Renewed and Reborn

One of my favorite things to do as a husband is to buy my wife flowers for no particular reason. Go out for milk, come home with flowers (and milk, of course). It’s one of the things I feel helps keep our marriage strong. The random, “I love you” while we’re sitting in traffic on days we carpool to work. The thoughtfulness of buying the right kind of sunscreen when we’re planning on having a pool day with the kids. Things like that. They’re all a tiny reinforcement of the promises I made to her when we were married.

Now, ask me to recite my wedding vows and you’re on your own. Even though we married just four years ago, and even though I wrote the vows, I can’t begin to remember exactly what it is I said that summer day in June of 2009. I’d definitely have to look it up. I think that’s why people have vow renewal ceremonies. So they can keep fresh in their minds the promises they made to each other. So they can re-strengthen the bond they share.

So if it makes sense to do so with our promises to each other, it should only make more sense to publically renew our vows with God. After all, our relationship with God should be the most important relationship we maintain. It sets the foundation for the other relationships in our lives, and if we’re not right with God, it’s tough to be right with everything else in our lives.

That is what I’ve decided to do this morning. As this post is published to my blog, I will be standing in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico and holding my wife’s hand as we, together, renew our commitment to God. We’ve decided to be re-baptized, and I’m so excited.

To be clear, it was Lee’s decision to be baptized again. My decision to join her is a surprise. However, it’s also a decision born from the fact I was initially baptized as an infant. It was a promise that was made for me, and even though I underwent the sacrament of Confirmation as a thirteen year-old, I don’t have a vivid recollection of the promises I made that day. If I can’t remember my vows from four years ago, you can believe I’m not going to remember specifics from twenty-seven years ago.

I want to be able to openly and honestly profess my faith in Jesus Christ as an adult. Yes, this baptism is more symbolic than anything else. I’ve never had a crisis of faith, and I’ve always felt Christ in my heart. Even in my darkest times, I knew it was me walking away from God and not the other way around. Yet, by being baptized, I am able to renew my vows with Him, much in the same way couples who’ve been married for fifty years renew their vows with each other. They’ve never stopped loving each other. They just want to strengthen the love they already share.

So this morning I renew my commitment to God and proclaim Jesus as my Lord and savior. In my forty years on earth, I’ve experienced a God that loves me no matter what. A God that took me when I was broken and made me into someone better. A God who has always cast His grace on me.

I can’t think of anything better than to stand up and proclaim that I love Him right back.

18 thoughts on “Renewed and Reborn

  1. I wrote about attending an adult baptism a couple of months ago and how powerful it was to be there! You have written a beautiful post which is a heart-touching affirmation of your your faith…and the faith of your family! Thank you so much for sharing this!!

    1. Thank you, Rick. It’s interesting how I used to shy away from being vocal about my faith. Now I feel it is such a driving part of me that it’s only natural to make it a part of my written voice. I am so blessed to be able to use this platform to help grow His kingdom here on earth.

    1. Thank you so much, Courtney, and I consider it an amazing compliment coming from you. I love you blog and the stories you share. Your words make me smile and think and keep things in perspective. Hope all is well with you and Isaac (and Henri).

    1. Thank you, Mark. Relevant has been such a life-changer for both of us, and we are so glad that you and Renee have been a large part of that. We are so blessed to ‘do life’ with such wonderful people, not to mention the other relationships we’ve been able to establish as a result (i.e. getting to know your family). You and Renee are such a blessing in our lives, and we look forward to the continued fellowship this upcoming semester.

  2. Thank you for sharing so clearly and personally, Gil. Congratulations to you and to Lee for making this sacred memory together. (I hope someone takes pictures, too!) You have reminded me and inspired me to be even more thankful for the gifts of God – salvation, family, and inexplicable, unfathomable LOVE.

    1. Thank you, CJ. It was an incredible experience, and yes, there were lots of pictures (and videos) taken. I am so thankful to have been introduced to Relevant Church by my friend, and it’s something Lee and I have been able to share together beginning the week after we were married.

  3. You made my eyes leak, Gil. Papa God’s greatest blessings to you and your beautiful wife as you commit anew to each other and to Him.

    Deb Coty
    Award-winning author and speaker

    1. Thank you so much, Deb. I’m humbled by your comments. It was an amazing experience, and I so very blessed to have shared the experience with Lee and the other members of our church.

  4. Gil, you and I have come a long way since our days in LaSalle High. Like you I had a simlar feeling in my heart after those years. Although our walks have been different since then, we now share in the same faith. I will confess that I committed my life to Christ in 1995 and I never once shared with you. That being said I was happy to see that you and Lee had been attending church over the past few years. I was even more encouraged by reading your most recent post about your baptism experience. Ultimately, your blog title caught my attention since just earlier in the evening we were discussing the topic of “born again” at our men’s bible study. Thank you for sharing your experience with us. I look forward to catching up with you soon but in the meantime a big brotherly hug my friend.

    1. Jorge,

      Thank you so much for the comment and the kind words.

      I am so glad to hear you are doing well and growing in your walk with Jesus. And to do so with others – to share that journey and experience – is a beautiful thing. There are few things as reaffirming as fellowship with others.

      I hope we get to catch up in person soon, and until then, a big hug back to you as well.

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