Today was so emotionally intense for me. Three of our seven children were baptized at the church Matt and I met in and got married in. Each one has been dedicated as an infant. This place is so very special to our hearts.
I awoke this morning already feeling the weight of the Holy Spirit upon my heart. Our middle daughter Rhema ( 6 ) came into our room with a horrific sounding cough. One of those that you wonder if it’s something serious, or just a morning cough trying to break through and recover. Her voice was hoarse, and her forehead warm.
She knew she was being baptized today, and mentioned to me that she felt she couldn’t go through with it. She was too tired. Wasn’t feeling up to it.
I try really hard not to over spiritualize things in our lives, but I am very aware of the spirit realm in a real way. I’ve seen spiritual battles with my own eyes. I knew this was an attack on her little body. The one that was going to be given freely to Jesus in front of friends and family that morning. I knew I needed to pray over her.
We prayed, and I gave her some cough medicine. Put some essential oils on her chest and had her drink a large glass of water. Within five minutes her cough was completely gone, and her little voice back to her normal raspy self.
I could feel that it was the first of many victories that the day held.
At church we had worship first, and the presence of Jesus was strong in the room. I was peaceful and praying over each of our children that was going to be Baptized. I vividly remember my own Dad baptizing me as a young child. The rush of the water on my face, the release of perfection I felt as I came out of the water. I knew then I would choose to follow Jesus, even when life was hard. Especially when life was hard.
Worship ended, and I could feel a shift in the atmosphere. A presence that was different from before. My heart began beating out of my chest, and tears came falling down my cheeks. I knew they were there.
My three in heaven, they were there watching.
A mentor and deep friend came up to me and said:
” Just now a cloud of witnesses entered the room. They are praying over all the children being baptized. Among them are your three children.”
Holding our youngest, Luca ( 3 months ) I couldn’t help but hold him as the tears cascaded down my face. THAT was the presence I felt moments ago, unable to explain it.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,”
It wasn’t long before I could see all three of my babies sitting patiently on the stage, behind the baptism pool.
Jude looked to be around 12, so handsome and tall, a protective big brother, with his arm around my brown curly headed Haddie who looked to be 5-6 years old. Little Alba, my blonde haired beauty sat silent, soaking each detail in just like her sister Adah. Each one of them with their arms stretched out long and wide to their siblings and Matt and I.
So many days of suppressing their lives to in my memory in order to function came exploding out of my heart. They were there with me. Literally there.
My soul embracing each detail of their faces, the ones I long for each day.
If this was a year ago, I would’ve rushed up on stage just to sit with them. To soak in their presence, to try to at least touch them with my own hands. What my eyes have seen has been a torture and a blessing to my spirit at the same time. The two spirit worlds separating us, yet the kingdom of Jesus connecting us. My children, and yet my brothers and sisters in Christ.
But today I was at peace not being able to embrace them, knowing full well their love for me. Their love for their siblings. My arms still aching to hug them.
A hard concept for me to grasp, even though I try. I let myself cry, wiped my tears and rejoiced that they were here with us! Ready to bless their siblings, all of whom love them with a passion.
We had a time of prayer before each of the children were baptized. It was in that moment that I knew by our children’s faces that they deeply understood what they were consenting to. They wanted life and life abundantly with Jesus. They’ve seen what Matt and I have walked through, they’ve seen their Mother weep after losing a child. They know what pain and hardship looks like, yet they still chose to surrender their lives to Him. Our healer, our maker.
There was a loud celebration in the room. A party! Everyone shouting and rejoicing in new life. Our kids smiles were contagious as they waited their turn to get in the water.
I can truly say that each one of them had a new smile as they were lifted out of the water by my husband. A new joy and a new laugh erupted from their mouths.
As they were all finished, they joined in on the celebration of everyone else’s baptism. Clapping and shouting and praising Jesus for their friends who were experiencing just what they did.
If this is the peer pressure they accept, Lord let it be so!
Processing today will be for me, a release of our children into His will. A trust and a bond that I have chosen with Jesus to keep them in His hands. Whatever his mighty plans may be. I trust Him.
I’ll remember this day forever, and remind them of the joy I could see. The tangible peace that their baptism brought my heart.
All of our children in one place at one time.
My mothers heart is happy for the first time in a long time. I finally feel at peace with their deaths, that were resurrected to life today.
All at once, they are alive in Him.
I thank God daily that our children have a Father that passionately does what Jesus commands and loves them so well. I love him so much.
THANK YOU LORD FOR THESE GIFTS ENTRUSTED TO US.