Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Drenched! My Beach Baptism

Easter is about re-birth.

We celebrate Easter in spring -- when flowers bloom and animals come out of hibernation. We celebrate Jesus’ death and resurrection – dying so our sins could be forgiven and so that we could rejoice in a new life with Him.

There is tradition that Christians observe that really illustrates rebirth in Christ – Baptism. “For you were buried with Christ when you were baptized. And with him you were raised to new life because you trusted the mighty power of God, who raised Christ from the dead.” - Colossians 2:12

Because of the re-birth symbolized by baptism, I wanted to share my baptism story with you before Easter.

I’ve been baptized twice. Once in 1983. Once in 2006. I obviously don’t remember the first time.

My Mom and Dad baptized me Catholic as a baby. I am eternally grateful to my Mom for getting me baptized, taking me to Sunday School, and going to Church with me throughout my whole young life. And I respect my Dad immensely for being so supportive of me choosing my own beliefs and path, even at a young age.

Despite my Catholic/Agnostic background, at age 21 I began attending a Christian Church in Los Angeles and for the first time in my life I fell in love with Jesus. I was irrevocably moved by His love, His message, and His purpose.

And one night after Church, alone in my bedroom, I prayed to God that I believed in Jesus and that I wanted to be a follower of Christ.

I knew that although my Mom so lovingly had me baptized as a baby; that was more about her faith than about mine. And I wanted to make a public declaration of my faith. Baptism would be that declaration.

So tried to get baptized at a Church event, but because of a “miscommunication” that baptism did not happen. I was very sad, in fact, heartbroken. I was SO ready to get baptized. I felt thwarted. Soon I realized it was God who did not let that baptism happen, because he had a better much plan for my baptism. (isn’t it funny how that happens so often?)

So I began making plans for a baptism that was much more “me”: A baptism at the beach with all of my friends and parents present.

My Small Group Leader, Joe, agreed to baptize me.

I bought supplies for the post-baptism cookout/bonfire.

I invited friends from San Diego, Gamma Phi Beta, USC, and Mosaic Church. I figured that most people wouldn’t want to come….

They ALL came. Including my Mom and Dad.

Here I am with Sorority Sisters and Childhood friends from San Diego:

After everyone had arrived we headed down to the water’s edge. Joe talked about the meaning of baptism and we prayed. It was beautiful – the ocean crashing, everyone I love praying with me. It was a moment only surpassed by a few others, like my wedding.

Then we headed out into the icy pacific.

My baptism was in early Spring. It. Was. COLD.

Joe asked me “you believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, and have you accepted Him as your Lord and Savior?” I said “Yes”.

And under the water I went. “For you were buried with Christ when you were baptized.”

Joe lifted me up, hugged me, and we ran to shore. “And with Him you were raised to new life.”

Can you tell I was excited?

I changed out of my wet clothes and then rejoined my friends and family for hot dogs, s’mores, and sunset on the sand.

My Mom and my best friend:

Look at the short-haired Mr.!

We have been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit. -1 Corinthians 12:13


Adventures in Newlywed said...

Very sweet and touching!

Nicole-Lynn said...

That is awesome! I would love to be baptized again on the beach :)

d.a.r. said...

What an awesome story, thank you so much for sharing it!! I love reading about other people's journeys :)

a H.I.T. said...

What a beautiful story. Thank you for sharing.

klhodges27 said...

I absolutely love that you did this in the ocean. What better place to be baptised?! What a great story... thank you for sharing this!

Tara Gibson said...

love it! so pretty!! thanks for sharing!

Jess said...

That's such a beautiful story!

Thanks for sharing!

Miss Adventure said...

That was an amazing story, I loved every part. I think it is amazing when people have such a close connection with their faith. =]
Oh and I totally approve of your Mr.- TKE is one of the ONLY fraternities that I think actually has nice guys!

SassyEngineer said...

Thanks for sharing! I remember when I was baptized - it is a pretty amazing feeling when you come out of that water :)

Emily said...

ahhh! love it.. love all the pictures you have to document your baptism.. that you soo much for sharing this with us!

rCl said...

SOO touching! chill's all over! thank you for your comment about my sweet angel! Thank you for sharing your baptism also! love the pictures!

Naturally Caffeinated Family said...

tears in my eyes! what an amazing story, beautiful, thank you for sharing it!

Lacey said...

Beautiful story! And how special to have your loved ones there!

Sweet Simplicity said...

This is such a neat baptism story! What great memories. Thanks for sharing your story with us!

jlc said...

GREAT post!!!

I loveeee the photos too!! Reminds me of the Blessing of the Sea in August. Ever do that? Amazing experience as well. :)

Chaitra said...

Wow!So beautiful.The pics are great as well

Jennifer said...

Thanks for sharing this! You even have pics! I got baptized at age 7, but I didn't know what I was doing. I've thought about getting baptized again. My hubby did this a couple years ago!

Marianne said...

What a very special day that was.... I cried back then with joy and I cried again today as I was reminded of this very incredible event.

Random Musings Of My Life said...

Thank you for sharing... Beautiful

Lucky in Love said...

What a wonderful story!

I was baptized when I was a baby and I have been wanting to do it again. We have to go through a course at our church to do it...and then speak about our testimony in front of the whole congregations. Hm...should be interesting :)

Ali in LaLa Land said...

beautiful story, thanks for sharing. and oh my you must have been so cold!!

Brittany Ann said...

What a beautiful story! Thanks for sharing! I love all the photos you have of that special day!

Kelley and Rhett said...

What an amazing way to share this time with those who helped you become the Christian woman you are today. Thank you for sharing it with us! Have a blessed Easter!

Krystyn said...

What an amazing story. Thank you so much for sharing it with us!

Rachel said...

Beautiful story! That's really awesome the way you did it. And you're totally right - oftentimes God has something better for us in mind, we just don't always see it!

Amber Dawn said...

That is seriously the neatest baptism story I've ever heard!! I love how Jesus does that!!

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