extra time, so anyone who would like could come up and be baptized. Maddi, the high school girl next to me, immediately turned to me, grabbed my arm, and said “Let’s do it.” I thought my brain was going to explode. I simultaneously wanted nothing more than to run up there and cannonball into the baptismal to come out a new woman and wanted to hide in a corner and incessantly plan where, when, how, and with whom I really should get baptized – which would inevitably lead to me chickening out when it actually came time to apply. In a milisecond, I went back and forth about taking up the offer about twelve times. Ultimately, the Holy Spirit won the tug-of-war in my heart against my sinful, type-A, overly-prepared personality, and I was baptized.
I have spent my whole life trying to clean myself up. Prior to understanding the weight of what Jesus did for me, I tried my hardest to let my good deeds outweigh my bad deeds to earn my way into heaven. Even after I realized how wrong that notion was, I made sure I appeared to be the perfect Christian to the outside world. I put off getting baptized for four years because I subconsciously felt like I wasn’t a good enough Christian to do so yet. But in that spontaneous moment, I realized my brokenness. I realized how messy my life was. I realized that Jesus died because of that and what I was about to do was a symbol of accepting that I am made clean by what Jesus did and how much He loves me.
One of the other women who was baptized saw me after the service and we talked for a while. When I told her how I felt before going up to the stage, she said to me, “If you wait until you’re 100% ready, you’ll never end up doing it.” Spontaneity is amazing for that reason. When I take the opportunity to quickly say “Yes,” I don’t have time to over-think; I don’t have time to over-prepare; I just have time to enjoy life and bask in the wholeness God offers me.
Spontaneity is my new favorite thing, especially in the face of our great Savior.