Part 1 "The Commitment"
As it grows closer to my wedding date, I begin to think of the major commitment I will soon make before my friends, family, pastor, and God. I will be committing that my fiancé, Barry Darius is the only person I choose to share my life with, out of all the men in this world. It’s interesting to think I will soon become not just joined with him, but fused. To join means that an adhesive is applied, which could also be used to separate us. A fusion, however, is a mixture or merger that contains no separation between the two components; instead, they have become one. This concept reminds me of a specific day in my life that I will never forget -my engagement to God on the day I got baptized. That day, I said yes to God and no to everything else.
Before becoming engaged, there is typically a moment of contemplation about whether you should make things even more official and serious than what they are now. You might ask yourself if this person is the one you want to show the world that you’ve chosen to spend your life solely with him or her. I had a similar thought before taking the next step to get baptized. I was nine years old when I professed the Lord as my “Lord and Savior.” However, I didn’t decide to get baptized until I was eighteen years old. Why so long? Why did I wait nine years to finally make the decision to initiate myself as a Christian, not just proving it to myself, but to the world? I waited so long for the most significant occasion to finally say “yes”. Yes, I choose You, Your way of life, Your mission, Your vision, and Your help. I was simply saying yes to all that God had to offer. But I had to wait to commit until I found clarity.
Since I was a young girl, I have always been headstrong. I also was able to quickly grasp concepts when taught. Though I was nine years old and professing my love to God, I knew I had not yet experienced God’s full glory or grace. I hadn’t had any life experience to say that I truly understood the walk of Christianity. Though I was raised in the church, I thank God I was not forced to make a decision that I needed to take time to properly digest and have knowledge about. I will say that there were times of fear that I would have to sacrifice a lot just to be one with God. I had considered all of these heavy concepts at an age at which I had never even been to the movies, yet. At that age, I figured I would have to pray for everything and use God as a main source. I was still begging my parents for allowances, so I wasn’t ready for that big of a commitment. My adolescents formed my ignorance of who God truly was also, like most, I felt I was going to have to give up on a world I had not yet experienced, and I wasn’t yet ready to feel I was “missing out.” As much as accepting Christ as my personal Savior felt like an effervescent moment, I knew I had not grown in the Word to make such a commitment to Christ. I was taught that it was an engagement, and I wasn’t ready to bind myself in such a way.
I remember the moment when I finally knew it was time. My conviction in God had not lessened during my nine years of contemplation. Instead, I was growing and learning, and my appetite for God was increasing, as well. I had been hearing stories, tales, and victories all associated with God. I was discovering things about Him and about His character that I had never known. God was planting seeds and watering them, as I was growing physically and spiritually. Every step of the way, He used experiences and people to water and shape me to sprout a longing to commit myself to Him. God didn’t need to use tactics to force me towards Him. I was drawn closer and closer to Him until I could no longer deny there was a need for Him. God began to tug on my heart and during my senior year, I had made up in my mind that I couldn’t go anywhere else without God. I knew the moment I read my acceptance letter to college that I was going to need all the help I could get. I was soon going to step into unfamiliar territory that only God knew how to navigate through.
I wasn’t ashamed or nervous; I just knew that what I was going to do next was not only right, but safe. I wanted to merge myself to the safest commodity in the world. In March 2009, I remember coming up to the water feel how cold it was, and walking up to my pastor as he reached out for my hand. As he spoke, I was thinking to myself “OMG, I’m going to do it”. As he submerged me in the water, there was a quick second, a pause, a moment that I wasn’t breathing. In this moment all I could see were the currents of the water. It was also a moment of silence. I heard nothing. I went into the water as my eighteen year old self -leaving her there to slowly fade away. When I arose, I was a zero pound, zero ounce newborn. My spiritual life rose up with me that day. I had experienced the metamorphosis into a daughter of the living God. Christ was now living in me. His legacy was now birthed in me. That day, I looked like Him and made a commitment to live like Him. The merger was complete. With tears in my eyes, I knew something had changed. Though the sky did not open, my heart definitely did. Today, I pray my spiritual self has gained pounds and has grown so that I no longer look like a newborn in Christ, but rather a mature woman of God. This didn’t automatically get easier following that day. Many tests and trials have come along with my inward decision to be seen outward. But I knew I could make it, because I still had the best help of all.
As months pass by and the date of my wedding draws nearer, I think of this new commitment I will soon make with my fiancé. We will experience our own metamorphosis from singles into one. I think about the changing of my last name and the receiving of my new name. I think about the vows I will soon pronounce. The parting from my parents to be with him. The symbolic ring I will wear to always remind me of what I have proclaimed that day. My engagement will soon become a marriage, and I pray as you read this that the Lord may help you in your decision to get baptized and become committed to Him. You will never completely be ready, but that’s why your old self no longer lives after baptism. Instead, Christ will live in you, along with a renewed hope for glory.