I didn’t really fathom the enormity of the meaning of Easter until after Lydia died, my adorable five-year old baby girl. I knew absolutely nothing about death until July 16, 2008. Prior to that, it was elusive to me. It was terrifying, and something I shied away from in every conversation that arose.
Death was dark, gloomy, heavy and emotional. I didn’t have time for that, nor did I want to acknowledge that it even existed. My superficial protection and avoidance tactics took hold. I was happy and safe in my little bubble.
Then life suddenly changed. One beautiful summer morning, on our way to daycare, my own daughter died. How was that even possible? My world was shattered in an instant. I was in shock. Things like this didn’t happen to people like me, so I thought.
Undeserving, guilt ridden, shameful-that was the new me. The cloak of despair was heavy and unrelenting. I endured perpetual days packed with hopelessness and sorrow. I just couldn’t comprehend that I was of any worth at all, as I had failed as a parent.
Those first weeks and months, I could barely breathe. My body was will filled with panic, as I tried desperately to grasp this horrible realty, while endlessly searching to find my girl. It’s a feeling that you cannot describe. I needed to know she was okay and for her to know how loved she was. Tears poured, as I couldn’t quite reach her, no matter how hard I tried. I wasn’t able to kiss her sweaty forehead, draw her bath, or hold her tightly in my arms. It was paralyzing.
After some time had passed, I became accepting of God’s mercy and grace. Acting on faith alone while opening my heart to Jesus, knowing I couldn’t survive this on my own, I imagined Mary pondering what she endured as a mother, watching her baby boy suffering on that old rugged cross. The baby she birthed, held and mothered all those years. The suffering she was feeling on the inside, her tears and helplessness must have been unimaginable. A sense of comfort it gave me, as she knew my heartbreak. Yet she was anointed with a strength unfathomable to many of us.
This pain is so unbearable, living through the death of your child or death of any loved one, but to comprehend that God gave his only child, His only Son, to be tortured and to die for all of us, I struggle to find the words.
How could someone love us so much, that He would give His only Son to die, for the sins and wrongdoings of someone like me? The pain was intense and the tears overwhelmingly plenty.
I couldn’t understand how was I worthy of such love? But I was. And you are too.
It brought me to inconsolable weeping, instilling in me a renewed hope and outlook that my Lydia and Jesus were waiting for me when my time here is done. I think that we get so preoccupied with ourselves and our lives that we don’t take the time to study and really gain insight into the story of Jesus, the magnitude of His love and the purpose of our existence.
Although it’s always bittersweet as we gather on Easter without my dear Lydia, I am reminded of the promise of new life He has given us. God sending his own son, to die for our sins, now that is some kind of love. Love that is more powerful that anything we could ever imagine. Knowing that my precious daughter is home with Him, comforted and loved, brings peace to my heart.
Let us be reminded today, that He conquered death. He arose! No matter how difficult and life altering our sufferings are here on earth, there is nothing to be afraid of now. There is nothing we can’t handle through Him. Keep pressing into that faith.
John 3:16…”For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”