Baptised and confirmed :-)

Yesterday I was baptised and confirmed by the Bishop of Hereford at St Pauls (town church). There were five of us altogether who were confirmed and just two of us were baptised aswell.  It was an utterly amazing experience, so completely amazing. I still cant quite get over the whole thing. (Not that I ever really want to :-)).
I spent the day in a bit of a whirl really. First communion was so wonderful, I think I surprised myself at how it made me feel. When I was given the bread, I just stared at it for a while trying to get my head round it, what it was, being able to be there, and take part in something so mind blowing, so special and wonderful. Then in the evening at  St Andrews (country church) it was the same, but this time I was given the bread by the vicar, ( the Bishop gave it me in the morning) which was was really lovely, and the wine by a wonderful man, who along with everyone else, were the reason I wanted to be confirmed into the churches we go to.
When MLO and I arrived in the evening so many people came and congratulated me, and welcomed me,  I have never felt so in awe of peoples kindness and love, and I have done nothing to deserve that, other than turning up to church each Sunday.  The vicar came out then to welcome me to the church, which was also such a lovely kind gesture. Right now I am not quite sure what to do with myself, all I seem able to to is alternate going round in floods of tears because I am so overjoyed,then humbled, at everyone that I cant quite control my emotions, then thanking God for everything in my life, the people I know and love, and everything else. I hope I never forget yesterday.
The previous Sunday, the vicar had tried to get me to agree to say something about why I wanted to be baptised and confirmed, I backed away from him at that point, no way Jose am I getting up there in front of everyone, he did say that if I wrote something then the Bishop would read it out. Phew.
I had tried to get something written and had made many attempts at getting my thoughts and feelings down on paper, but it always seemed wrong. I was sat in front of the computer yesterday morning about half an hour before we were due to get to church staring at the screen thinking that now would be a good time to decide on what to to put. So I just wrote, and hoped it was ok.
We got to the church, and waited a while for the Bishop to arrive, which he did, complete with big black swooshy cloak, looking like an ecclesiastical version of Dracula, but infinitely less scary, and who quickly put us at our ease, as we were all rather worried. He then mentioned saying something, which most of us had hoped he would have forgotten, but he agreed to read three of ours out, and  two brave souls read their own. The one lady who read hers out told us about the most amazingly terrible time in her life recently, more unhappiness, sorrow and badness than I know I could have coped with, yet she was up there, thanking God for what she had,  made me think about my life in a different perspective.
Then the bishop read out what the other three of us had written. This was what I wrote.

 When I was much (!) younger, I used to go to church, and really enjoyed it, but as I got older, I got out of the habit of going, other than for special occasions. I would sometimes read the bible - when I could remember where I had left it, and prayed on and off whenever I wanted something. I was happy to call myself a Christian - without really thinking about what it meant.
  But it always felt like something was missing - a hole in my life, and no matter what I did or had, or what I bought, the feeling wouldn't go away.
I quite often thought about going back to church, but never did. I thought maybe it wasn't necessary , that I could carry on as I was.
I used to imagine that God was this huge stern guy in the sky, complete with big grey beard and fiery eyes, someone to be scared of, who, if I ever put a foot wrong would probably make my life a misery.
  Eventually, I realised that whatever else I did, I needed to go back to church. It wasn't like I made a decision and said “right, I'm going today“, it was a feeling in me that I felt I couldn't really argue with. Although it took me a long time after realising that I had to go before I actually walked through the doors of a church, but I did (obviously), and am so very glad that I did.
  After coming for a few months, I realised how important it had become to me; that I had started to really look forward to going each Sunday. I enjoyed being there, worshiping God, praying, listening and learning something each week, and looked forward to seeing the people who had been so welcoming and friendly when we first started going.
I learnt that God wasn't as scary as I first thought, rather, that he was pretty wonderful, and He loved us pretty much no matter what; and to me, that was the most amazing discovery imaginable, and made me want to give something back, both to God, and the church I had been going to.
That is one reason I want to be baptised and confirmed, so I can become a full member of the church, especially the churches I go to. I need to be able to show just how much I love it, and want everyone to know how important it is to me to be a Christian, a part of this church in particular and for all that it stands for.
hopefully by being baptised and confirmed, I can show that I am making a commitment to this church and saying that this is the church that I want to be part of.

Everyone was so lovely about what I wrote.
After the service, everyone gathered in the hall for coffee and biscuits, and several lovely people who I didn't know, came up to us  and congratulated us. One lady even said she would love a printout of what I wrote, so she could read it again, which was so sweet. Then the vicar came over and said he thought it was lovely. The Bishop  even said it was lovely and moving. Does that seem like shameless self promotion? it isn't meant to, I just cant get over how lovely everyone was.
We eventually left. In the evening we went to the country church. After the service the man who had served the wine said it was a privilege to have done so for the first time, then the vicar said it was lovely, so much kindness from people, I was on the verge of floods of tears. The vicar then said he meant what he said about what I had written, I cant think when so many people have been so kind, I am suffering from a kindness overload. How can I ever possibly repay all that, I haven't got a chance.

It was surprising, in that I didn't expect to feel different afterwards, but I did. Before I was baptised and confirmed, I wondered if I was doing  the right thing, not that it was wrong, but not for the right reasons. Because one day I hope that I can have the privilege of becoming a vicar somewhere, I was worried that I was only being baptised and confirmed as a means to an end, rather than  a means on their own, being done because that was what I wanted to do then. I hadn't been listening to God enough, and was more concerned with my own sillinesses, otherwise I would have been more certain I'm sure. After the Bishop lifted his hands from me, and I stood, I knew that it was for the right reason, any worry that it wasn't, went. I felt so amazingly calm. Something else surprised me, up to being baptised and confirmed, I remembered a conversation I had had with the vicar months before when I said I wanted to be a vicar, but had said I wanted to wait until I had been  baptised and confirmed before I wanted to do anything or talk about it again. In recent weeks, I had been thinking about that, and was worrying about it, what I would say, but that went too, not that I don't want to anymore,   I still feel that is what I want to do, but rather than worrying, I feel so calm about it, whatever happens happens, and I am completely content whatever does.  Quite surprised at how laid-back I am. I am completely at peace over it, all I can do is thank God for His love, and  His grace and his overall amazing wonderfulness. Thank Him for bringing me to this point in my life and thank Him for all the people who have got me to this point;
  • MLO for his unfailing love and support.
  • My mum, who, whatever else is still my mum and without whom I simply wouldn't be here.
  • MLOs mum for agreeing to come on Sunday, and realising what it meant to me. 
  • The vicar for giving his time to get us through this, and helping us learn what being a Christian is and means for our lives, and for guiding and teaching us and being a wonderful example to us.
  • The Bishop, who baptised and Confirmed us, which was an enormous honour for us.
  • All the people at St Andrews and St Pauls who are so welcoming and kind, and the main reason for me wanting to be baptised and confirmed as a part of those churches in particular. 
  •  For everyone in the past who led me to You Lord.
I thank you God for them,  and I thank them for all they have done.
Thats all I can write right now.


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Herefordshire, United Kingdom
Born in 1975 in Brixham, in glorious Devon. Spent most of my youth in grimy birmingham. As soon as i was able at 18 I moved to beautiful Herefordshire. Where i remain to this day. Work at Locks Garage, famous for our ice creams. Generally wonderful place.
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