When you are handed your brand new baby you are handed not only the weight of that infant but also the far greater weight of being in charge. Of making a million small decisions and some BIG ones.
I remember how utterly overwhelming that felt.
I felt unequal to that task in those early weeks.
I remember telling the Nurses Hotline through my tears of fatigue and fear that someone who knew what they were doing should take care of this baby and that was surely not I.
Sometimes I wish I was still eligible to phone the Nurses Hotline and hear that disembodied yet reassuring voice tell everything is going to be ok but I think they would hang up when I told them my baby is 16.
At every turn, as a parent, it feels a decision is needed.
What to do now, what to do next, when to introduce things, what to say about things......
Of course there are SO many people to help you, tell you what to do, how to do it, when to do it......
It is sometimes hard to distill it all down to find the balance between THIS child and THIS moment and YOUR parental instinct.......and all that advice.
Harder still to separate the emotion from the decision.
As a christian family, having grown up in the church (Allan and I came from very different traditions), me being a Missionary Kid......there were some expectations about what to do about the children and church.
There was certainly some pressure to baptize or christen them as infants. As both Allan and I were.
We wrestled with this one. talked around and around it. prayed.
We had Lindsay dedicated in my parents backyard on a sunny summers day. It was lovely, informal and affirming.
David suffered the dual fate of being the second child and also being born when we were not regularly attending a church and although we pray over our kids most nights - he got no formal anything.
We really wanted to leave this big decision about faith for our children to make for themselves.
We were determined to model a christian life for them but we wanted them to come to a place of faith that was genuine and authentically theirs.
We trusted God not to let them go.
David chose to be baptized a couple years ago and we were delighted.
Lindsay has taken a longer journey. In her mature and thoughtful way she has worked through these matters and tonight I attended her last baptism class with her before her baptism on Sunday. Her confirmation will be a few weeks later.
I am so grateful for the village of people who have helped us and her over the years to grow her faith. My Parents, Anvil Island Camps and campers and counsellors who became friends and mentors and confidantes, Emmanuel Christian Community especially our Soupers, Youth leaders who taught and mentored, our new church family at St. Johns Richmond and all the other people who have loved and prayed.
I am so grateful to Allan for being such an amazing co-parent.....who showed what grace and forgiveness and redemption actually look like for me and for our children.
When I held that tiny new baby, scared out of my wits, I prayed over and over "Please don't let me screw this up" and I am on my knees in gratitude that my God came through in so many more and amazing ways than I ever could.
So proud of a young woman that will make a declaration of faith in a world and culture and age that sees little value in that.
So grateful for grace.