It’s been a year since I decided to get baptized, so I figured it was time to finally get around to writing about it. This post is what I shared at church when I was baptized and its a little choppy because of that. I only had like 3 mins to share my whole life. It’s hard. Also, if you have been following this blog for a while chances are you already know all of this.
I grew up believing that emotions and needs of any kind were bad. I was ashamed when I experienced them, and I developed an eating disorder to numb them out and avoid shame. I never let people see the brokenness, and the older I got, the more I hid it. After all, I started college, I was leading younglife, and had been following the Lord for a while now. I had built a life, people had expectations, I needed to meet & exceed those expectations.
Super effective until I was 20 and my brother was killed in a car accident and I could not manage the emotion at all. I spiraled into an eating disorder and people saw the messy version of me for the first time. My brokenness was on display. A year ago (2 years now) I went to the hospital and the Lord wrote an amazing redemption story. I look back at that time and am simply awestruck at the ways God met me in that dark time. But, instead of living in freedom, I felt pressure to perform. To live perfectly in recovery. I have spent the last year navigating how to let people into something I was supposed to be healed from. I have been miserable. Scared. Lonely. Tired. Ashamed. I thought maybe this is all life was because it was the first time I had ever lived without numbing out. The past few months the Lord has been revealed to me that I actually didn’t know how to receive love. That I couldn’t do it because I was so ashamed that I needed it, and that was keeping me from deep meaningful relationships- most importantly with Him.
A lot of this was revealed to me through the lens of baptism. It got brought up in conversation and I immediately got defiant. I dug my heels in and had a solid argument about the legalism of America’s Christian culture. I had a thesis statement and everything. Really, I was just fearful. Baptism is scary because it is saying that I will never achieve perfection, which has kind of always been my goal. Its saying, very publicly, that I am just broken- in unpredictable and messy ways
James sums it up nicely:
“But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” – James 4: 6-10
I literally cannot receive the gracious love of God without acknowledging I will always be broken. I’m have to let myself grieve, mourn, and be illogically imperfect.
So I’m getting baptized today, not because I have it all together finally, but the opposite. I’m broken, and God loves me. That’s all.
Now, a year later, I’m still broken and Jesus is still good. Praise the Lord for that.
Fun Fact: I don’t think I was conscious when the picture at the top of the page was taken. I blacked out while I was getting baptized because I was so nervous (Mostly about having to let other people take the weight of my body…. there’s a whole counseling session in there I’m sure). Its just very funny to me now, and I hope you get a little chuckle out of it as well.