Sunday, July 31, 2016

the day.

i fasted all that day.

i remember the night before he told all of his friends at cub scouts, "i wanted to be baptized tomorrow, but now i don't think i will."

i remember the blood rushing to my face in frustration. i wanted to shake him.
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not everyone will understand where i am coming from here and this puts me in a vulnerable spot to be this open, so bear with me.

you see, in our faith baptism is incredibly important. we believe that we are to be baptized in the same manner that Jesus Christ was baptized, by immersion and by someone who has been given authority from Heavenly Father.

we also believe in letting people choose for themselves whether or not they want to be baptized, never forcing it upon anyone. this is one reason that we do not baptize babies or children younger than the age of eight.
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so you will note in me a great character flaw. a beam in my eye. i have a hard time with my kids making their own choices when they choose something other than the Savior.

yet the Savior Himself, though He called, knew some wouldn't follow and allowed them their freedom of choice. in our faith we call this freedom the agency of mankind and our doctrine is in great favor of respecting choice with an understanding that we will all be accountable before God.
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accountable. that's another important word and another reason that we wait until age eight to permit baptism. we believe that little children are pure and innocent and that they need no baptism until they are old enough to be accountable for their actions. if a little child dies before they reach that age of accountability (which we believe is eight years old) they are received by our Heavenly Father as perfect individuals, without sin.

i couldn't possibly ever, i shouldn't ever admit that i've at my most desperate moments with ossi i thought it might be better if he was taken home young. when fear takes me, the fears of the dangers he's drawn to, the fears of the darkness in the world and in him... when i have given in to fear i have let that thought enter my mind. at my weakest i am so, so weak.
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so when he said that. when he said that he might not be baptized i wasn't surprised really, and i knew that i would never force him, ever. i was just a human and i got frustrated.

frustration was not Christlike behavior on my part which, incidentally, is where baptism is intended to lead. we make a covenant at baptism to follow Christ, to take His name upon us. i've made that promise, but wow, i'm so slow sometimes.
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so that night we told him that we'd only move forward with his baptism if he was absolutely sure and it was no problem to cancel or reschedule, but we needed to know his decision by the next morning. we encouraged him to pray and make his own choice.
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ossi is really an amazing boy. he isn't leaping tall buildings but i think what he's doing is harder than that, even. he is acquiring skills that do not come naturally at all. he is overcoming personal trauma. he is adjusting to new medication, discovering his identity, dealing with a diagnosis, and all this while facing the daily concerns of a child. all decisions, desires, discipline, growth, and guesswork.

some days he is alive in a love of God and all men. some days his world is only big enough for him.
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so we've done what we could to teach him what we believe God would have us teach. we offer that up and disconnect what our child chooses from our responsibility to bring him up in light and truth.

and we pray and fast and wait...
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i think it would have been okay if he had chosen not to be baptized but we're really glad he decided to make that covenant with the Lord.
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when we asked how he felt at the end of The Day he said, "very loved."

he said he didn't feel anything different or special when he was baptized, it felt just like a swimming pool. he was a little disappointed about that. he also said he didn't really feel God and that was a bummer, but he felt like everyone who was there loved him very much.
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i do feel a difference, though i should write about that on a different day (today was a difficult one). i feel him stretching. i can tell he is a little more in-tune with spiritual things since then. he defiantly feels that he is accountable to God and he's been trying to make better choices.

i feel ashamed that i ever thought he might be taken from this earth before he turned eight, before he had the chance to make and keep promises to God. i'd lost my faith. i'd lost my faith in the Atonement and i'd lost my faith in myself as his mother and i'd lost my faith in ossi.

i'm so glad for the help of the Lord and my family in restoring my hope. i'm so glad we've never totally given up on each other.

and we never will.
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Nini Anderson said...

Megan, I've been reading your blog for a few years now. I just wanted to tell you how much I appreciate the things you share...your honesty--thank you for making yourself vulnerable. Motherhood doesn't come with a manual but from what I can tell you are a wonderful mother and one that I admire from afar. Congratulations to Ossi on his baptism and to you for all of your loving, patient effort to teach and to guide. _Nini

Maryn said...

so grateful that you continue to blog. it's always so refreshing to read your thoughts and see your vision of life. you're incredible!

Twiggy090984 said...

Wish we could've been there. Big hugs to you for being so open and honest. My admiration and love for you just got bigger. Heavenly Father and all that know Ossie at least a little love him very much. I might not be able to drive over there as often as I like but if you ever need to talk to someone I'm always available.