I’m one today! This news may come as a surprise since most one-year olds can’t type. They don’t usually have children in their 20’s either. But I’m celebrating my first birthday – my “Re-birthday!”
A year ago today I was baptized. Baptism is a public confession of faith that symbolizes the death of our old self, ushering in a new life in Christ – a “rebirth.” I remember bursting with excitement as I was lifted to the surface as water washed over me with my mom by my side. In the dressing room, I was beaming as I anticipated my new life ahead – ready to shed the past and move on to the good life awaiting me. I was “All In,” just as my t-shirt read.
But looking back over this year, I have to admit it’s been a rough one. Four days after being baptized my stepdad died unexpectedly, leaving my mom to adjust to an empty home and new way of life on her own. Parents of loved ones have also passed away. Close friends have suffered serious illnesses. Loved ones have had struggles. My own health issues have set me back, and I’ve had a slow start to my new career. The good life never seemed to make it out of the tank with me. Or so it might seem at first glance …
What I’ve learned through my rebirth is that being reborn doesn’t mean life will become easier – in many ways it can be harder. But just as a one-year old learns to walk for the first time, I am learning to see life in a new way – my choices, reactions, priorities, and even relationships are changing.
So emotionally and physically, it’s been a difficult year. Spiritually, however, it’s been the best year of my life. My church expanded to a new location, less than a mile from my home (score!). I became a life group leader in the fall – starting with 10 members and now growing to over 30. I’ve had the opportunity to travel and meet some of the most faith-filled, creative, fun people in my life on airplanes, at workshops, in dressing rooms, and at church on Sunday mornings over coffee. Despite the struggles of this past year, I’ve never been more at peace. Slowly I’m beginning to grasp what being reborn really means. It’s a process of growing and maturing through struggles, tears, trials, and triumphs.
It’s been quite a journey so far in my first year of this new life. I can only imagine what it will be like when I’m a teenager – again!