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August 7, 2020

0 In Hawaii/ Uncategorized

I Do

The Christian faith, into which you now come to be baptized, is affirmed in the Apostles’ Creed, which we confess:

“We believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth;”

“And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; He descended into hell; the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from there He shall come to judge the living and the dead.”

“We believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Church of Jesus Christ, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.”

Will you be baptized into this faith?

I will.

Do you acknowledge Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, and do you believe that He saves you now?

I do.

As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ, will you follow Him all the days of your life, growing in grace and the love of God and neighbor?

I will.

Meg Crisostomo, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

August 7, 2014.

Somewhere in the middle of a field off a beaten path. In a pool no larger than the size of my dining table. With Congolese and American people standing nearby. Dressed in Brandy Melville black, flared cloth pants and a 2014 PLNU LoveWorks t-shirt. There… I was baptized.

I said my “I will’s” and my “I do’s” in a way I can only imagine reflects the covenant one makes for marriage. But instead of marrying a spouse or committing myself to another human being, I was dedicating my life to Jesus. Promising myself that I would follow Him. Declaring to those around me that I was allowing Jesus into my heart now and always. Believing that God would be with me all the days of my life. Making a covenant that goes far greater than a life on earth.

Naïve is not the word. I was not more naïve in 2014 and now less naïve in 2020. As if being naïve is what makes faith simpler. But in 2014 I was fired up on faith. I had lived through God doing incredible things in my life. Showing up, making a way, taking my life on a journey that I could have never expected. And now, here in 2020- six years later, I am frustrated with my faith. I have been questioning what God is trying to do. I have been wondering why I am doing everything that I possibly can yet I still feel so empty inside. I am trying to have faith, but faith does not make a whole lot of sense right now.

And then I’m reminded of the decision I made. The “I will’s” and the “I do’s”

In sickness and in health. For richer or for poorer. Til death do us part. But in this case, through the valleys and the mountaintops. For the days when I feel God right beside me or the days when I have no idea where He is. Then in death, do I get to be closer to Him.

It’s a commitment I made. A commitment to honor and worship and follow all the days of my life. And some days it’s easy, because it makes sense. And some days- like the past few days, weeks, months, year- it’s not so easy, because absolutely none of it makes sense.

And I’ve been here before. This season of nothing making sense. Of everything not going how I had thought they would, of questioning what God is trying to do, and of wondering when God would fulfill the promises He made.

The last time I was here, I came to a crossroads where I was forced (by myself of course, no one put this pressure upon me) to make a choice. Do I choose my head? Or do I choose my heart? Because what my head is telling me is that God is good and He’s always been good even if right now it doesn’t seem so good. Then you have my heart that is screaming “Meg you are in so much pain! How could God possibly love you.”

So as the extremely emotional girl that I am, I chose my heart. And it was the greatest mistake I have ever made. Because my heart pushed me into pain. It constantly reminded me of hurt and betrayal and disappointment. So instead of running to God, I ran away from Him. Away from His hurt and His betrayal and away from the disappointment I was feeling because of Him. And it nearly ruined me, because it led me to believe that I can do just fine all by myself without God.

But I will not make the same mistake twice. Even as tears rush down my face and pain overwhelms my soul, I will not be deceived by the hurt I feel in my heart. This time around, I am choosing to follow my head. To listen to the thoughts that were planted in my mind from the many years of reading my bible- God’s living and breathing word. The notion that God has plans to prosper me and not to harm me; plans to give me a hope and a future.

Because six years ago when I was fired up on faith I made a commitment. Now here I am, trying to do the same. So, I will God, because I do love you.