I don’t know if it’s having seven kids or if it’s because beyond their first year, I feel the information is insignificant, but I can’t keep anyone’s birth weights, lengths, or times straight. Sometimes I can remember weights, but I often get them mixed up. We even have to think a second when you ask for birth dates, not because we don’t know them, but because we have to remember whose is whose. We have three in April and two in June, so it requires a little brain power to keep them straight. We at least get the May and December ones pretty quickly, but we usually have to do a little math for the year. Anyhow, I am completely digressing here. The point in my ramblings is that I am not great at remembering things that most people have etched in their memory. I wish I could remember their sweet little voices as they are first saying mine and Superman’s names, Mommy and Daddy. But more than that, I hope to always remember the sound of their voice when they say the most important words they will EVER say in their life, “I believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God.”
Our youngest daughter was baptized today, and that girl gave her confession of faith loud and proud with a tone that said, “What else is there?” Next Sunday, our middle daughter will do the same, and just six and a half months ago, our oldest daughter led the way. I can still hear her sweet voice from that day. I hope to always remember their voices saying those words, although I’m sure I will forget. I can’t describe the flood of emotions I feel when those words are spoken in the average church member, so you can imagine my feelings hearing them from my own children. Each of their baptisms are special for unique reasons.
Picasso has been thirsty for Him ever since I can remember. The girl wanted a Jesus-themed birthday party one year, I think maybe when she was turning four. She made her decision quite carefully, though, because although she was certain she wanted to follow Him, she was timid about getting up in front of the church to give her confession. Not because she wasn’t sure, but because she’s a little bashful. Hearing her say it was big because I knew it was so tough for her to get up in front of everyone, but she got to a point where she just didn’t care. She was ready for this even if it meant doing something hard. She was our first child baptized into His kingdom. Huge for us.
Mary Lou’s baptism was special for a few reasons. When we asked her who she wanted to baptize her, she said Roomie’s name without a seconds hesitation (for those of you that don’t know, we have our Children’s Ministry intern living with us, which was a summer arrangement, but it worked so well that she’s staying through the remainder of this year). We first met her when she started visiting our church when Mary Lou was only three years old. She also assisted in the preschool class where I taught Mary Lou that year. Shortly after that, she became an intern in our children’s ministry, and she babysat for us when her school schedule allowed, so she’s very near and dear to our hearts. The kids actually count her as a member of the family now that she is living with us! Our church’s practice is that any believer can baptize, so she was chosen. The cool part was that this was her first time. It was also our new Children’s Minster’s first time taking a confession of faith from one of the kids in our ministry. And to round out the morning, the old Children’s Minister, our friend Preacher, popped in after driving 10+ hours through the night from Arkansas to be support for Roomie and Mary Lou. It was a beautiful event. What stood out the most, however, was her certain, assured, and bold repetition of that confession. It reminded me of the day I said my vows to her daddy. There was no hint of doubt.
I’m sure that next week, I will be able to share how special the event ends up being for Cowgirl. I can say this already, though. An autistic child, who struggles with abstract concepts and things unseen, being so certain of knowing and loving Jesus just makes it special enough. She’s been talking about baptism since Picasso took the step to obedience, and I tried to make sure she was ready. Out of the blue the other day, she just said, “Why do I have to wait? You didn’t make Picasso wait! I’m ready to be baptized!” I knew that I couldn’t hold her back any longer. I can’t wait to share the events of her special day with you. For now, I’ll leave you with a few more pics of our special day today.