I want to talk about Easter. My heart and my head are sharing an emotion that I am struggling to put into words. Bear with me, this week’s blog is a little heavier than normal.
Easter is so many things to me. Like Christmas, we have presents and for this holiday we have Easter baskets. Little ones in their Sunday best. People attending church maybe only on these two days of the year. At the center, the very core of both, is Jesus.
Our Easter didn’t go as planned. One little grandson was not feeling well, and the decision was made to “postpone” our Easter. My heart was heavy Saturday night that the day would not be what I had planned. Emphasis on “I” - gets me in trouble every time.
Can that be done? Postpone Easter? The answer is no.
I woke up Sunday morning and like always, turned on the coffee maker and stood at the counter and waited. I can’t describe what happened next other than this one word.
I was filled with a joy that brought me to tears. My thoughts were racing with what this morning meant and from that moment on my heaviness was gone. Darkness would not win. Not then and not today.
We went to church and sang this song I know by heart, but a line we sang literally almost brought me to my knees.
“It was my sin that held Him there,
Until it was accomplished”
For me, so undeserving, he hung from a cross in unspeakable pain. I can think of nothing worse. When I sang that line, from this song that I have known my whole life, it became clearer than it has ever been how very much he loves me, and you.
I can write it, I can speak it, but I can’t describe it. This is a love like no other. To feel it that deeply was a gift. Even though it had been given to me before, it would be the first time I opened it on Easter.
I couldn’t accept this gift before. I've had Easters where I was not sober. I don’t just mean Easter weekend.
I remember drinking through the night before going to an Easter Sunrise Service. I remember sitting there with tears as we watched the sunrise and sang together. Still feeling the effects of the liquid courage I needed to face this morning. To face Jesus. I drank because I was ashamed. Consumed with guilt over what I was doing with this life he had died to save. So I drank.
Because I had drank, I felt emotion that morning. I felt joy, I felt happiness and gratitude. For a few hours… and it wasn’t real. I remember desperately hoping to feel all those things without alcohol flowing through my veins. To be genuine.
Desperate. Guilty. Ashamed. Sad. I'd felt this way for so long.
When I stood in church this past Sunday, overcome with emotion, it felt familiar and I realized this was it. What I had been waiting to feel. True inexplicable joy. Between me and Jesus without a drug in between. Another new beginning. Our preacher shared that the cross was not an ending it was a beginning, and I couldn’t agree more.
That’s hard for me to share (she drank before church!) Yeah, add it to the list and there are plenty more where that came from. I remember thinking, “No one can ever know this.”
I don’t care who knows now because I live in freedom from my past. What tried to bury me actually planted me and here I am growing.
And I want to share this with you:
If you are letting your past define you. If you think a new life is not possible. If you think you cannot change. If you think you are unloveable. If you think there is no way out of the mess you are in.
You are wrong, because here I am.
Thanks for listening,