2016 you drove me to my knees in tears, in prayers of frustration and appreciation. I grieved this year 5 times and especially in the last 2 weeks when one of the greatest women I know passed away. I was sicker than I had ever been and had the hospital bill to prove it. The amount of parking tickets I got within a 3 month span was ridiculous and not completely my fault, and a stupid car accident made life difficult for a tiny bit. I promise you that the line between me and a mental breakdown was almost invisible and my car has heard me cry and scream so much this year.
Despite the year that felt like hell on earth, I was reminded time and time again that God is faithful. I’ve been so blessed with friends and family who can pray for me and give me words of encouragement when I’m unable to do so for myself. I’m grateful that I’ve learned over the years to come to God with honesty in my heart, to express my anger and my joy without reservation. That’s what a relationship God is right?
This year was full of anniversaries, some good like it being the 10th year since I gave my life to Christ, and some bad. I found myself reflecting on what has happened since 2006 and was reminded that serving God might not be easy, but is so worth it. This battle we fight, this life we live, this race we’re running, is not ours to do alone.
I wrote that part at the end of last year, with hope smaller than normal, but hanging on. So far this year, I’ve found myself in a place of evaluation. What do I want for my life? What does God want for my life? What do I need to rid from my life? What attitudes or characteristics do I have within me that are causing me stagnancy instead of growth, pain instead of joy.
Honestly, I’m not a fan of the answers I’ve been coming with. I feel overwhelmed, out of balance, lacking control, incompetent, like a failure. I feel so many things that I don’t understand and they’re piled on each other, so it feels like everytime I peel a layer off, another thing is there.
My youth group kids and I spoke on how we can never stop growing, we will never stop finding things that we need improvement on.
On this Easter I’m thinking about how Christ’s sacrifice has allowed me to lay all of that on the cross. The doubts, the fears, the feelings of not being enough for the dreams he has given me. His death and resurrection aren’t only for my habit of lying, or the times I disrespect my parents. It’s deeper than that. It’s about laying all of it down. The good, the bad, the hot mess ugly parts of me. It’s about being honest, it’s about crying out in the midst of the storms and having faith that he won’t let me drown. It’s about feeling peace when there’s chaos, it’s about realising that I need him every day, it’s about knowing that he is exceedingly, abundantly able to do more than I can hope or imagine.
I’m reminded that Christ in his absolute perfection, took the pain that I would have, and carried it so that I don’t have to. That nails pierced him for my sicknesses, that he was beaten for my moments of grief, and sadness, that my sins are forgiven when I come with a willing heart. That his loved ones experienced the deepest grief so that I would have a life of purpose.
This cross is hope, its joy, its peace, its restoration. It’s the most beautiful symbol of perfect love, of sacrifice, of what God was willing to do for me to be considered his child. It’s victory over everything.
I hope you have a fantastic Easter and that you are reminded that the ultimate sacrifice was made for you to live a life that glorifies him and gives him joy.