[Fast Forward to 2018]
Growing up, I used to think that my family had the world’s greatest Easter traditions. Looking back, I still feel the same exact way! But Easter then and Easter now had and have such different meanings to me. When I was little, Easter meant searching with my sisters for our hidden baskets from the Easter bunny, coloring crosses in Sunday school, decorating cookies with neighbors and family friends at Easter brunch and eating lots of chocolate! Now, Easter takes on a completely different focus. As I stand today, Easter is, hands down my favorite holiday. Easter means Jesus and Easter means family. As a Christian, I believe that Jesus died on the cross and rose three days later. I believe in life after death because of the resurrection and I believe that there is no guilt in life and no fear in death because Jesus conquered the grave. You might wonder how we live in a world filled with chaos if we have a God who loves us. You’re not alone in that thought. My best answer to give you is this: we have just God. John 16:33 says, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” When Jesus rose from the grave, he showed us that he has the power to overcome everything. The battle still rages on but Jesus has already won the war. The resurrection is Jesus’s ultimate statement in that he is willing to come more than half way. I heard that at church and wrote it down because I thought it was so incredibly powerful.
This past week, I thought a lot about what the cross and the resurrection mean to me. I have a beautiful cross painted by my grandma that hangs above the door in my bedroom so that I see it before bed and when I wake up! But what exactly does this empty cross mean to me? The answer, each time I rediscover it, hits me hard! I cried quite a few tears this week. Happy tears I suppose! To me, the cross and the resurrection mean that my mom, my sisters and I will get to see my Dad again some day. Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice so that we could have life after death and because of him, death has lost it’s sting. (Romans 8:11) Easter looks a lot different for my family these days. My oldest sister, brother-in-law and sweet 11 month old niece spent Easter in Iowa City, my middle sister and mom spent Easter weekend in our hometown of East Lansing and I spent Easter here in Grand Rapids. We miss the days of spending our Easter Sunday all together and we especially miss the days that my Dad was here to be with us. We put our trust in God and are able to smile because we know, that day will come again!
For those of you that are struggling to wrap your head around all of this, I want to share a book with you. I sat through the most amazing church service that revolved around this question: “How do I believe in something I just don’t believe?” The book that was recommended at our service is titled The Case for Easter by Lee Strobel. There is a lot of evidence that the resurrection happened. I don’t walk by blind faith, I walk with evidence and trust and I get by because of my personal relationship with Christ, savior of all. If you have any questions, I will do my very best to answer them! My faith continues to develop and grow and I’m certainly no pro. But with that said, simply send me an email or a message and I’m happy to do my best! For those of you that celebrated Easter yesterday, Happy Easter! Christ is risen!