Isabel was baptized on Sunday. She didn’t sleep well at night or during the day for two days before hand. She was bright eyed and fussy; I was stressed and running on 5 hours of sleep and caffeine.
But this event was so important to us. From a theological standpoint, baptism is one of only two sacraments celebrated in our church. It’s more important than a graduation from catechism, the ordination of a pastor, time spent volunteering, or the passing of a collection plate. A baptism is even more important than a marriage.
So, together, the Husband and I presented Isabel for baptism, promising, in doing so, to raise her with the knowledge of our faith and the knowledge of grace so that one day, she may accept the promise God has already given to her.
I know she might not. In fact, I know that the way in which I hope to raise my daughter may result in her father and I watching, hearts breaking, as she struggles and fights against faith and ultimately walks away from God. I’m willing to take that risk. It is my hope that whatever faith she claims for her own is not followed blindly, accepting the rules and regulations of religion without question, but a faith developed through questions and and doubt, a faith made stronger by uncertainty and a healthy respect and acceptance for new perspectives and ideas. In baptizing her, the Husband and I place our trust in God that he will guide her through that journey to a place of full trust in him, and help us to walk alongside her in love, no matter what.
But now, on to the pictures of our adorable sweet baby in a 65 year old baptismal gown.
Our church’s pastor was away on Sunday, so we got the incredibly special privilege of having Isabel baptized by her grandfather, my dad, aka, the Farminarian.
The baptismal gown was purchased many many years ago by my grandmother’s parents for the birth of their first boy. Yes, a little ridiculous that their first children, daughters, didn’t merit a new dress, but none-the-less, it’s pretty special that Isabel wore a dress that has been worn by 4 generations of my family. I love the symbolism contained in those yellowing folds of fabric.
Throughout the day, I tried to think of the photos I have cherished through the years of myself as a baby, making sure to snap a few for Isabel to one day flip through. She is lucky to have four great grandparents alive, so I did my best to capture photos of her with each one, snuggled in the arms of people I hope she will grow up to know.
Ultimately, it was a good day, full of love and joy from so many directions for her new, little life. And I survived, despite the stress and the caffeine jitters.
(The Husband and I are both members of the Christian Reformed Church of North America if you’re curious about our theological background.)