Talitha's baptism at 8 years old was significant not only because of the importance of that ordinance but also because I was told she would live to be baptized. This was a HUGE comfort given most children do not survive Meduloblastoma.
The following is from my journal on her baptism day, September 10, 2016:
My son Trevor baptized Talitha.
Grandpa Peter D. Black was one of the witnesses along with Gary Wood, brother of Phillip Wayne Wood—Talitha’s other grandpa that passed away before Audrey and I were married.
I confirmed Talitha and remember the Spirit was overpoweringly strong. Here are a few thoughts I remember from the blessing:
- This is a day of prophecy fulfilled
- Even as she lived that the promises of the Lord might be fulfilled, even will she yet live to see more and important promises of the Lord fulfilled
- Talitha is now a daughter of Christ by covenant
- As she is faithful to Christ—her new covenant Father, He will give her the greatest inheritance of all, Eternal Life
- She will be protected from the adversary to enable her to continue fulfilling all of her mission and purpose
- Blessed with power to live according to the Good News of Christ even as the day of His coming to reign personally on the Earth draws nigh
- Blessed with Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, desire to always repent, strength to keep her baptismal covenant which is re-affirmed and strengthened by the Sacrament each week, power to receive the Holy Ghost as she has been granted this gift, and the ability to endure to the end in so living
- She has been an example and blessing to her family. She will continue to be a light an example and Her reach will extend even beyond the family now to bring souls unto Christ
- We all thank Talitha for the service she has already rendered to us all
After the confirmation, Audrey spoke and shared her witness of God’s loving hand in our lives even through trials that can be intense, even overwhelming. She showed two pictures of Tali taken at the Now I Can rehab clinic. One is of her sitting with her head in her hand with a look of complete frustration, exhaustion, even defeat while her therapist is right behind her with loving, kind, strong arms reaching around her to encourage. The other is of her with the same therapist holding her for support while she takes a big step forward. The pictures by themselves brought tears of intense emotion remembering this difficult time and the miracles that brought us through.
Audrey testified that Heavenly Father is right here with us during these times of trial that we all face. Like Talitha in the picture, there are moments of discouragement where we don’t want to go on or don’t know how. Father is right here with us through it all, reaching His arms around us. We also have times of progress where our countenance is bright and we feel great joy in the steps of progress He helps us make. What a beautiful witness of God’s love and constant support to every one of us.
I followed Audrey and told the story of being promised that Talitha would live to be baptized. This revelation was granted very early in the cancer fight when it was anything but certain that Talitha would make it through. I’ve held to that promise from God and received His comfort over the years. I testified that even as Talitha’s life has great purpose and meaning so does every single life matter. And though each of us is handed trials that can overwhelm, God makes promises to each of us and He always keeps His promises.
I testified of the Good News of Christ and the promise of redemption and hope in Him. I quoted the scripture where Christ told His apostles before His death and resurrection, “In the world ye shall have tribulation but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” I witnessed that these things are true and that we may all rejoice in Christ even through our trials if we will look to Him and live.
It was an absolute joy to feel the Spirit testify through me. The divine words flowed without premeditation or restraint. Praise be to Him, I fulfilled the assignment He gave me to stand as a witness of Him and to testify of truth. I’m so grateful for His words to me in my heart afterwards that He is pleased. It truly was one of the most pure moments I’ve ever experienced where all was aligned with Him—all single to His glory.
Directly following our testimonies, we sang a closing hymn, Gethsemane. So many of us had tears flowing as we sang and Talitha was overcome by the Spirit and unable to sing as she just cried for joy and basked in the light of our loving Savior and Redeemer. What a beautiful thing to behold in my youngest daughter who just received the precious gift of the Holy Ghost.