01 March 2009

Remember Your Baptism

Something I've been meaning to write about was my baptism. Baptism and water were the topics of a January 11 sermon. (Random side note - Jan. 11, 1995, was the date I officially had my first "boyfriend" - how is THAT for crazy lady memory?)

One thing that's often said when someone is baptized is "Remember your baptism." Baptism changes you - not only by the water symbolizing the washing away but by the Spirit literally changing you. So I thought I would reflect on mine. This memory is only what's in my head - although I'm sure I could locate a hard copy diary with notes to REALLY jog my memory, they've been hidden away in a closet until our next move.

I was baptized in ~October 1992 (pre-boy craziness so I don't have the same memory for dates ... although somewhere there's a baptismal certificate with the exact date - I think I'm right about the year). I was eleven - and it was a very conscious decision. My parents made the decision not to christen or baptize me (or my sister) as a baby, leaving it up to me. I respect that a lot, but I'm not sure that's what I'll do with my kids (but that's another entry I guess).

So, OK, I'm eleven, almost twelve. My sister was baptized at the same time, and she was ten. For some reason we had decided that the typical Methodist sprinkling-on-the-head wasn't enough (or maybe the decision was made by someone else, but we more than went along with it). We needed to be DUNKED. So, the pastor baptize us in a church in a nearby town that had a baptismal tank (not sure that's the right word - but there you go). We went after church one Sunday with our family and some of our church friends.

Another girl was also baptized with us (and in a stunning only-in-a-small-town kind of soap opera, she turned out to be the girl who stole that very first boyfriend from me ... well, before I stole him back anyway - again, another post needed if I'm going to delve into that). She was probably nine at the time of our baptisms - definitely two or three years younger than me. Aside from the baptism, the boyfriend and 2 vague childhood memories (one of a trampoline/pimento cheese sandwiches and one of a cardboard box house with a flashlight for a light fixture), this girl who lived in the house behind ours played a very minor role in my life. But she was there and important on this particular day.

My main memory of the event itself - aside from the life changing affect (as much as an 11-yr-old's life can be changed) and soul-filling experience - was after the fact, when my sister and I were changing out of our wet clothes after being submerged. I know that I forgot to pack dry underwear, and for some reason I think my sister did too - although I can't be sure of that. This was before going commando was even an idea in my head, and having just been baptized would I have really gone without undies?! So we (or I, if she had dry undies) made the decision to just wear the wet ones, which of course were so wet the soaked through our jeans. That led the pastor to talk to my mom and me ... in a very joking way saying "I thought I was the only one who would do something like that!"

So how about that? The most vivid memory of the most important day of my life ... is wet underpants.

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