We don’t really realize that this is one of the most intimate things we could ask someone—- intimate because it’s completely personal, it’s a person in their entirety — we ask someone to get baptized. Because when we ask it, we’re asking them to change almost everything— not just what they do, but even the way they think. It’s a complete transformation of their entire life, which created their entire being of existence on this earth that they know of.
When we ask someone to get baptized, we’re asking them to leave behind or change years of habits, many traditions, & sometimes family—their parents, their siblings… friends. It’s an invitation to hit a restart button, but sometimes it’s restarting & resetting things they love and will miss. It’s overcoming & relearning & rewiring & a deep, deep reconstruction of themselves. It can be overwhelming to gain a testimony, did you know? Change is extremely scary when you have such a long history & contrast of life filled with decisions, plans, paths & dreams that you’re learning are completely out of sorts with the Lord’s will. Thinking of everything you need to be doing better or stop doing altogether is exhausting in itself. You have racing thoughts of fear of what this could mean for your life now & how unexpected & unknown & scary whatever the next steps are, because you have no idea what even happens next.
Especially, like so, so many, who stand at their baptism— alone. Willingly knowing that in doing so, it’s bringing divide & distance & silence for years from some their family members, like me.
I know the heartache & confusion & loneliness & distance & silence that sometimes comes from the decision to get baptized. I know the hard heart confliction between what seems like a choice between your parents VS. God.
Could you choose a God you just met — over those you’ve always had? Raised by? Loved by?
Baptism, where ‘ward family’ is *literal family* to so many All while still learning how all this stuff works, moving forward knowing there is so much more you don’t know about and need to learn. But when God becomes real to you— could you turn from that?
Knowing that God is real and the gospel is true– is another way of saying your life will never be the same. BUT— it. WILL. be. better. And yeah, we change. But when following God, we never change into someone else, but into our real selves—who we were meant to be all along. And ooooooh what a feeling! The incredible thing about it all — is starting a life of doing things you never thought you could do! Seeing that those new and different paths you took a chance on, are better paths, with better blessings, with constant guidance. And ooohhhh what a feeling!
Because when we stick with it & stick with Him—- When we see it through, experiment with Him, allow Him the opportunity to show us how great he is, allowing Him the opportunity to take our sacrifices and magnify them. We will see —and experience— that the best things, really, truly— can only come from following Him, from choosing Him, from trusting Him—not just the giver of all good gifts, but the creator of all good gifts. The magnifier of miracles. The best things can only come from following God.
Because when we don’t sacrifice living the gospel & we continue to put God first & trust Him, especially through change & confusion & sacrifice, WE WILL NEVER BE SHORTCHANGED FROM THE ABSOLUTE BEST EVER CREATED.
Sometimes it takes years, like for me, or sometimes much longer. But losses can be made up & relationships can mend & miracles still happen & all is not lost & trials are not lasting & things do get better & God is most definitely in charge. And through it all, is still perfect. And loving. And guiding. Sometimes all you have is Heavenly Father, but in every case is it all you need. How exhilarating it is to rediscover. How exciting it is to see it unfold. And yeah, hard times will consistently be there, but so will God— but with Him, we overcome & conquer absolutely everything. The world even. He is real. The blessings of the gospel are reality. I am here & happy & fulfilled & able to keep going b/c of them. And when we know and experience that, could you turn from it???? Embrace the unexpected knowing Who is guiding you.
Stick with it and stick with Him, because YOU’RE IN FOR THE BEST RIDE OF YOUR LIFE! One you were always intended to take. And with Him, it absolutely will be better than what we imagined for ourselves. xoxAL 🙂
READ MORE FROM AL! BOOKS: Wildly Optimistic : Gaining New Perspective to Life’s Challenges More Than the Tattooed Mormon: HERE Cheers to Eternity: HERE. Scripture Study Journal: Rooted Fireside CD: Choosing God in Hard Times More products: journals, home decor, jewelry: HERE. Instagram: @alcarraway | Twitter: @alcarraway | Facebook