Yesterday our church held Easter service at Qwest Field – all campuses together in one place, plus many visitors. Over 17,000 people was the last count I heard.
At the end of the service Ruthie asked to get baptized, and contrary to what I was probably supposed to feel, I panicked.
“Are you sure?” I asked.
“Let’s talk about it with daddy later,” I said. “Maybe we can do it another day.”
“Noooo!” she cried.
I texted Bryan, who was in a different part of the stadium. “Ruthie says she wants to get baptized.”
Ironically, he was volunteering on the after service prayer team.
“Ok,” he texted back, and waived us down.
This didn’t come out of the blue. At the ZugHaus we talk a lot about Jesus, repentance, and all the symbolism surrounding our faith, such as communion and baptism. We tend to not make an event about these conversations, but weave the gospel into our everyday life.
My fear surrounding her request is completely irrational and wholly unbiblical, because my first reaction was a resounding, “SHE’S NOT READY!” She doesn’t have it all figured out yet! She’s still so angry! And screams a lot! And throws a fit when she doesn’t get her way! And is really moody toward other people! And….!
Wait a second…
Didn’t I just describe myself?
In that moment I sensed God changing my heart. I realized I was waiting for Ruthie to stop sinning first, and that I have a lot of fear about her not “doing it right” if she were to identify herself as a Christian. It’s old baggage from my days of believing in labels and one-shot Sinner’s Prayer “conversions.”
The truth is, she will never stop sinning. I know this because at 39 years old I still scream a lot and throw a fit when I don’t get my way, and I’m really moody toward other people. I’m a horrible example of Not Sinning, but I have repentance down pretty good, and Ruthie connects with that.
Baptism is an outward declaration of what has already happened in the heart, AND it’s the catalyst for a new life to come. I’m very excited that Christ is calling my big girl to himself, and very honored that he’s entrusted a very imperfect mother to shepherd her along the way.
10 thoughts on “You wanna do WHAT at Qwest Field?!”
I have similar feelings all the time about raising my daughters. Our daughter has been steadily working towards baptism for the last year or so. Being able to discern the moment when they really get it, when Jesus is real to them, and yet, not letting that “but they don’t know enough!” get in the way is difficult. Our 7 year old daughter was also baptized yesterday. We’ve had a lot of long conversations over the last year and Friday night, she just got it. She was ready. We weren’t sure we were but God just brought to my mind “Let the little children come to me…”
In case you’d like to watch it:
I just love watching baptism’s. So much joy. Congratulations Ruthie!
NSFW. Tear inducing.
Also a good reminder of why Uly isn’t baptized despite my church promoting infant baptism.
Thanks for posting this.
Congratulations Ruthie! Jen, thanks for posting this. Helpful insight in to some of my own concerns about my kiddos.
now I’m crying at work! that’s wonderful news, Jen. So so so pleased for you and Ruthie. okay need to leave now so I can not be crying. at! work!
Woo hoo! Go Ruthie!
It was really fun seeing you yesterday and looking down at the tubs and seeing Brian and Ruthie in one was a special treat! Hugs
Soo cool! Thank for sharing this. My girls and I did a lot of talking about baptism the night after the service.
Wow!!!! I’m just getting caught up, but that is so awesome! Congratulations Ruthie… and thank you for writing this post. I have no doubt I’ll feel the same way should my girls ever decide to get baptized. But what a huge step for Ruthie and how exciting! 😀 Welcome to the fam!! Yay!!