Yesterday morning (Sunday July 25, 2010), my wife and I got Baptized.
Samantha and I were nervously excited to say the least. It was like our wedding day, but different. It was that kind of feeling you get when you are about to embark on something so huge, so extra large, that it was hard to imagine really. We had a number of friends who were pumped to watch which only added to the celebration.
We met Ryan Van Sickle who’s a Married Groups Director. He was the guy who was going to be performing the Baptism. We loved him. He was peaceful and comfortable to talk to (like most Buckhead Church folks). We went over a few verses with us that he said reminded him of our stories. They were amazing. I will post them separately. He said a great prayer and got us ready to go.
For those of you who’ve never been to Buckhead Church, well they’ve got a pretty nifty set-up. It’s a mini-pool off to the side of the stage and you can see the people from about waist up, and this IS full body dunking my friends, not a light spattering of water. Of course I made the joke earlier that “it’s going to be holy water right?”. I think I’m the only one who thinks that’s funny.
Now keep in mind, the time by now is 9am and we’re getting super duper excited now. There’s a thrill kind of feeling in the air as we hear the first song start. Then before I know it, they are saying “hey, this is the second song, let’s go…”, so we went to the edge of the mini-pool.
Then, they played Samantha’s video. I was standing in the pool towards the back, watching and feeling crazy emotional. Fighting back a flood of tears, I’m able to get by with just that “big gulp” feeling in my throat and a couple watery eyeballs. Her video was incredible. It was so articulate and powerful. I was in awe. Then, the light shone on her and it was time. Ryan said some stuff which I can’t remember right now (but will re-learn when I watch the video retakes) and then she goes under. We hug and they immediately begin my video. I hand Sammy my glasses and even though my eyes aren’t that bad… I can’t really see much more than fuzzy shapes everywhere below. I just wanted to take it all in. I wanted to see my video, but couldn’t really, so I listened and looked around the room at the vast sea of people below. It was dark and everyone had a blue hue to them from the lights. I felt a strong connection, which is odd in an auditorium that large, to all of them. I felt so full of life. Again, I fought back the tears and pushed them all into my throat. Towards the end of my video I said
“Everyday I wake up,
I’m ready to take on the world for Him,
and I heard Ryan say “Thank you”. My heart raced and I felt like we had this mini-conversation between us right then without really talking. Then, the big light was shining on me. Ryan began and I looked at him taking it all in. There were a thousand thoughts going through my head and it was hard to hold onto just one. Then he said those magic words… and down I went.
The rush of water was all around. The sound was as if you’d pulled a huge weight up out of the water and made a loud diving and splashing sound coming up. At that moment I embraced my wife. What began as a hug quickly turned into me holding on to her for dear life. It was like I was a new born baby grabbing onto my mama for the first time. I buried my face in the crook of her neck as my body pulsed with love, tears, life. At that moment the world stood still. I couldn’t move. No really, I couldn’t move! I held her so tight and loved her more than ever at that instant. Then I heard, “let’s go dear”. She whispered in my ear as the last song had already started.
Man o’ man, what a whirlwind of an experience. Just typing it I feel kinda surreal. I can visualize it so well. I can hear the sounds and feel the tightness of my wife. I could feel a weight being lifted. In other words, I felt dazed.
It didn’t take long to step back into reality. We walked around so we could see the band. Samantha had asked months earlier if they could play a certain song that I had months earlier felt so touched by in another service. It was “Jesus paid it all” (this is not the same band FYI). It actually tied into the end of my video. I said “I’m here to praise the one who paid my debt – Jesus Christ”. So, it was a pretty good segue-way I gotta say.
We met friends and family outside. A few other members came up to us and said congratulations, which while thinking back is such a great thing. I wish we’d been able to meet more new people. Maybe they’ll make that part of it one day.
Well, there it is, my super hero secret story. I guess part of me writing all of this is that it seems like a crime not to tell others how I’ve been changed. How I’ve been taken over by the Holy spirit and how I literally can’t stop thinking and talking to God now. Keep in mind, this last part happened before my Baptism, meaning, you don’t have to get officially Baptized to get your own super powers (if you don’t have them already!).
I will post the video as soon as I get it. That’ll have the famous 275 “my story” ,as well as, Samantha’s.
PS – why is it Baptism with an S and Baptized with a Z – seriously?