Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Gillian's Grace

Children are a heritage of the Lord
Psalms 127:3

In mid-October, Bret and I presented Gillian Grace for the Sacrament of Baptism at our church here in Mobile. At Dauphin Way United Methodist the baptism ceremony is very brief, lasting no more than a few minutes. Gillian Grace was brought before the congregation along with another baby, Russell Lawrence. Having never attended a church service prior to her own baptism, we were unsure of how the morning's events would unfold. But, as we have come to expect, Gillian Grace was quite the little lady. A very composed GG instantaneously took to her new surroundings and was not the least bit intimidated by the unfamiliar faces nor the vastness of the Sanctuary. With eyes wide, mesmerized by the stained-glass, Gillian seemed more at peace than I had ever seen her before. Surely, the presence of the Lord was in this place.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of her counterpart, Mr. Lawrence or Law as he was referred. Born just days before our Gillian Grace, Law wanted no part of the baptism. His disdain for the ceremony began shortly after his family's arrival to the front of the church and didn't let up until he was given a bottle after returning to the pew. Refusing to allow anything to detract from our moment with our daughter, Bret and I focused on the words of Reverend Gormon Houston, trying our best to tune out the wails of one Mr. Law.

Gillian's love of all things wet was once again confirmed when she reacted favorably as Rev. Houston sprinkled the Holy water upon her head. Her smile and soft coo prompted a simultaneous chuckle from the congregation. As the ceremony drew to a close, a collective awe could be heard echoing through the Sanctuary as Reverend Houston and Jorgensen carried Gillian Grace and Law down the center aisle as the congregation shared a prayer for their salvation. There were many memorable moments that day, but for me there was a particular moment that still gives me goosebumps. Struggling to fight back tears, Bret gently touching my hand, the congregation vowed in unison to surround our darling Gillian Grace with a community of faith, hope, and love so that she may grow in love for God and in her service to others during the recitation of the Sacrament of Christian Baptism. Soaking in the words, and realizing the endless love and support surrounding Gillian Grace, that moment simply took my breath away. It's always been said that children are a gift from God. I know believe that the love of the church family is the gift wrapping.

Gillian Grace's gown was made from my Mother's (her Gammie's) wedding gown. Through a friend, Mom was introduced to Celina, an ingenious Greek seamstress. Within a few weeks, Celina was finished with this truly one of a kind gown. With this garment, a new family tradition was created. This gown will be handed down from one generation of women to the next and all who wear it will one day grow old enough to appreciate its significance.

Mom's wedding gown and veil.

With so many pictures of Gillian's baptism, I thought it best to put them in a slideshow. The slideshow takes a few seconds to begin. Happy looking!