I love this time of year. Everything aesthetic about spring feels hopeful, and it seems we’re all SO very ready for the budding signs of life everywhere when they do come. More than spring though, I love this season of Easter and all it brings. Growing up, these four days, beginning with Holy Thursday, became sacred and necessary in my walk of faith, cultivating the first evidence of a commitment and reverence to Christ in my heart.
It is no different now, although I live them out differently as I attempt to convey the significance of these days to our little ones in tangible ways. Our conversations this week have evolved as we grow closer to Good Friday and Christ’s death on a cross–Henry and Eloise asking good, deep questions that matter, and Eloise asking me daily “How many moa days now till Easta?” Their youthful anticipation for the coming celebration of Christ’s Resurrection is adding a deep sweetness as we move toward Sunday.
This time around, Holy Week falls atop a season for me that is shaky and uncertain at best most days. My head and heart have tried to balance some very hard things for a long stretch, the idiosyncrasies of life piling on top of those and leaving a mound that feels weighty and tall. When I have felt the capacity to clarify my vision and direction in this season, other things have made that vision cloudy oh-so-quickly again…sick kiddos, rough doctors appointments, a large rock thrown through the back window of the new-to-me minivan, a broken dishwasher, unexplained dizziness that hasn’t lifted in several weeks. It’s been hard to shake off the yuck some days–even just to get to the basics of everyday living with my people.
When you’re losing traction in places, little things make the slip that much easier, it seems, and my exhaustion and overwhelm have been more palpable than I’d ever want them to be. I am coasting and coping, less patient and more flighty. Our children feel it most, I know, and then if I’m not careful, guilt sets in over this, too. In all of my efforts to love them well and care for our family, I’ve been grasping for air and pushing just to get from A to B and A to B and A to B again.
Enter these holy days and Easter soon-to-arrive, and I’m thankful beyond thankful that grace and sacrifice and salvation come right here, right now, right before our eyes.
It’s easy for me to feel guilty when I share my “hard” publicly. There is suffering everywhere, and I can’t miss it. Earlier this week, I poured out details to a friend and followed it all up with “but I know that in all of this I still have it SO, SO much better than most, and I really shouldn’t complain. We’ve SEEN it. We’ve lived among it!” Bless her for being honest with me when she responded, “Ok, that might be true. You might. But is that helpful in any way right now? Does it help the people in India or Africa who are hurting? Does it help you?”
She was right. All of this “stuff” being more than enough for me to manage right now does not diminish someone else’s hard. And feeling guilty about it doesn’t help. Sure, there are really lovely seasons of time when things are pretty amazing, but this isn’t one of those, and today that’s my reality here, without any disregard for another person’s hard or the difficulties anyone faces, wherever they are.
These holy days leading up to Easter are for everyone–their weight and significance offering healing and wholeness to anyone ready to partake in the bread and the wine, the cross, the blood poured out, the silence and waiting, the Resurrection.
God is, of course, using this heavy season in my walk to heighten my awareness of just how deeply and desperately I need Him. The value of the cross and the promise of salvation through Christ grow greater in my heart as I realize more and more of my brokenness every single day.
I am in need of a savior. I’ve always been. When the messes get messiest, I have the chance to own that and to claim Christ louder and more fervently. God always shows up. He does. Not always in ways I expect or in the timing I’d like, but always in the way that’s best for me. Come Sunday, I will sing with heart. I will praise God for Christ, risen, with deeper gratitude and a thirst for more of Him.
“Jesus took the bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, ‘Take and eat; this is my body.’ Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.'” Mt 26.26-28
Good Friday is coming, but Easter will follow. I pray that the significance of these days and the light of Christ will fill our homes and hearts this week as we seek Him. Whatever the hard may be, His sacrifice has overcome it.
asking God for more of himself and less of me today. more of His voice, more of His help, more of His peace,