Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Aliza's Baptism

Watching Aliza grow in her own faith over the last months and make the decision to be baptized has been one of the most rewarding parts of parenting thus far. I'm so proud of who Aliza is growing up to be.

Aliza got to choose the music for the service. Here is her playlist: 

Priceless by King and Country
Exhale by Plumb
Breathe by Jonny Diaz
Move by Toby Mac
I'm Not Alone by Kari Jobe
Rooftops by Jesus Culture

She chose each of these songs because the words were meaningful to her at different times over the summer.
Pastor Grandad preached on the story of Naaman in I Kings. He used it as a foreshadowing example of New Testament baptism. It was a particularly great sermon. I had never thought of the story of Naaman in that context.

Before the actual baptism Aliza gave her testimony via a pre recorded video. Aliza gave me specific permission to share her written testimony here:
This summer my faith has grown stronger. Really it happened when Mom and Dad left for the Poconos. I was tested by scary sights and memories. I had to trust that Jesus would tell them to leave. I prayed every time I thought about a scary thing. One time when I was talking with God, He said, "Talk to your Mom about this." So I went to talk to with Mom. She showed me some verses that talked about safety. I really liked Psalm 4:8: "I will lie down and sleep in peace for alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety." Now that verse is beside my bed and I read it every night.

Also this summer, I listened to Grandpa preach his sermon. When I prayed the closing prayer, God told me an idea. I could buy food for the poor. I used my own money to buy strawberries, apples, and 2 cartons of eggs and delivered them to a homeless shelter. The eggs were on sale! I think God made them on sale so I could buy 2 instead of 1.

I talked to Grandad about being baptized the same week I had the idea. I told Mom and Dad and now I'm going to be baptized. Being baptized is telling telling everyone and especially God that I am His daughter and that I will trust, follow and obey Him.

Both sets of grandparents and Jeremy and I were involved in the baptism. Aliza was "poured" as opposed to "immersed." It all has the same symbolic meaning just different ways of doing it.
There were lots of hugs and smiles afterwards. Then the congregation and Aliza, for the first time, took communion together. At our church we have the opportunity to take communion during worship time each week as individuals or families. Aliza will now join Jeremy and I at the communion table.

It was pretty special that my entire family was able to come to together to support Aliza. What an incredible gift that faith is now being passed on to the 4th generation and that all of my siblings are following Jesus and raising their children to choose the same path.
It was also a huge privilege to have Jeremy's family with us. We are so blessed by the legacy of Christian faith that the Heslop family has given us. We are so thankful that most of Jeremy's family is within traveling distance and is willing to make the trip for special events.
I had a lump in the my throat a times. When I looked at my Dad preached and realized that he had baptized me and was now baptizing my daughter, watching Aliza's heartfelt testimony, and just knowing how many people love Aliza and are supporting her in this decision and in her faith. My heart was very full and I know Aliza's heart was overflowing. The next morning she was working on schoolwork and she stopped and said, "Mom, I just still feel so blessed."

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