NOTE: Commentary is made as a private citizen and not as Regional Coordinator for Silent No More or Leader of Rachel's Hope, unless otherwise stated.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

God Didn't Want Me - Or So I Thought.....

Going through some boxes of pictures, one surfaced that reminded me of a canceled baptism.

I was raised in a Christian home, but my parents did not have me baptized as a child; they believed it should be my decision later on as to what faith I wanted to follow. I never thought much about it in my younger years, and in my "demon days," God was not even part of my vocabulary ... unless I was using His name in vain.  Anyway, I was too interested in partying and doing my own thing.

In 1977,  my parents and sister were attending a Methodist church in my home town, and my sister decided to get baptized.  I was twenty-four and living on the other side of the state, but they wanted it to be a family affair.  They asked me to join my sister ... secretly hoping it might somehow change my evil ways.

Figuring this might be a way to get my parents "off my back," I reluctantly packed my bags and took the three-hour trip on a Friday night. The baptism was not until Sunday, so I had all day Saturday to do whatever I wanted.  I decided to attend an intramural baseball game sponsored by my previous employer, which gave me a chance to catch up with old friends.  I was busy chatting during the game, and all of a sudden my ears started ringing and people screamed. I saw blood flowing, and I thought I had a nosebleed. The bat had slipped out of the batter's hand, into the bleachers and onto my forehead.  It did not knock me out (hard headed aren't I?) but my skull was fractured in four places, I had a subdural hematoma and needed twenty-eight stitches across my forehead.  My parents were told not to get their hopes up for me making it through the night, and that if I did make it, there was no guarantee of a full recovery. While they were stitching me up, mom and dad were at my bedside. Remembering the upcoming baptism, I looked at both of them and said, "See, God does not want me."

I believed that statement for years after the accident, and it was not until I sobered up and started on my wonderful faith journey that I realized how wrong I was.  I was too self-absorbed back then to see that He did want me. Otherwise, I would not have survived the accident, let alone my wanton lifestyle, and I would not have learned the valuable lessons still ahead of me.

I consider the accident a blessing in disguise. Although God did want me, I did not want Him. The baptism would have been a farce; just something to make my family happy. I would have entered the water with a closed heart and mind then get in my car and return to my self-destructive ways. I would not have appreciated the significance of the sacrament, in fact, I would have forgotten about it the next day.

It took a few more years of lessons learned, but in 2006 I was baptized in the Catholic church. Not only did I appreciate the significance, I entered the water with an open heart and mind, I felt His presence, heard His invitation and joyfully welcomed Him into my life.

Habakkuk 2:3

 For the vision is a witness for the appointed time,

a testimony to the end; it will not disappoint.

If it delays, wait for it,

it will surely come, it will not be late.

Two days after the accident.
My baptism in 2006. 


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