Happy Mother’s Day! My mom, my sisters, my friends- I am so fortunate to know so many incredible mothers!
Usually, at churches I’ve attended, Mother’s Day is a day to celebrate the moms and to talk about how awesome the responsibility of motherhood is. And though we did thank the mothers at our church service today, we didn’t linger in it because today was BAPTISM day!
OK, so… If you know me at all, you know my husband. If you know my husband, the awesome, wonderful, super spectacular guy I have the joy to be married too, you know that he hasn’t always been the biggest fan of church. Or Jesus. Or God in general. In fact, when we married, he was a self-proclaimed agnostic. He had grown up going to churches around the country, since he was an Army brat, and had seen pretty much all the good, the bad and the ugly of church life. And he never really felt a connection to God, church, religion, any of it. And, while pursuing his Masters degree in History, he read David Hume and a few other scholars and it seemed to give him the out he needed from religion and faith. You would think that this would be an odd choice for me, since I was raised in the church. Literally grew up in the church, since I also attended the private school run by our church and I was in church at least 6 days a week. Instead of electives, I took Systematic Theology in high school. And he was agnostic. We would TALK about religion and he would ask me questions and I would respond and we loved the discussion. Neither of us attended church- I had some bad experiences in my childhood church and never bothered to go when I moved away from home and he was not interested, even on holidays.
Then, last Christmas Eve, he decided to come to church with my family. And the pastor spoke about the importance of Jesus, of God, of going to church. He said “You don’t have to go to THIS church, just find A church.” This really resonated with my husband and we began church hunting in the New Year. In May of last year, we visited our church, Lighthouse Church, for the first time. We’ve been going ever since and SO MUCH has changed.
We had attended baptisms together in the past- his nieces were baptized in the church his sister and parents attend- but it was infant baptism and I wondered how this baptism, where those participating had each made a profession of faith, were each old enough to make such a profession, would compare. I thought it was awesome. HE thought it was awesome. We both felt that it was a powerful thing to witness. And I felt so blessed.
When we initially came to this church, my husband, who was raised in a lot of churches with the more traditional hymns, didn’t feel comfortable with the singing. He would spend worship in the lobby reading his Kindle and then come into the sanctuary and sit with me for the sermon. Little by little, he became more accustomed to it and now participates in all of the service, including the worship. Initially, he kept mostly to himself and observed. Little by little he has come out of his shell more and mingled more with the people at church. He met with our pastor to have lunch and ask him questions. He is purposeful about our tithe. And, most significant to me, when I came out of the neurologist’s office after receiving the results of the spinal tap and started to cry in the elevator, my husband, the agnostic, said that we should pray about it.
A year and a half ago, I could have never dreamed of this change. One year ago, as we started attending this church, I would never have imagined how much it would impact us. But over the last 6 months, as we’ve dealt with my diagnoses and all that it entails, I’ve been so grateful. Grateful for the church and the people who care for us. Grateful for a place that my husband feels comfortable and is committed to. Grateful for the changes I see in him and in me and the way that this allows us to face the future and our problems.
I identified so much with the people I saw baptized today. Each one held up a sign before they were baptized that had, in the their own words and handwriting, on one side, what they were like before their conversion and, on the other, what they were like after. For each one, God, the church, their faith, was a catalyst for change in their lives. It has equally been a catalyst for change in my life, in my husbands life. I am so grateful for that, so blessed.