Before you start believing that I'm incredibly introspective or deep, know that that statement simply means: I'm well aware of the fact that not everyone I meet wants to be my bestie and that a large majority of my friends want to punch me on a regular basis. I'm lucky in the fact that my friends take the good, with the bad. I'll be the first to tell you that I'm a completely ridiculous (read: responsible and timely) travel companion and it's come dangerously close to ruining some relationships.
People often tell me that I have "one million friends," or, "you'll have to have 27 bridesmaids..." and I tend to combat those statements with a simple, "no, I don't." I mean, I know I have a lot of friends, but mostly I am just really good at keeping in touch with people and making sure that people I think are cool and worthwhile stay in my life for a long time. Really, it's a pretty selfish way of living. I make a new friend and then sit back and wait on them to get famous or something so I can capitalize on it. This is also a good philosophy to maintain when you like to travel. If you have friends scattered across the globe, you have rides from the airport and free places to stay.
Yesterday, I felt loved. Not just loved, really loved. Christmas morning type love. Yesterday, I actually believed I might be close to having a million friends.
Yesterday, I took the plunge and got baptized. Again, kind of. I was baptized as an infant, but have been fighting my flesh and my pride for years now on doing it again as a full-fledged, all-out believer.
I got to stand in a jacuzzi (literal) in front of, oh, 700 people (ish) and tell God's story. And as I told that story I got to scan the crowd and look past the precious couple** on the front row nodding their heads and smiling at me as if they were stage parents cheering me on in my 5th grade recital and see my friends. I got to see love acted out, which is rare. It's not easy to get up and come to the 9am service at my church, but they did it. They came. And I felt so loved.
Casting my pride and flesh aside is incredibly difficult and an hourly struggle for me most days, but yesterday it was so easy. It was so easy because people that have been walking beside me for years and years (and some, only a few months) were there supporting me. It was seriously over-whelming to realize just how blessed I am in the area of friendship. The Lord has produced and provided.
So, big-time SHOUT OUT to Lauren, who actually baptized me and has been the most faithful and loyal friend to me in my darkest of days and in my best days. Thanks for not drowning me.
And big-time SHOUT OUT to everyone who was there to see me take the plunge. I can't wait to party in Heaven with you all! Since, now I'm officially in!
Also, praise be to God for my mother, who flew in for the occasion and put aside her John Wesley beliefs for the morning to worship Baptist-style. The Reg couldn't make it, but he did buy me some new jeans for the occasion. He doesn't know he did, but woo hoo! Thanks anyway!
** To the couple on the front row: sorry I picked y'all out in the crowd to focus on...you were just so sweet looking and you kept nodding and smiling...you are precious and you helped me remember that a baptism is not a performance and that a microphone and a crowd in front of me does not mean it's time to try out new material. Thank you.