Today is the beginning of Baptism Weekend at our church, and then we will celebrate with our friends. I adore baptism weekends. I’ve always loved witnessing baptisms and hearing testimonies of believers, but in the last few years I’ve come to cherish them. When we had our miscarriage, I found myself desperate to hear testimonies of God’s work. I knew in my mind He was still good and still at work in my life, but it didn’t feel that way. The first thing I said to my husband in the car after our doctor explained that our pregnancy was over was the phrase “I just really didn’t want this to happen.” It’s so plain, but it was all I could muster in that moment and it was so true at the deepest core of my heart, no matter how simple it was. That day I began to crave the testimonies of others. I just needed to know that the God I was relying on was living and active, not an idea or a figure of history, but ever present in my time of need. Through scripture and the Holy Spirit and the love of others and the testimonies of people around me, God proved himself over and over. The glory of God shone in my heart with such persistence, and yet on the outside I was mourning and experiencing death in an unfamiliar way (literally as well, we found out I miscarried on February 17th during our first winter here, and in Iowa that is guaranteed to be a cold day). Strangely enough I don’t remember one day of winter in February or March, because what was happening in my heart was so vibrant. Sometimes it was vibrantly dark and sad, sometimes it was white hot, sometimes it was a soothing warm, but God was molding me and moving mountains in my life.
I love celebrating new life while it’s so dead outside. What a picture of grace, what a picture of the passionate love that saved us from our sin. I’ve always loved things in contrast. I love warm soup with something crunchy, I love my hot apple pie with a scoop of ice cream; I love wearing my hair wild and shaggy when I wear a button-up shirt with a preppy cardigan. I just love life in contrasts. But seeing baptisms, especially of five people I care about, during the coldest winter of my life. Favorite contrast by far.