as a parent you eagerly await proud moments in your children's life. as parents of three young children, we have had a lot of "firsts" and a lot of milestones achieved and accomplished - which are very proud moments. but nothing in the past has compared to the proud moment we experienced on sunday. i think the difference is that this proud moment was made because of a choice that joshua made on his own. jamil and i didn't choose this for him, he did this on his own. this is a definite win in our eyes as parents. we can see all of the time we have spent teaching him about God has paid off. we can see how us being apart of a church family, where he gets loved on and discipled each and every week has paid off. elevation and e-kidz were a big part of this win for us.
on sunday, we arrived at providence high school for the baptism. there were a lot of people in the atrium. we had to wait in a line amongst a large crowd and i could begin to see joshua getting nervous. i was so worried he may change his mind and not go through with it. joshua was receiving a lot of attention from a lot of people we know and love at elevation. everyone was so excited for him. i know we were not the only nervous and excited people there. josh doesn't love to be the center of attention if he is nervous or uncomfortable - any other time bring it on - but right then he wasn't feeling it. so i could see him getting worried. after we got him registered and it began, jamil stood in line with him. jamil encouraged him and made him laugh. jamil is so good at knowing where a person is and offering whatever they need to make them feel better. God has given him that gift.
there were 5 groups of people being baptized. each group of people (about 50 in each) were getting baptized by a different pastor on staff at elevation. our lead pastor, pastor steven, was taking the afternoon off and delegating this task to his staff. joshu was in the third group. he was the second person in line. phillip mccart was baptizing his group - i was very glad - joshua knows mr. phillip and i knew it would make him comfortable knowing who was about to dunk him under the cold water!!
group three is lined up ready to go. as the first person is getting baptized, our friend, bradelyn, says to me, "look pastor is taking care of josh isn't that so sweet". i looked and saw joshua still a little scared with pastor steven by his side and his arm around him, he was talking to him and encouraging him. and then i saw pastor begin to take off his jacket and shoes and before i know it he is getting into the pool with josh!! he told everyone he was going to jump in and baptize joshua himself. wow! how amazing!! pastor was not prepared to get into the pool - but he did it anyway.
jamil and i just broke down in tears of joy and appreciation. it meant the world to us to have pastor take our son under his care and baptize himself. after lifting josh up on his shoulder, pastor spoke about why he decided to jump in. f irst, he told everyone that joshua was jamil's son and jamil serves as one of his armor bearers. then, he told the crowd all about the night joshua decided to attend "go deep" and how joshua used a picture of him to help make his decision. next, he baptized him!!!
my words do not even do that moment justice. jamil and i were so emotional, we were crying tears of joy and tears of appreciation for what pastor steven had just done. i barely can put into words each moment or how we felt. i can't wait to relive the moment through video and photos!!
this was a priceless moment in our life. being surrounded by our church family and friends and knowing how much our family is loved. and by that amazing act of compassion shown by pastor steven, we have not one doubt in our mind that elevation is our church home. a place we are so proud to call our church home. elevation is where God has called us to be. elevation has given so much to us as a family. it has offered us a place of hope and restoration and given us achurch family again. elevation has recognized and valued the gifts that God has given us and has made sure that we are serving in our sweet spots. elevation has partnered with us to help us to raise children who know and love God. we are forever grateful to our church family, the church staff and to pastor steven.
we are so very proud of the decision josh made! we are so excited to see what God has planned for him!! we have always known that God is going to use joshua in a might way!! this moment and this decision josh made is a definite win! a win for us as parents and a win for Jesus Christ -- another one sold out Him!
so sunday was a big day!! there were 165 people baptized at elevation. one of joshua's friend's riley, got baptized too. riley is larry and kelly hubatka's daughter. they are good friend's of ours!! joshua really likes riley. first he waited to change his clothes until after her baptism. then, he broke through the crowd to tell her congrats! here is a cute picture of them together!!