Confession: I actually really do not like titles of blogs or articles that say “the 4 things you to do to..” or “Why are you doing this…” or “the 5 things that say your relationship is unhealthy…” Why don’t I like them? Well, honestly, its cause not every ‘5 things’ works for everybody. No one’s life is the same as another’s, nor is someone else’s life better because they can check those 4 things off their relationship to-do list.
So why did I make my last two titles of my blogs so bold? Well at first I said I really disliked those kinda of bold titles like the ones listed above because they are lying- there ain’t no way everyone can just do those 7 things to rid themselves of the anxiety and depression or whatever it may be. But the thing is, those kind of bold titles still catch my attention, I still click, and I still read. And then by the end of it, I get all frustrated because those weren’t the answers I was looking for or none of them pertained to my relationships like they said they did.
So foreclosure for this blog, past, present and future: if you aren’t doing what I blog about or necessarily agree with the things I think, then that is totally okay. I am different than you, my circumstances, God’s plan for my life is not the same as yours, and that is actually quite an amazing thought. So please take my words as me learning from my ups and downs with God and sharing them with you- nothing more, nothing less. I am not a follower of Christ who has it all figured out, and gosh, I never ever will. I just love sharing my stories because we can all relate to one another in our valleys and mountain tops. We all need someone who can understand or who may be stinking at life just as much as we are, and that is why I write. Because I stink at giving my whole life to Jesus, but I want Him more than anything, and I hope and pray that this blog can give you sense of belonging and understanding in that someone else understands your pain and heartache, too.
On that note, why you may be praying all wrong;)…
(Which you aren’t, I just learned a whole lot through my baptism this past Sunday and I want to share.)
Anybody remember my last blog from Prague? Oh, you don’t? Eh, that’s okay, because it was a total downer. BUT in that blog I admitted that I had been struggling with a ton of depression and anxiety while student teaching overseas, and man was it kicking my butt.
It was kicking my butt so much to the point that I cried probably more than I spoke, my evening runs turned into me dragging my feet or crouching down with tired knees and a weak, weak heart, and my classroom turned into a prayer zone.
And looking back, I still cringe at the thought of how much I struggled, but I praise Jesus for who I turned to in every waking moment.
Guys, I got to the point where I was so weak that I knew- I absolutely knew that there was no way I could do it on my own. I reached the darkest valley, with the brightest light, in finally giving up and saying- God, I do not understand any of what I am facing, and you are the only one who does.
And that is when my knees would hit the floor.
My struggles, my weakness, my heartache pointed me straight to Jesus. Guys, this isn’t me saying I did it all right, this is me saying He put me in a place where I had no other choice.
I had no other choice than to fall to my knees every morning and night. I had no other choice than to literally cry out to Him while desperately falling to the ground. And I had no other choice than to get to school early and pray over every one of my studnets’ desk- all because I finally understood that He is the only one who understands- the only One who knows my heart.
And it was my posture that brought me to that point. It was my weak knees, my heavy heart, and my reaching arms that humbled me to His mighty throne. Sometimes I had no other choice than to stop standing and start kneeling, and that is where He changed my heart- face down, knees bent, hands to heaven.
Prague taught me a whole lot about how badly my Heavenly Father wants me to reach out to Him- with a humble heart and a crying spirit- because it is then that I realize His goodness, His love and His control.
Well, Prague ended and the depression didn’t, but after 4 long weeks of not wanting to get up out of bed, I could trace His hand left and right. And before I knew it, I was being asked: So baptism. You still wanting to do it?
First answer? Sure, but I don’t really understand why. I understand that we are called to be buried and resurrected with Christ, but I was baptized as a baby, wanted to get baptized 5 years ago, didn’t, and I’m still doing okay, so is it really needed? And if it was really needed, wouldn’t my heart feel the pull to do it?
Answer to all those questions: it doesn’t matter if you have already been baptized or have been a believer for 60 years, baptism is more than just being dunked underwater.
Baptism is all about how you present yourself to your Heavenly Father.
It is all about your posture during that prayer.
See, baptism is a prayer, a statement, a declaration that you believe that Christ has freed you and made you a new being. You believe that He has all and always will have all control. You believe that He took on your sin and beat death so you wouldn’t have to. Baptism is the prayer of: God I surrender my all to You. My mind, my heart, my soul, my body- it is all yours. Take me and make me yours.
So when I sat with my now co-worked Chip and boss Bryan and heard these words of how baptism is a posture of prayer where we surrender all, I was stopped dead in my tracks.
I knew what a posture of prayer truly meant. I knew what it meant to be humbled, to be shaken, to be pulled down to your knees. I knew that my posture while in my depression and anxiety was what lead my heart right back to Jesus, and there was no way in heck that I was going to let myself turn down being washed in the water if that is what it meant.
If that is what baptism means, surrender and fully new in Christ, then hand it over. Heck, I almost jumped in the baptistry right then and there.
I admit it, I didn’t understand it all, but God met me where I was and showed me what being washed by His blood truly meant. He wanted me to fall, surrender, and feel the sin washing out of me and the grace washing over me.
And I did.
So if you are a believer and have not gotten baptized or were baptized as an infant, I really really strongly encourage you to take that leap of faith and let yourself fall into that posture of prayer.And if you are struggling with it like I did, turn those pages in your bible, look up videos of baptisms online. Once you hear and see the goodness and cleansing of the water of baptism, there is no way you can turn away.
Take the posture you need, you feel, today in your prayer time. Don’t be embarrassed if God calls you to your knees during a full worship service or in your break room at work. He is calling you because He is meeting you- so meet Him there, and I promise you will not be disappointed.
See you soon,