Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Baptism, Easter, Everything

On Good Friday, I was baptized. It was the most amazing experience of my life and I would highly recommend all believers do it. I was baptized at a week old and confirmed at 16, but it was not by my "choice," it was more about something that you did because it was expected of you. When I was born again eight years ago, it was something I gave a passing thought to but not much more than that. The church we were in didn't really encourage it and didn't do them often. As the years have gone by, I have felt a stronger and stronger desire to do so. Our pastor offered to do them on Good Friday and so I did.

I have been attacked by Satan before, but this was a whole new level. When I was going to the meeting on the Sunday before, I literally passed the church and said to myself "I really don't need to do this." Thankfully, by the time I turned the corner, I realized what was going on and went in the other entrance. Then for the next five days, I doubted my decision and became increasingly more nervous with each passing day. Of course Satan was on the attack - and I was letting him!

We do not have a baptistery in our church, so we went to the Baptist church to use theirs. (It's a little chilly in Iowa in April to be doing them outside.) When we arrived, we went upstairs and our Pastor came up to talk to us. I admitted how nervous I had been all week - and was relieved to hear him say he was also. There were three of us being baptized and we were all ready for it.

I had the most indescribable feeling when being is something I wish I could explain but I really can't put it into words. I could literally feel the Holy Spirit enter in a way I had never in my life felt before. I have felt the presence of the Holy Spirit often - sometimes more than others - and I know that He is always there. But I actually felt a breath come from somewhere breaths do not come from...especially under water! And the peace I have felt since has been unbelievable. I am so thankful now that I did it. [In case you are wondering, I forgot my camera - so no pictures, sorry!]
We took the kids on the Easter Basket hunt downtown on Saturday. That was an experience that I wish I wouldn't have to do again, but I know I will do it all over again next year. In our town, you receive your ticket with your number and then "search" the businesses for your basket. Noah was pitching a fit and he got the first basket. Ethan's was the second basket and Nathanial was still OK. Aidan found the third basket and about that time, Nathanial had had enough. He was honked off that he didn't have one and didn't understand we were still searching for it. Finally, we found his and then Ethan was upset because he didn't get to go in with us (I took each child in individually to get their baskets). We came home, they ate almost all their candy, and then we went to an Easter Egg hunt. We had much more fun there. The boys kind of looked for eggs, but had more fun playing than anything. We all had a good time!
On Sunday, we got up early for Sunrise Service at church. The youth group did a few skits and they were all great. They did the most powerful presentation of the "Everything" skit (by Lifehouse - this is not our church's skit). I believe it was better than anything I have ever seen online - they did awesome. We then had a fantastic breakfast and Sunday School and then our regular service. Which was also so very moving. It was an awesome, awesome day filled with thanksgiving to the One who saved me from the pits of hell. I absolutely love Easter - it is my favorite holiday. I feel it gets way too commercialized (like every other holiday), but it really doesn't have to. We had a wonderful morning in church and our kids didn't even miss looking for eggs. I was glad we had done the activities on Saturday, because it meant we could totally focus on Jesus' sacrifice and His resurrection 100% on Sunday. I am so very thankful for Jesus and what He did - for ME. And for YOU. He did it for ALL of His children. I cannot even begin to imagine allowing my child to suffer so brutally and be convicted so wrongly for someone else's wrong. I go to bat for Austin all the time and am infuriated when he is wrongly accused. And, yet, this is exactly what God has done through Jesus Christ for each and every one of His children - so that he can have a relationship with you and I. I just cannot put the gratitude I feel into words. I read a fantastic blog about Easter and I cannot even begin to be as eloquent as she was, I highly recommend all read this post.
I hope that you all had a very blessed lent, Holy Week, and Easter!

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