Sunday night was an incredible evening for my family. Our 13 year old daughter with Autism and an Intellectual Disability was baptized. In our church tradition we only bring individuals into full membership of our church after they have taken the step of baptism based on their belief in the saving knowledge of Christ.
There is a problem with this, however, when it comes to an individual like my girl who can’t verbally confess her belief in Christ or ever advance intellectually past the age of a small child. This caused us to take a look at what we think about baptism in these special circumstances and I couldn’t be more proud of our church.
Based on their encouragement and acceptance we were able to send out invitations to a host of people who have been a part of Cadence’s life…therapists, teachers, shadows, service providers, family, church family, friends, etc. The invitations read:
We believe that the gospel breaks down all barriers between the able and disabled.
We believe that those with intellectual disability are children of a Covenant God who has reserved a place for them in heaven.
We believe that ALL people are created in the image of God and have gifts and talents that can be used for the Kingdom of God.
Based on these beliefs we are honored and thrilled that (our church) desires to bring Cadence Post into full membership with our fellowship, recognizing her giftedness, her equality and her belonging to the body of Christ.
I was so happy to see the faces of many who came to support her and show their love and kindness to her. I know that Cadence won’t go to college or celebrate the milestones her siblings will celebrate. There won’t be a wedding reception or a baby shower for her, so it dawned on me the magnitude of that moment. I was able to stand before so many friends and family and supporters and say a collective thank you for all the support along this path. We couldn’t have walked it without them.
As we were preparing for the service I asked the Lord to bless Cadence with a special peace and joy. That He would minister to her spirit and give her an understanding of how loved and special she is. At one point in the service we had her play the piano. Just pecking out a tune with 1 finger on a color coded keyboard.
When she was finished with the song and everyone clapped, without a doubt she knew it was for her. She felt the joy and it is obvious by her response.(you can see it at the Grace In The Real World Facebook page by clicking here…even if you don’t use FB.)
Sometimes we don’t get all the moments we would like to have. There are things I will miss that I would love for Cadence to experience. But then there are moments like Sunday night where I was able to live a whole lifetime of moments in one evening. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to say thank you to so many and for the chance to publicly love on my girl. I’m beyond grateful for the outpouring of love and acceptance she received and I will forever be grateful for the way God continues to pour out His grace on us through the beautiful gift of Cadence.