Sunday, September 22, 2013

Baptisms: New Beginnings

Hello My Lovelies and Gents,

Time for a Sing A-Long...

Sweet home Alabama
Where the skies are so blue
Sweet Home Alabama
Lord, I'm coming home to you  

Haha. A couple of weeks ago was a very moving day in church. It was a special day. It was Baptism Day. You could sign up ahead of time and prepare something to say or you could decide day of that you wanted to be Baptized. It's a very emotional day.  It's not easy to stand up there and share your story with everyone. And so to put everyone at ease the Pastors had a little fun with us. 

First, the youth Pastor came in a la Duck Dynasty. He was dressed up like one of the guys and had us sing a song that would keep ducks away from the Baptismal Pool. So we all stood up and sang Singing in the Rain. But there was a twist. After every chorus he would add a body movement that we had to do during the next chorus. By the end of the song there were a hundred people with thumbs up, knees bent, knees together, butt out, head up, and tongues out. It was silly, but it lightened the mood and took everyone out of their comfort zones.

Then, we sang Sweet Home Alabama. What?  I just about died laughing when I saw the lyrics come on the screen. First thought: Love this Song!  Second thought: Seriously?  Have you ever been to a Lynyrd Skynyrd concert? I have. Pretty much a very different crowd than most churches. But, there are some good lyrics in there.

When it was time for people to get up and tell their stories it was very emotional. I am new to this church and only knew some of them in passing. For the most part they had all gone through some terribly troubling times and I felt honored to be hearing their stories.  The whole time I kept thinking, I want to do it today. I want to get up there and get baptized. But, something held me back. There were a few reasons I didn't. First, I would really like to think about what I want to say when I get up there. I think we all know how emotional I am and I'm going to cry. So at least let me read from a script. Second, I was wearing a dress. I didn't mind about it getting wet, but I wasn't sure they had enough towels to dry me off. And third, I didn't have any friends or family with me. And that's something I would want to share with them.  And so I decided that if I am still in the area the next time they do it, I will sign up. I have already started writing what I want to say.

Baptism means many things to different people. Growing up I thought everyone felt the same way about it that I did. Then when I moved down South I was amazed at all of the different thoughts and opinions that all of my Christian friends had.

One way to look at is is that a Baptism is sort of a new beginning. A life-changing new beginning.  That's kind of how I feel about my life over the past 7 or so years. I was reborn. I had a new beginning. I committed myself to living a healthy and fit life.  

The process was a lot like the service we had before the Baptisms. I has to step out of my comfort zone and face myself.

One day after the service I was walking with Ms. Tracey and telling her my thoughts about what I wanted to say about myself:

After growing up in the Northeast and living there for so many years it was a culture shock when I moved to the South. I had so many open and frank conversations with people of all denominations regarding Christianity. One of the things that always struck me was that I heard over and over again about the day someone was 'reborn'. Sometimes, but not all times, there were tragic moments in that person's life before they had a big moment with God. I was always sort of jealous. I had never had that big moment with God. It took a lot for me to realize that it was because I always knew He was with me.

*Stay with me on this Please*

My life has been one big question mark for the past 6 years. I haven't always known what I was meant to do or where I was to be.  Almost daily I would ask God "Okay God, what do you want me to do?" And practically like a movie, the answers would be presented in front of my face. As in practically dropped in my lap or smack me in the head. The problem is that it was not always the answer I wanted to hear, for various reasons.  Sometimes I didn't feel ready. Sometimes I didn't feel strong enough. Sometimes I simply wanted something else.

This is sort of how it was for the Former Fat Girl. I think there's this misconception. People seem to think that there is going to be some big magical moment and then everything is just going to get easy and the weight is just going to fall off. Temptations will be a thing of the past. Couch to 5Ks will happen overnight. 

Not to burst any bubbles or anything, but these magical moments just don't happen. The temptations will still be there. It's all about making the right choices. 

Not everyone has the tragic moments that lead to the big revelation either. Not everyone is going to have that big moment that makes them realize "I need to make this change NOW." It could come on a smaller scale. You just have to be ready and strong enough to recognize that moment. When your 'fat' jeans are too tight. When you find out your cholesterol is too high. When you find it difficult to grocery shop without getting winded.

Whatever it takes and whenever it happens, when you start your New Beginning, it'll be worth it. It may not be easy, but it'll be worth it.

Sweet home Alabama
Where the skies are so blue
Sweet Home Alabama
Lord, I'm coming home to you
Here I come Alabama


Have a Blessed Night.

You can still make pledges to my Run for Autism even though the race is over:

****Please note****

If you feel like you are alone on your journey and you just need some encouragement I am here for you! Shoot me an email and I will do my best to check in on you or give you the words of support you need several times a week. The journey is so much easier if you have support.

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