Today Mez was baptized. And it was an amazing morning.
When I awoke this morning, I decided to text two of our youth leaders at our church to let them know Mez was getting dunked at the 9:45 service. LIfe has been so full (ok...it's always so full with five kiddos) that I barely live moment to moment these days, especially since I have my college kids home from school and all seven of us are back at home base. So it didn't occur to me to communicate with our youth staff until two hours before the service. I thought it might be a long shot for them to get over to the sanctuary where Mez would be baptized because it was happening at the same hour as when the youth group meets for Sunday School. Out of the many services our church hosts Sunday mornings, the 9:45 was the best service for her baptism today rather than the 11:00 service we usually attend. Yet it would mean that she wouldn't be surrounded by the youth group during her baptism.
At 9:30, our family arrived at First Presbyterian church with Grandma and Grandpa Halversen (Lisa's parents) and Cole's girlfriend, Zoe, with us. As the service began, out of the corner of my eye I saw movement. With a giant smile on her face, Emily Luker (our middle school girls leader) lead our youth group down the side aisle of the sanctuary. Within a minute, our youth staff and students filled the side aisle and wound around the back of the sanctuary. My heart swiftly moved into my throat. I could barely sing our opening song my emotions were so full. Our church community is stunning.
Our pastor, David Swanson, invited Mez, Dennis and me up to the front of the sanctuary. He spoke about Mez and Kamise's history, adoption into our family, and that Mez has placed her trust in Christ alone for eternal life. As she stepped into the baptismal waters contained in the portable tub, which Dr. Swanson assurred wasn't a horse trough, she gasped from the cool of the water. Giggling, she sat down.
It happened like this...
Mez and Kamise have been with us five years now. I think we are all finally settling into family as it now is in a new way. We find ourselves jaw-dropped by interactions which show that bonding is occurring. Trust is being offered us. We have warred for connection and had surrendered through blood, sweat and tears that it may never be a reality we would enjoy this side of Heaven. Yet we were designed to fight for their hearts and called to it and have stumbled along this mysterious, heart-wrenching path. And we are encountering "morning."
Psalm 30:5b captures life so well. "Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning."
The night has felt long to us all. But a moment of morning makes all the stinking long night worth it! This morning was an amazing morning.