The Ultimate Revelation of Faith

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.

Remember….

You ares so loved

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.”

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Soul Quenching Savior

I know it’s a couple days late. Seems to be the story of my life. Always a day late , dollar short and behind schedule. Between work and shuffling children around my writing sometimes takes a back seat. Hey, it’s the thought that counts, right?          So, Easter thoughts better late than never.    🙂 

We had always enjoyed the sunrise service in the middle of the desert.   There’s nothing quite like getting up at 4 AM, throwing four kids in the car, making them sleep in their clothes as we drive two hours in the dark, and then climb a hill to make it to the service on top of the giant rock. 

Braving the many times freezing temperatures and harsh wind, nothing stood between us, as year after year, we looked forward to this day.

www.grievinggumdrops.com

 

Surrounded by nearly 200 others swarmed tightly around a big bonfire, we sang hymns and heard the story of Jesus, rising from the tomb just as the sun peeked over the horizon. Exposed in nature, there’s no fuss about dressing up, as you won’t find any suits or Easter dresses here, just pure authentic people coming to worship our Savior with open hearts.

 www.grievinggumdrops.com

 

It’s truly beautiful and in this moment you can’t help but feel the Holy Spirit surround you, making it hard not to become emotional to such a powerful force.  The cool air wakes your soul, conjuring up focused thoughts on life, death, eternity and the true meaning of this day.

  www.grievinggumdrops.com

 

 

 

 Here are some photos of our last Easter sunrise service with Lydia. We couldn’t have asked for a more perfectly beautiful day.  With not a cloud in the sky, the kids hunkered down around the fire, jumping from rock to rock in the cool morning air.  After the service, we enjoyed a hearty country breakfast at the local grange and then spent the day with family exploring and hunting Easter eggs in the sagebrush.

grievinggumdrops.com 

grievinggumdrops.com

 

 www.grievinggudmrops.com

 

It was bittersweet last Sunday as we gathered without my dear Lydia, but I am reminded of the promise of new life He has given us. God sending his own son, to be crucified and die for our sins, now that is a powerful and unfathomable kind of love. Love that is mightier than anything we could ever imagine. However, we did it and were flooded with memories of Lydia, her mischievous smile and zeal for life. Missing her ever so much.

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.”

Spirit Filled Easter

Sharing my post from last year…Love this time of year…

With Easter right around the corner, I can’t help but think of my last Easter with Lydia.

We had always enjoyed the sunrise service in the middle of the desert.   There’s nothing quite like getting up at 4 AM, throwing the kids in the car, making them sleep in their clothes as we drive two hours in the dark, and then climb a hill to make it to the service on top of the giant rock.

Braving the many times freezing temperatures and harsh wind, nothing stood between us, as year after year,we looked forward to this day.

Surrounded by 50 others swarmed tightly around a big bonfire, we sang hymns and heard the story of Jesus, rising from the tomb, just as the sun peeked over the horizon.

www.grievinggumrops.com www.grievinggumdrops.com

 

It’s truly beautiful and in this moment you can’t help but feel the Holy Spirit surround you. This was our last Easter sunrise service with Lydia. We couldn’t have asked for a more perfectly beautiful day.  With not a cloud in the sky, the kids hunkered down around the fire, jumping from rock to rock in the cool morning air.  After the service, we enjoyed a hearty country breakfast at the local grange and then spent the day with family exploring and hunting Easter eggs in the sagebrush.

www.grievinggumdrops.com www.grievinggumdrops.com

We haven’t been back in 7 years. Wow, I can’t believe it’s been that long. With the declining health of my father, new babies and work schedules, life happened and we weren’t able to make it.

And now, the time has come…we’re going back on Sunday. I’m so excited to take my three other children who have yet to experience this wonderful occasion, yet part of me is reluctant as my memories will be flooded by Lydia and her sweet giggles and enjoyment for life and adventures, missing her ever so much.

www.grievinggumdrops.com

It will be bittersweet this Sunday as we gather without my dear Lydia, but I am reminded of the promise of new life He has given us. God sending his own son, to be crucified and die for our sins, now that is some kind of love. Love that is more powerful that anything we could ever imagine.

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.”

What are your Easter traditions and memories?