September 30, 2018 was one of the most special days in our family's lives. A few weeks ago (September 9), LL came to me on a Sunday afternoon (right after Matt left to go out of town for a few days), and told me that she was ready to pray and ask Jesus into her heart. She and I went into my bedroom, talked for a little bit, and then she prayed the prayer of salvation.
As Baptists, we believe that salvation comes through praying and acknowledging to God that we are sinners, that we are lost without Him, and that we need Him in our lives. In this prayer, we also ask Him to live in our hearts and save us from our sins. After this prayer, we follow God's command to be baptized. While we believe that baptism is important (it is an outward show of an inward change), we don't believe that this act in itself "saves" you. What saves a person and makes them a Christian is their belief of Jesus and willingness to follow Him and live their life in His image.
Baptism is something that has made LL very nervous and hesitant about getting saved. For about a year now, we have been talking with her about this process and showing her videos of what baptism looks like. Over the last year, we have just been shepherding her heart, being patient with her as she processes everything (and never ever pushing her into any part of this! This has to be HER decision!), and explaining (sometimes over and over and over) what everything means and what baptism is like. Even after her prayer of salvation on September 9, she was very nervous about the baptism part.
Within the last week and a half, God just took that fear away from her and replaced it with peace and excitement! That change was so amazing to see! Typically, either the Pastor of our church or the Pastor of Pastoral Care baptizes everyone in our church. Occasionally, someone else will do the baptizing if they have a special role in that person's life. Because Matt is ordained, they let Matt baptize Lorelai - which made it even more special to all of us!
Our church has a baptism room that is set by itself with a camera that shows the baptisms on the big screens in the sanctuary. We had to be in that room about 20 minutes before service started. This is LL (and Cooper) getting a tour of the baptism pool and an explanation of everything that was going to happen.
We are so proud of LL and excited for her to live her life for Christ!
They have chairs set up in the baptism room for family, but LL requested that it just be Mommy, Daddy, and Cooper back there. Trust me - she had a crowd in the sanctuary cheering her on! Mrs. Amanda is someone who is special in LL's life (and she works with the kids in our church), and she sat in the back area with us, too. LL was so happy to see her and happy that she could sneak away from the kids to come and watch!
Cooper scooted over to LL, put his arm around her, and said "I'm so happy you're getting bab-ta-tized". :)
A family picture before her baptism!
She kept telling me she was nervous, but she was all smiles once she got in the baptism pool!
Watching your child get baptized is a feeling unlike any other that I've experienced as a mom. I am so proud, happy, and overjoyed that LL is choosing to follow Christ. Seeing my husband be the one to baptize her makes it even more amazing and special. Here's a video of her baptism.
After her baptism was over, we got her dried off and changed, and they gave her her baptism certificate!
LL and Cooper wanted to stay with us in the regular service instead of going upstairs into the kids service. We snuck in the back (since it was the middle of the service) and found Kayla and Andrew. LL was so happy to have Hadley there!
Such a proud family supporting our girl!
LL and Cooper are both so blessed to have so many people who love and care about them so much.
After church, we came home and had a big cookout for family and friends to celebrate LL's big day! (This was actually our first time hosting more than just a few people at our house and it went so well!! We had 17 people and we all fit fine!) LL got this shirt from our church to celebrate her day, and she wore it proudly all afternoon.
We love our sweet girl so very much, and seeing her make this big decision was so humbling and amazing. We love you, precious LL.