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This Easter I see Jesus, I pray my family will as well

Picture: iStock

Gen Doherty 

31 March 2024

Every Easter when I was growing up, my family had a tradition of going camping.  

Every year somewhere different but always somewhere quiet where we were able to reflect on the year that was just blooming and a summer that had just ended. 

I grew up in a non-religious family. My closest encounter with the Christian faith was colouring outside the lines of a nativity colouring page in those lazy weeks of school before Christmas.  

Interesting then, that even in my family Easter was always a time for reflection and appreciation. I remember a couple of years ago talking to my mum. We remarked that even though we weren’t religious, Easter was a time to reflect and engage with our spiritual side. 

My relationship with Easter has changed since I converted a year ago. I still find it incredibly grounding to sit in God’s creation, to retreat and to listen to his voice but I have now gained a deeper understanding in knowing about Jesus’ sacrifice and His love for His people.  

Read more: Somehow light and freedom broke in at Easter. Will it also happen in Gaza?

My love for God has grown and grown, and I want to feel ready to make the commitment of baptism.  

I want to let Jesus fully into my life. I want to declare that I am a child of God. I want to promise to follow his ways and to love others as he loves me.  

I’ve always thought Easter to be the right time to be baptised. The perfect time to commit myself to a new life as Jesus committed himself to the cross, honouring that sacrifice he made for his people.  

I even began talking to the minister at my church, wanting to learn more about the process, so full of joy that I forgot the communal, outward-looking side baptism and the promise I had made myself.  

A couple of months ago I watched a baptism for the first time. It made me realise that it was a family-like commitment, and it made me realise I also wanted to be baptised. At this time, I promised myself not to get baptised until I was able to make those vows in front of my whole family. Both my church family and my blood family.  

Baptism is more than just a personal commitment to God. It is a commitment to be proud in one’s faith and proclaim it with joy and confidence.  

I take great pride in my faith. Although I enjoy valuable conversations with my peers about it, I still struggle to discuss it with my family. I think I fear that because I hold their opinion so highly, that if they disapprove it will affect my faith. 

Read more: Braving the cold to welcome in Easter at dawn

While I am developing my own little group of people to support me in my journey of faith, it’s still intimidating to step away from what is known and familiar without the people who raised me by my side or truly understanding why I feel the call to do it.  

I am working on this. It’s been a lot of small steps – like taking my Mum to an evangelistic drawing workshop – and some misunderstandings. But I am confident that one day I will be able to receive the blessing of new life surrounded by all those I hold so dear. 

This is still the beginning of my journey of faith, and as my second Easter approaches I trust that God has a plan for my family. I hope that I can continue to hold together my new and old traditions.  

And so I won’t be getting baptised this year, but I pray that one day my family will all be able to celebrate in the gift that is Easter together. I hope they too will see Jesus’ love in his death and resurrection.  

Genevieve Doherty is a member of St Jude’s in Parkville and Brunswick Uniting Church, and a fine arts student.  

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