When my son died, my world shattered. For years, I tried in vain to get back to “normal”. I wanted so desperately to be the woman I used to be before tragedy tore me apart.
But it turns out, that woman died the same day her son did. She no longer exists. God, who alone has the power to resurrect, raised up a new woman from the ashes of that death. I am so grateful that God did not leave me as I was when I was broken.
He healed me.
It has taken me a long time, but I can finally say with honesty that I am also grateful He did not leave me as I was before my brokenness.
He made me stronger.
Ten years ago today I held my son’s lifeless body in the palm of my hand sobbing with the raw intensity of fresh grief. He had been born into the arms of Jesus bypassing my own arms altogether. My emptiness and sorrow resulting from that loss plunged me into a dark abyss of despair and fear cloaked by a busy life and a practiced smile.
I know the Easter story. I’ve heard the sermons. I’ve watched The Passion. I’ve seen the plays. I thought I “got it”. But God totally rocked my resurrection world and busted up my Easter complacency today. Can I tell you how?
What was it like to be a mother to God? It is difficult enough to raise human children. I can’t imagine having the Most High God Himself in my house as a toddler or a teenager!
Then Simeon blessed them, and he said to Mary, the baby’s mother, “This child is destined to cause many in Israel to fall, but he will be a joy to many others. He has been sent as a sign from God, but many will oppose him. As a result, the deepest thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your very soul.”
In reflecting on the events surrounding Jesus’ death and resurrection, I feel pulled to ponder the events from Mary’s perspective. We usually think of the mother of Jesus more at Christmas time, but she was very much a part of the first Easter as well.
Several times, Luke mentions in the first couple of chapters of his gospel that Mary pondered the deeper meanings of all that was happening and treasured these things in her heart. Let’s follow her example and ponder for a while.
The first month of a new year is almost history. How are your New Year’s Resolutions working out for you? Yeah, mine too. I always tend to overcomplicate things with lists and goals and checklists. I’m already longing for simplicity in the new year. Fortunately, I had the privilege of hearing my amazing sister and best girlfriend, Rev. Christina Hildebrand, preach on January first. I love what she shared and I wanted to share it with you. (She said I could!) If you’re weary from working on your resolutions, rest in the embrace of God’s grace instead.
New Year Simplicity
The New Year is upon us! It is the biggest – “I’m starting my diet today” day of the year.
Treadmills are on sale at sporting goods stores. There are coupons for low-fat yogurt, brown rice, quinoa, and chia seeds, and I have officially received my postcard in the mail inviting me to join WeightWatchers for a special January discount price.