Turning 40 35/40

Choice.

Elizabeth is the last of my children to opt into baptism- a rite of passage announcing to our community and the world at large that you have chosen in your heart Jesus is Lord and will live as such. It’s a tactile ritual symbolizing your death to your old self, the new self submerging from the life giving waters.

She understood baptism as a declaration of perfection not as a life drenched in God’s grace. My girl wasn’t ready to be perfect. She couldn’t commit to getting it all right, all the time.

The discovery of grace made her hungry for baptism and she’s following her sister’s lead and doing that in our sacred week of family service in Baja Mexico.

In a moment when I have sat and listened to the stories of fleeing refugees, women safe in no land, and think of the Middle East crisis I- feel how lavish the privilege is that my daughter can choose her faith, express it and we are safe to publicly baptize her without fear of retaliation.

In every instance someone else sacrificed for me (and mine) to have the choice. Jesus stood in our place so we can walk in grace we don’t deserve, didn’t earn. Visionary men fought, died and labored to establish a country allowing religious freedom. My daughter is seen as a person and not as property. Still now, government bodies continue to serve to protect liberties other regions of our world will never know.

How lucky am I to have had the gift of being born when I was, where I was. And my children too.

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