Monday, May 13, 2013

Johnny's Dedication

This past Sunday, Mother's Day, we dedicated Johnny at our church. Our church waits until people can make a commitment themselves to be baptized or to undergo some other declaration of faith, so at childhood or infancy we do dedications instead. A dedication is merely a promise of the parents to raise their child in a Christian manner and the congregation's commitment to support families and friends throughout their child's life. Having friends with kids our kids age was very important to Matt and I in finding a church family. It is something I longed for and hoped for. Attending church with Matt's family in college, I would catch glimpses of friends greeting one another, asking to hold each other's babies, rocking kids to sleep in service, and being content as a family both household and church wide on Sunday mornings. I craved that for my family and we are so happy to be blessed in the church we found.

As part of the dedication we have to pick verses for our children. When searching for verses for the girls, we incorporated their middle names.


Out of his fullness we have all received grace 
in place of grace already given. For the law was 
given through Moses; grace and truth came 
through Jesus Christ.
-John 1:16-17  

Reflecting on this verse, we couldn't have picked a better one for her. MacKenzie tends to be some legalistic, so black and white, that we hope it will help guide her to acknowledge saving grace throughout her life.


I have no greater joy than to hear that my 
children are walking in the truth.
-3 John 1:4

I think this is a great verse for Keegan, one because she is such a joy, and two because it involves action, "walking". She is definitely a go getter and can be a little quick to movement, that initiative should serve her well, we hope that it is in line with God's will in her life.


I mulled over his verse for a long time and sought out advice from numerous people as I thought about it. It was a nice chance to delve deeper into specific verses of the Bible as I searched for one that really said something about Johnny and what we feel, at this time, his purpose is. With both of the girls having their verses from different "John" books, we searched for one for Johnny for a long time, but didn't have one that really spoke to us. We kept coming back to Psalm 139. And while we feel that it is a great verse for all children, we really felt compelled to use it to make a statement on Johnny's behalf...

For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
 I praise you because I am 
fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
-Psalm 139:13-14

We wanted to make sure our church body knew that Johnny was purposefully made, that every cell of his body containing that extra chromosome was designed to be that way, that he is the way he is and it is perfect, not because there won't be things that hinder him, but because he is created. It has really spoken to me because of the fear and wonder I have each day as his parent. And I can use that fear to fuel our lives or I can let it cripple us. 

As part of the dedication process, the church body commits to supporting and praying for us. I had already teared up a bit when our verse was read, but I also choked up a bit when the congregation made this pledge. We have been so blessed with our church family walking this journey by our side. While we have had to face certain battles on our own because that is the nature of some aspects of life, we have known that an army of support and prayers was behind us each step of the way. Blessings and prayers have rained down on us until our cups poured out and over. I firmly believe that because are cups have been filled to the brim and then some, we have been able to pour into others.

It was special time for our family and I am delighted to have Johnny "formally introduced" to the church. We were both so proud to be his parents yesterday and to show him off. It is a long way from where we were about a year ago, crippled with "what ifs" and "destroyed dreams". It was such a necessary process, but one I am very glad to be on this side of. I am very thankful for this special day.

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