Thursday, May 28, 2009

Callie's Baptism

This past Sunday, Callie was baptized. She's been talking about wanting to be baptized for quite some time now, and her understanding about its significance was evident. She loves our God and desires to know and follow Him, and she was ready to make her statement of faith in front of her friends and family.

We were excited that so many of our family members were able to be there for the ceremony; it made the time even sweeter. Also there for the occasion were many members of our Small Group and other people from our church who have impacted Callie personally.

We met out at the Reservoir, uncertain about whether or not the rain would stop for us. Our good friends Josh and Katie were the first to arrive, and they (literally) ran to secure a picnic table for us! As more and more of us gathered, the clouds began to be blown away, and a beautiful blue sky was revealed. It was perfect.

My sister Julie and her husband Jay led us in a few worship songs that Callie personally requested. I knew it would happen--as soon as they began the first song, "Blessed Be Your Name," I could not hold back my tears. Music pierces my soul, and I get overwhelmed with love for my Savior, who is now also my daughter's Savior. These are my favorite tears.

Eventually I was able to join in the singing, and I loved watching Callie sing praises to her King! The second song we sang was "God of Wonders," which is a recurring favorite at our house, and then we sang "Thy Word." It was all so beautiful, especially being able to sing while overlooking the water.

Kevin then talked about our conversations with Callie about her salvation and baptism. One of my favorite images is the one in which he describes baptism as being like a wedding. When a couple gets married, they know long before the wedding that they love each other and are committed to one another, but the ceremony makes a statement to all who are there to witness it. In the same way, Callie has known of her love and commitment to Christ, but she wanted to make a public statement of her love and faith through baptism.

Earlier that day, Callie had sat down at her electric typewriter and pecked out these words on the keys, and she gladly read them aloud at her baptism. (Unfortunately, a boat was going by as she read it, so not everyone could hear.)

"I LOVE MY GOD, I know he is good. I want to follow him, and seek him only; for he is the king, the great I-am and I want to know who he is. But one thing is for sure-your love is everlasting. I know that you created everything-clouds to seas. You are the one I want to follow after, you are. Not mom, not dad, you. This is my decision, and I will always store in my heart that I have now showed everyone my choose. Follow or not? Follow. THAT'S MY DECISION."

If there has ever been a sincere and certain statement of faith--that's it! And it was totally unprompted. Simply what was in her eight-year-old heart. And it is beautiful.

After reading her statement, Callie followed her daddy into the water, and she was baptized in the muddy Reservoir as the rest of us watched from the shore. Such a glorious day!


laurie said...

I love that her baptism was in the Resevoir. Being obsessed with the outdoors (and particularly water), I'm jealous. I'm glad it was such a meaningful experience.

jcbullock said...

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR POSTING THIS!!! I am so sad that I was unable to be there for this special time in Callie's life, but I am so thankful and proud of her decision. That is the first baptism that Tyler has witnessed, and I pray that it will have an impact on him. How special and wonderful that would be!

Carrie Bevell Partridge said...

Of course, I wish that ALL of you could have been there, but we were so thrilled to have as many of our family as we could there. Christy, I neglected to mention all the six-year-old boys running around with their shirts off, looking very much like LORD OF THE FLIES with their big walking sticks/swords/lightsabers/fishing poles. Haha!

Emily said...

The Hardin's feel so thankful to have been able to share in this moment and be drawn closer to our King through Callie's obedience and her brave and beautiful faith.

Janna said...

Great story. That girl is special.

Kari said...

Love the story, how very Callie to type out her statement, reminds me of some of her big statements when she was a very little girl:)

Carrie Bevell Partridge said...

I wish you could have been there, Kari!