This summer, Annie M attended a backyard bible club and one of the evenings, she came home grinning from ear to ear and told us that, “she had asked Jesus to be in her heart and be her best, best, best friend for forever.”
As we talked more about her decision and what it meant, she went on to explain to us about free will, the choices we have and what Jesus has done for us – and she said emphatically, “and I choose Jesus.”
There ya go, y’all.
I choose Jesus. So simple and yet so deep….and something I need to remind myself of daily – to choose Jesus – perhaps even hourly if I am brutally honest, yes??
Anyway, a few weeks went by and one day as I drove, she told me that she wanted to be baptized. I was excited, nervous and had all kinds of emotion as I watched my itty bitty baby grow in her faith, and want to take steps to make it her own right before my eyes.
Over the next few weeks, I kind of let go the whole baptism thing. I was initially thinking it may be a phase, or maybe she heard a friend say it or something, however with no prompting from me or anyone else, she continued to bring it up.
She assured me over and over that she understood what it meant and she would say that her heart really wanted to, “because I want to show the whole world that I have accepted Jesus and want to live for Him.” The more and more we talked about it all, the more my Husband and I knew she was ready and that it truly was the Lord doing a work in her.
The day of her baptism was so special. At our church, we dunk 😉 and prior to our pastor baptizing, someone speaks words of affirmation over the person and then someone prays for them. For Annie M, we decided that I would do the words of affirmation and that my Hubs would pray.
A few days before as I prepared and toiled over the things I could say, I was a hot mess. I am never ever at a loss for words, but y’all, thinking of sharing with people the deepest parts of my heart and my love for our best girl?? Yeeesh.
Merely the mention of it made me cry at home, so I figured in the best interest of all – and so as not to totally embarrass myself, friends or family, I needed to think through it in advance.
As I prayed about my words, I decided that writing a letter and speaking directly to her on baptism day (rather than about her to others) was the way I wanted to go. That it would be words I could give to her and that she could forever have. I did print the letter for her to keep (she asked me for it, actually!) and I am going to share it below with y’all – as well as the pictures taken by my sister, to give praise to the Lord for such a special day.
I have to tell you, as I looked back at the pictures and smiled, one thing caught my eye. In the background reads Ephesians 3:20, “God writes the best stories.” Those words could not be more true as I reflect on this day and my life, and how cool is it that those words are forever etched into the background of Annie M’s baptism day.
My husband and I were joined up front by our kiddos, my parents, my sister and brother in law, my mother in law and then two dear friends, Heather and Caroline. GrandDad was not able to be here as he was sick that day. My heart could just explode knowing that we have such a wonderful and Christ-loving village investing and supporting our family. Truly too many people to name, but you know who you are and please know that I am eternally thankful for you!
Below are the words read over my sweet girl.
“Dear Annie M,