Happy Easter!

Contrary to some reports, Easter was not cancelled this year. True believers don’t need egg hunts and even a physical building to gather and celebrate their Savior. In some areas of the world, Christians are persecuted for their beliefs, and any gathering is a risk to their life because of the violence. Yet they still hold on to their faith, and glorify God despite their trials, and so do we – Coronavirus or no Coronavirus. The one thing I’ve learned in the past year, when my world was torn apart and everything I thought I could rely on changed – God has a plan and it won’t always be easy, or obvious, but it will be worth it.

Think about it. Easter is the celebration of just that. God’s plan for our salvation was for Jesus to be rejected, beaten, humiliated, and crucified. All while having done nothing wrong. It doesn’t make sense, on the surface. But in light of the history of mankind’s relationship with God, it begins to be understandable. That’s something I’ve been learning over the past year, as I read the Bible straight through for the first time. I was surprised to learn that Jesus is actually present throughout the whole Bible, not just in the New Testament. And a lot of the Old Testament helps to explain the why of Easter. It showed me that God truly had all these things planned from the start, and that means we can also trust Him for the future – because He’s perfectly in control of that part of the plan, too.

But Easter will probably always be bittersweet for me, too, as I remember the events of last year. Mom’s brain hemorrhage and eventual death, days before Easter 2019. She was my world. We were best friends, lived just down the hall from each other in the same apartment building, and were almost always together. She handled all the things my anxiety wouldn’t let me do, and I helped her adjust after her own health forced her out of work unexpectedly. I didn’t know how I could possibly go on without her.

I didn’t know why it happened, just as she was beginning to show signs of recovery. Months of No-Change-Limbo, and then she finally starts to improve, only to die. I was confused and hurt. Relieved that she was no longer suffering, and instead was safely with Jesus. But heartbroken that we were no longer together. I was truly on my own, in this scary world.

I remember thinking that I had a real choice to make. I could continue to trust God, despite the sense of betrayal I was feeling, or I could give in to the doubts and reject Him. I was at a fork in the road and needed to choose a path.

I was scared of both but chose to trust God. I actively sought Him, by reading the Bible daily for the first time ever. I also began reading devotionals, listening to the radio ministers Mom had trusted (and I had liked before chaos entered my life and I’d only occasionally listened to Christian radio programs), and praying. It’s been a time of learning and growth, and while I don’t understand everything – I do understand more than I did back then. And I feel more secure and confident that I chose the right path.

I don’t know all the whys, but I feel that I don’t need to, either. I’m learning that God’s with me, and taking care of me, and that I’m not on my own. I never have been, but now I’m learning to see Him and His ways better. And it’s because of the crisis that I’ve grown closer to Him. Had last year been as uneventful as previous years, I probably wouldn’t know God any better than most people. Because although I’d accepted Him as my savior a few years before, I’d kind of let that be it. Occasionally we attended church or listened to ministry programs on the radio, but it wasn’t a big part of my life. And I didn’t necessarily see anything wrong with that. But, now I see how naive I was. There’s so much more to know and learn, and faith is something that needs to be actively practiced – which generally means facing trials and choosing to trust God through them.  

Wow, I really hadn’t meant to get deep or heavy in this blog. I’d planned to just talk about how much fun I had dying eggs with Pooh, even if I am not a little kid. And how lovely my Easter was, spent exactly how I wanted – attending the streamed services of a few favorite “radio ministers” and baking a ham and putting together a puzzle. Low-key but not lonely; I enjoyed every moment. It even snowed, and was lovely to look at. Though I do hope we don’t get much more of that stuff. Not until, say, November, at least.

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