Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Begging for Spiritual Bread (Part 1)

I was 14 at the time. The pastor of our church was hosting a family BBQ/Baptism at his rural house with a pond. A few of my friends were being baptized, so I mentioned it to my father on the ride home from church. I told him about the event and asked if he would allow me to be baptized. He said no.
I was deeply disappointed. All my fears came flooding back. I was a fake Christian, God expected more of me. Dad was right to say no. Even though I was sure I already knew the answer, I asked him why the answer was no. He explained that it was inappropriate for a woman to be baptized by anyone other than her spiritual head. It was his duty and he would baptize me himself when the opportunity presented itself.  My mother suggested that he speak with the pastor. Maybe he wouldn’t mind letting dad do the dunking. My father agreed to call.

And so with no discussion of my heart or soul, I was scheduled to be baptized. For two weeks leading up to the event, I tried harder than ever to get my heart right with the Lord. I spent hours just praying, begging God to reveal himself to me. I poured over every page in the bible, looking for something that would move me to tears, or at least make me feel like this was real. I started to think that maybe God would show me something after the baptism. Or maybe even during! I dreamed of rainbows and rays of sunshine that God would send especially for me. My dreams turned to faith. I KNEW God would come thru. So I waited.

The day of the baptism was one of the most exciting days of my life. I talked glowingly about the Lord to my friends at church. I listened intently to the sermon, despite the butterflies in my stomach, waiting for a hint from God that he was planning something great. The sermon was about some Old Testament character and did not apply to me in the least, but I shrugged it off in anticipation of the baptism.

Later that day, I watched as, One by one, people waded out into the pond to be dunked by our cheerful pastor. Each one came up smiling. They scurried out of the water to hug their families and be congratulated. Nobody was speaking in tongues, or prophesying, and I knew that God was saving that for me. Finally it was my turn. My dad cuffed up his sleeves and waded out into the pond. I tucked my skirt between my legs and with one last silent prayer, I followed him. I heard the pastor reciting something about the father, son and Holy Spirit.

                                     ............and then down I went.

(To Be Continued)


  1. Can't wait to see the next part!!

    In my house, we were allowed to be baptized after age 18, because that was the legal age of adulthood and we could choose to follow God (read: stay at home until marriage) or leave (read: be damned to hell).

    My 18th birthday came and went, and then my brother's 18th (I was 20 by then). Of course he wanted to be baptized right away...he had always been the goodie two-shoes sort. I never felt I measured up to him, or to what my dad wanted, so I felt like I shouldn't be baptized yet.

    Finally I decided I should be baptized, and I told my dad...afraid he would either say no, or ask me really hard questions. Actually, tho, he was sorta happy...he had been wondering when I would want to be baptized, and was on the verge of asking me when I was going to be. o.O Then he did ask me some hard questions which I guess I answered to his satisfaction, and I was baptized.

    I never felt like a good Christian though, and sometimes I just plain felt guilty...before and after I was baptized.

  2. So I guess your parents would be horrified at the idea of infant baptism, huh? I am seriously considering having thisbaby baptized; but I'm not sure the Orthodox will baptize if I am not a member, and my parents would be hurt since they have dedicated all the babies so far. I'd like to do both. But I wonder if my mom will even be willing this time, now that she believes I am violating Scripture by not spanking. :(

  3. I forgot about that weird "only the dad can baptize the girls" thing. The first 2 of us were baptized in that family baptism while we were still little, so I don't remember mine even though it was "believers baptism". This reminds me of my quest for spiritual baptism, I was around 16 or 17 when I wanted that.
    I'm very interested to read the next part!