Last night my 11-year-old announced that she is ready to be baptized. There was much rejoicing.
But this has been a bit of a humorous journey for her (or at least it's been humorous for me). Last year, when her sister was baptized, she told me afterwards that she'd like to be, too, but she's afraid of having to give her testimony.
"I really don't have anything to say yet. Maybe I should wait until I'm twelve."
To which I replied, "What are you planning on doing between now and 12?"
So she's decided to take the plunge. So to speak. But she's still nervous about having to give her story.
I tried to explain to her last night how there are two types of testimonies: the God saved me ones and the God spared me ones. I have heard the girls explaining to their grandmother, who attends a church with infant baptism, that at baptisms you get up and say how you used to be addicted to drugs and then God saved you. It's like a script: at some point the drugs come up.
But I told Katie that that's not true for everyone. Some people do have a God saved me testimony: I did all kinds of bad things, I was on the wrong path, but God plucked me out. And we love those testimonies because they're so exciting. And they show what a difference God can make in a life.
I think, though, that the God spared me testimonies are even better, even if they're not so flashy.
Katie tried to put this into words last night. She said, "So it's like I was raised in a family with God at the centre, and now I want to declare that I believe it, too?" And I said yep.
Isn't that a good testimony? To say that you were spared the drugs, and the rotten roads, and the confusion and the pain, and you knew Jesus from a young age? I think that's beautiful.
It's too bad we often glorify the God saved me testimonies, because I think it's every parent's prayer that our children will end up with a God spared me one. Isn't it? I rested in God's arms as a child, and it was there that I stayed. That's a beautiful image. And it's my prayer that before Katie has to explain it, she understands how precious it is.
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Labels: baptism, faith, parenting