Do you remember when you were baptized? Different denominations have different ways of accepting members into their fellowship and different baptism traditions. The church I attended sporadically as a child was a Baptist church so once a person made a profession of faith, baptism followed. I remember going to Sunday school when I was young and to Bible School, but we didn’t attend Sunday services on a regular basis.
My mother was raised in a Christian church, went every Sunday, but my father wasn’t a churchgoer. His family had roots in an old Baptist church that had died out and by the time I came along, the church met once a year for a homecoming service. I’m almost sure my dad went to that. I know I did – at least as a very young child. Then they must have stopped having that service too. It was all day preaching with dinner on the grounds. About all I remember about the services was that it was long, very long and somebody brought pink lemonade for the dinner and that almost made the long hours on the hard benches worth it.
Both my sisters made a profession of faith and were baptized when they were around twelve at the Baptist Church a couple of miles from where we grew up. I’m guessing at their ages. They might have been younger. I remember when the sister that’s only a little older than me was baptized. I remember church members saying they thought I would walk the aisle with her. But that walking the aisle was a big roadblock for me. I was very shy. I did feel the Lord in my heart. I did want to say so, but that aisle looked a hundred miles long to my young eyes. Even after I got my driver’s license and began going to church by myself and wanted to answer the altar call, I could not step out. Some of you are probably saying the Lord would have helped me and He would have. But I couldn’t do it.
Then at the too young age of seventeen, I got married and had a baby. At the hospital when I was being admitted, they asked for my church affiliation. I had to say none even though my husband and I went to church every Sunday. His family was an every service faithful churchgoers. That was fine by me. I wanted to go to church. But I felt terrible when I had to say none about my religion. I felt very close to the Lord. I just had never proven it by declaring that in front of man as the Bible says.
So, after I was back in church following the baby’s birth (back then you stayed home for at least three weeks before you carried babies to church or anywhere else), I was determined to overcome my shyness and walk the aisle. It may have helped that we were going to a much smaller church with a much shorter aisle than the one I’d attended before I married. The Lord does find ways to help us. 🙂 The invitation hymn was “Just As I Am.” I had set that song in my head as the one, and so, I stepped out. Walked the aisle to take the preacher’s hand. I was baptized.
Later my father-in-law told me how happy they were I had joined church, and it dawned on me that they were concerned over their son marrying an unbeliever. You see, I had never felt like an unbeliever, only a person lacking the courage to step out. I should have remembered what God told Moses at the burning bush when Moses said he couldn’t speak. Who gave man his tongue? Or something like that. He might have asked me who gave a girl courage. But He kept loving me, kept nudging me, and made it possible.
All this to say that Sunday I watched my nine-year-old granddaughter be baptized into the church after a profession of faith. That’s the picture up top. A sweet day. She was a little nervous, but she was happy. Her friends from the neighborhood came to witness her new life beginning. It was a day to rejoice.
Do you remember the day you were baptized or made a profession of faith?