Saturday, March 28, 2015

Dedication Sunday

On Sunday, March 15 we had William dedicated in church. William's godparents: John, my brother, and Shannon, Chris's sister were there and stood with us. Chris's mom, Sheryl or "Nana" to William was also able to be with us.

The morning started off just fine. Church starts at 11, so typically William can take his usual morning nap before we have to leave. This Sunday, he slept a bit late and I had to wake him up. He wasn't very happy about that and preceded to cling to me, and only me for the rest of the morning.

I felt a little frustrated with his attitude and could easily imagine this becoming one of those Sundays where the family spent the morning fighting but pasted on smiles for the service or something.

We were supposed to arrive a little early to meet with the Council chairman to go over the service. We were late, but only by a few minutes. William typically goes to the nursery for the service, but on this special Sunday he would be with us for the first 40 minutes of the service until the dedication was finished. He sat still for a couple of minutes during the worship music, but was soon off and running. I took him to the back where there was another little boy playing.

Then the dedication started and Chris, William, John, Shannon and I all went up front. Scott, our church counsel chairman led the ceremony and did a really great job of describing why we dedicate our children -- to give him back to the Lord and have the Lord do as He will in William's life.

Then he did something I hadn't anticipated. He prayed over me. He explained that I would be, for the first few years, William's primary teacher and influencer. He prayed that I would be a mother who led her son to a relationship with Jesus.

I had never really thought of my role in that way. I'm just his mom. But listening to his words over me had a powerful effect. Even now, two weeks later, I remember that prayer and it gives me peace, assurance that God is with me; it reminds me to rely on God when I doubt my ability.

Photo Credit: Matthew Ronan
Then he asked Chris and I if we would dedicate William to the Lord. We responded, "We do." He asked John and Shannon if they would commit to assisting us and supporting us in raising William.  They responded, "We will." And he asked the congregation to support and help us as well.

Then he asked people from the congregation to come and pray over William. I think ten people came and laid their hands on us and prayed and anointed William with oil.

It was a short ceremony, about 15 minutes. But it was very special. I've given God back the most precious gift he has given me, our son. I didn't think I would feel different afterwards or think differently, but I do in a way. I feel more supported, by people, yes--but mostly by God. I know He has been there all along, I guess I was just forgetting about him or not acknowledging Him in our daily parenting.

I do wish we would have done this earlier for two reasons 1) I could have/should have felt more dependent on the Lord earlier, when the beginning was so challenging and 2) William would have been easier to hold for 15 minutes!

William Bradley, you are a gift from God. We love you and are so grateful to be entrusted with you. We dedicate you to the Lord and ask Him to use you for His purposes. May you trust in Him and follow Him all the days of your life.

Photo Credit: Matthew Ronan

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