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As I have been preparing and praying for my baptism, one word has been constant throughout each thought and prayer: love. I am as excited, committed and happy today as I was as a bride on my wedding day in 2007. As I did then, I know this is the right thing for me and the right time. This is my chance to celebrate and share the profound love of my God.
My baptism is my chance to tell you about my love for my God and His all-encompassing, unconditional love for me. How blessed am I?!! I have been forgiven my sins and mistakes I have made and also, those I have yet to make. I have known so much love in my life and as I reflect, God’s hand was present in every day and every event, guiding, reassuring, rescuing and comforting. The open, honest, truthful love of close friends who will laugh and cry with me is a gift that can only be God-given.
I have known the love that comes from being a family: as a daughter, sister, granddaughter. This love is that of protection, discipline and encouragement to fly and I have been blessed with the best parents, sister and grandparents possible. These people were the tools God chose to build my foundation and to keep me on the straight and narrow – not an easy task by any stretch of the imagination –sorry Dad!
As a mother, I have been given a glimpse of God’s love for me and the pains and elation parenthood brings. There is nothing I would not do for my beautiful son, Callum; my love for him, like God’s love for me, is unconditional and absolute. I would lay down my life for my Callum and my pain when I see him suffer or when I have to take hard decisions to discipline and guide is all-consuming. How much greater then, is the pain Jesus feels when He does the same for me?
I know the ecstasy and security of a happy marriage. This love is ready to compromise, trust and accepts me for who I am, warts and knows that I am ALWAYS right! The hugs, laughter and tears of being a wife are empowering and reflect the best times I spend with Jesus, dancing and kicking up a storm.
I have also known the searing pain and desolation when love is lost: the death of my Papa, close friends and dear aunts, the awfulness of divorce. I know the empty, lonely darkness of rejection and separation from a partner. The love that rips your heart out, kicks it around and tears up your life. What pain must my heavenly Father feel when I reject him, shout at him, doubt him and castigate him?
God’s gift to me, you and to all of us, is eternal love, a love so deep that He sent His only son to die for me and for you. Who can begin to understand the depth and strength of that love, when as a parent, every bone in your body and thought in your head is to protect and nurture your child? Certainly not me.
Jesus was in my life from childhood and He first called my name when I was a troubled and troublesome teenager, walking past my dad’s local church. I physically felt a tug and heard the words ‘Come here’. I entered the church and sat with Jesus, talked, questioned, cried and was comforted. I have never looked back. If you have never had a chat with God, try it now. Tell him your hopes, fears, dreams and listen as He answers, because He will as only He can. He already knows what you are going to say so go for it!
He has watched over me, watched me take my first, faltering steps as one of His children, held my hand and kissed it better when I have fallen. Just as I have nursed my own son, supported him through his first steps, through the early years and now as he goes into teenage and ultimately adulthood. I have had to let go, hold my breath and cried, just as my God has done for me.
Jesus feels my pain when I fail, when I feel rejected & hurt, when I am lost and mourning. He is always there, holding my hand and carrying me when I cannot carry on. Callum is the most precious gift God could have given me. Through Callum I have been given an insight of the emotional rollercoaster my Father in Heaven rides with me on a daily basis – never a dull moment.
I am here today, being baptised to show my love for God and to say ‘Thank-you’ to my family, friends and to God for getting me this far. I have chosen to be baptised to show my love for my wonderful, merciful, forgiving, gentle, loving God. I may not be perfect, I may not be the best, I may be lost at times, sometimes desolate, sometimes depressed but I am never alone. Dear Lord Jesus, you are with me always and there is no better feeling in the world – I am loved!
In this video, Roger talks about Baptism and we hear about Lisa’s Testimony.
(Recorded: Sunday 8th April 2012)
Listen to the audio:
Lisa tells us why she’s chosen to be baptised;