For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit. After being made alive, he went and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits— to those who were disobedient long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at God’s right hand—with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him. 1 Peter 3:18-22
Take your time, he said to me this morning while I waded into Lake Michigan at 7 am. Words were stated about professing faith and following Jesus, and then it was cross your arms and a slow-motion dunk. I held my breath as I let them dunk me backwards. Under the water there is no air, no way to breathe, darkness– all symbolizing sin. Then they pulled me out of the water, symbolizing new birth and life and resurrection with Christ. They pulled me out of the water. As God let Jesus become fully man and walk on the sinful earth, He was also pulled up to Heaven by His Father.
My mom and dear friends stood on the shoreline and cheered. My heart melted and exploded at the same time.
I waited in line behind Jen and Jon. Jen courageously marched right up to the front of our baptism line. Yesterday she told me she knows the difference between good decisions and bad decisions, but she wants to make godly decisions. She is brave and moved from Georgia to Chicago on a whim and actually likes the Chicago winters. And I get to do life with this girl. This is Jen-
Sometimes you need a friend in front of you and sometimes on the side. I had butterfly type of excitement nerves, and Jenna had her hand on my back to support me from the side while I stood in line, and when I told Natalie I was a little nervous about the dunk she reminded me you can do hard things. Praise Jesus we don’t do anything alone. Natalie led us in prayer as our fearless small group leader (on her birthday of all days!).
Always, God is with us. But also are friends, beautiful friends in Christ, to stand by me as I wait, to stand on the shore, to point me to Him, to make me brave, and to be brave and hopeful for me when I can’t. We have this because we love and follow the same God. So His light and love shine in others to me.
Jon has a heart for God and speaks honestly about it. He always always comes to Breakthrough and I’ve gotten to know him since September. He casually shared his testimony with Jen and I and he loves Jesus and it’s beautiful.
Sweet Allison, my sister-in-Christ and sorority sister and small group girl. I’ve watched her grow since we were 18 and college freshman. I know her struggles and prayers and I got to see her come out of the water with a smile.
And deer Jess got baptized too. It was beautiful to see her get dunked after growing close to her this past year, and all the prayers and Old Testament reading. She is brave and keeps seeking Him among even among all the crap and messiness that is life. She is honest about the state of her heart and she is also brave! She is a fish and handled the dunk like a champ. And she also taught me how to hold my breath while going backwards to avoid water going in my nose. Who practices for baptism? Meeeeeee. Good friend, her patience with me and my tendencies to do, do, do.
Thankful for friends to do life with, as we encourage each other. Praises for our little baptism group and the support from these people that I met back in September at Starting Point Groups.
Cards of encouragement from Em, Erica, and Brittany.
And my wonderful mom drove all the way for this special morning. The morning was holy and full and my mom took beautiful pictures to capture it all. My mom always , always shows up. When I told her I was getting baptized, there was no question about her coming down for it, it was just that she was going to stand there with me. She prays out loud with me and for me. She prioritizes the beach. She answers every phone call and text and gives and gives gives to me, my friends, our family, strangers. I love my mom so much. She teaches me about something called selflessness and generosity.