Yesterday was my rebirthday! What a day to celebrate! I was baptized on January 21, 1996. On that Sunday, fourteen years ago, at twelve years old, I became a baby all over again; a brand new infant in Christ. I voluntarily put on my Heavenly Father as I was immersed into His boundless grace and mercy. And, in doing so, I proclaimed to the world that I would be His follower, nothing more, nothing less, for the rest of my life. It was easily the best decision that I have ever made.
It's difficult to find words to express what is the most important aspect of my whole life, the very essence of who I am. It's kind of scary to be so vulnerable and crack my heart and soul wide open for you all to see, but I just couldn't let such a special day in my life pass by without acknowledging the One who has made All the Difference.
My Father has blessed me so richly throughout my entire life. Even when I have thought that the circumstances were terrible (like moving to a new state in the middle of high school, for instance), He has used those opportunities to work so much good into my life (like introducing me to the man of my dreams who would later become the greatest husband in America). What a comfort to know that even when I'm scared or confused about any given situation, He already knows my future and has planned it in such a way that I am cared for.
Especially, in light of the last month (it has now officially been over a month since the accident), it would be impossible for me not to notice how incredibly He has protected and taken care of me. It's a very humbling experience to know that God is the only reason you're being comforted, through others of His children offering meals, hugs, transportation, prayers, patience, and support; or by an unexpected check in the mail, there is no denying that it is He who is working through others as well as circumstances to make sure that we are okay.
But a life in Christ is so much more than being physically cared for. Even if I were poor and hungry and only had one pair of clothes to wear every day, I would still be blessed in Him. What really makes faith in the Lord so powerful, is because it (He), alone, provides freedom!! Freedom from sin. Freedom to love. Freedom to not be responsible for the judgement of others. Freedom from worry. Freedom from Hell. The grace and mercy which He so freely lays upon us is such a great feeling of relief!
Have you ever been so scared to tell someone a wrong that you've done? Or think back to when you were a kid, and you were terrified to admit to your dad that you broke the remote, or got caught cheating on your homework. Can you remember (or imagine) the sense of relief when your mom or dad just took you into their arms, caressed your hair, kissed your face and said "It's okay. I'm not mad. I just love you so much, and am so glad that you came to me"? Take that feeling times a gajillion.
God knows our mistakes. He's aware of our doubts and fears. He even knows what shameful and embarrassing things we haven't done yet. And through all that, He loves us. He forgives us. He draws us close, holds us tightly, kisses our faces and says, "It's okay. I still love you. You are My own child, and nothing could ever possibly make me stop loving you." There's no other place I would rather be than tightly held in the arms of my Father. The strongest, smartest, most loving Father ever.
This whole journey began for me 14 years ago, when I accepted all that He was offering me by burying my old self in the water, and being raised up, born again as a new creation in Christ. There is nothing more that I would ever rather celebrate than my rebirthday!
If you don't know my Dad yet, and aren't familiar with the love in this Family, let me just tell you, you're missing out. I can honestly say that my life is immensely better having known Christ. (Understatment of the century.) He has done so much for me, to me, and in me, that it's hard for me to not talk about how incredibly Good He is. What better time than on the anniversary of the very occasion that began it all?
Thank you, Lord, for a second chance - a million times. Thank you for Your forgiveness, Your undeserved mercy and grace, and Your love. Thank you, Lord. Thank you.
But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) Ephesians 2:4-5