Conscious. Deliberate. Intended. Knowing. Purposeful. Willed.
The English language has about a quarter of a million known words, and intentional just became one of my favorites.
It was one year ago, almost to the day, that I was baptized. Twenty-two years earlier, again, almost to the day, I was baptized as a child. It was over two decades in the making for me to come to make a decision on my own that had previously been made for me. It didn’t take twenty-two years for me to believe in Jesus Christ, but it did take that long to stop talking myself out of it.
In one way or another, I’ve been a part of a church for most of my life. It wasn’t until I started attending my church that I was truly being challenged to create a relationship with God. In many ways I felt inadequate to be in such a place. I had been dealt a faith from the beginning and I threw in my cards. For my first few years at my church I felt like such an outsider, I saw all these other people, knee-deep in faith, and others whose slates were washed clean, given fresh starts. There I stood, wading up to my ankles, in a faith where the tide was preparing to change, whether it was going in or out, I had to wait to find out.
Four years ago I watched Clint get baptized at our church, a year later, my college roommate. Why was it so easy for everyone else to make this outward declaration of faith? Why couldn’t I make my legs move when they called for people to step forward and stand up in faith? Why couldn’t I tell myself to do what I knew my heart desired? And why did it still take another two years before I could stop cringing when I found out it was that time of year again?
Our church does spontaneous baptisms, meaning you don’t know they are happening till the pastor walks out wearing swim trunks and flip-flops. This also means you can’t plan for them. And in my case, this means you can miss them because you’re away at college. The moment I found out I had missed the baptisms last year was also, in some weird twist, the same moment I discovered how ready I was to be baptized. I was so sad that I had missed out. I couldn’t bear the thought of waiting another year to take that step in my faith. I had grown closer to God than ever before and I wanted the world to know it. I wanted all the glory of my life to go to God and I NEEDED to be baptized. The next weekend Clint and I were back in Charlotte, and just like He does, I was surprised, shocked, and ecstatic to go to church that Sunday and find myself at an encore baptism weekend. In August of 2011 I was baptized. It looked a little something like this…
It was merely a small moment of my life, but I have thought of that moment almost every single day for the last year and I have continued to learn more and more of what it meant as I grow.
For quite some time I thought I was going to live a Plan B life. Not the life God had created for me, but the, life hands you lemons type life. It wasn’t until this past year that I found out the truth, God doesn’t’ have a Plan B, He never has, because God is intentional. He has a Plan A and he never deviates from it, because he is very deliberate in all that He does. It may have taken years upon years upon years for me to openly let God into my life, but He already knew it would, and he planned it that way. God is a Plan A type of God and not me or anyone else with all their might could ever change that.
Genesis 1:27 reads
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him…
with a purpose,
with a passion,
with a heart full of intention.