Sunday, April 25, 2010

Let's revisit Easter...

A week before Easter (when it was still COLD outside...) Mark took Lucy over to my grandparent's church for an egg hunt. It was a Saturday so naturally I was working. I was pretty proud of Mark for taking her by himself, usually he's not up for that kind of stuff :)

He said she had a lot of fun, what do you think?

Abbie is almost exactly 6 months younger than Lucy, but surprisingly, has always had more teeth and hair than her :) We need to let them hang out more because I think they're gonna be big buddies.

Grandma Monica came along for the egg hunt too. Now that I think about it, that's probably the reason Mark agreed to take Lucy, because he knew Monica would take care of her once she arrived. Good thinkin Mark.

I wanted to revisit Easter, because I can't seem to get it out of my head this year. I keep thinking about it over and over, and I am reminded of what Easter Sunday really means for us. Christ conquering death and sin on the cross! This takes on a whole new meaning for me in respect to the events of this past year. My great suffering only makes me long for a day when there will be no more suffering. And honestly, it has made me appreciate all the more Christ's sacrifice for me.

My faith has been shaken and challenged in nearly every way this past year. Sometimes I blamed God for our circumstances, sometimes I blamed myself. While circumstances can be consequences to our actions, I have prayed long and hard over ours, and I truly believe that what happened to us was not punishment, and in fact, not orchestrated by God at all. God cannot be blamed. The only explanation I have found is that we live in a fallen world, filled with pain, sickness and death.

So how will we react when we experience pain, sickness, or death? Will we ignore God, blame Him, cry out in anger, beg for mercy, pray for a miracle? I have done all of these in the past few months and have been met with utter silence. No response. Not even a reassuring "I haven't totally abandoned you, even though it seems like it" whisper. This is my time of silence. I think at some point, if we are honest with ourselves, we have all experienced God's silence in our lives. At first I fought my time of silence with more cries of anger and pain. Then I realized why the Lord kept putting Easter Sunday back in my mind....sin was conquered on the cross, but why? Because of LOVE. God's Love for us.

I can get so wrapped up in my faith and my life and trying to be "Christian" that I forget about Love. And yet Love is the greatest of Faith, Hope, and Love. The greatest commandment, is to "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind." I think ultimately, through all the suffering and trials and just enduring LIFE in general, God just wants to know that we love Him. Not because we've been conditioned to because we have been blessed with families and "stuff" and success, but because when all is stripped down and we are broken and naked and bleeding, we CHOOSE to love Him.

Through my suffering, and God's silence in my life, which is suffering in and of itself, I choose to Love Him. To serve Him wholeheartedly, and to do everything in my power to know Him more so that I can Love Him more. I say this publicly not because I want praise or acknowledgment, but because I have truly been to hell and back with my faith this year, and I came out on the other side, still alive. I want that for others. I want others to be encouraged in their time of silence. And ultimately, I just want to give the Lord the glory He is due for dragging me through this trial, kicking and screaming, as stubborn as I am :) He created me stubborn, and I've come to accept that.

I'm done with my rant. I just needed to let that out. As I said, I'm going to try and be more vulnerable on this blog. Maybe I went too far :) Hopefully I won't lose too many readers over this post. Until next time, I leave you with this quote:

"To be commanded to love God at all, let alone in the wilderness, is like being commanded to be well when we are sick, to sing for joy when we are dying of thirst, to run when our legs are broken. But this is the first and greatest commandment nonetheless. Even in the wilderness -- especially in the wilderness -- you shall love Him." - Frederick Buechner


Ashley said...

Thank you so much for sharing this. I have been praying for you from way out here in Texas. Love you.

Tori said...

My love...I have been thinking about you daily. I know I'm probably way behind in the country music scene but I finally heard Carrie's new song...Temporary Home. And I cannot help but think of that song when I read your post. Mostly because it has been my mom and I's anthem lately. Especially since my grandfather died. Life is so short and we don't EVER know what God will lead us to do. And no matter how much pain and struggle we go through in this is our TEMPORARY home. It's not where we belong. Our goal on this Earth is to love like Jesus loves and live as Jesus lived and make it through to the place where we all really belong. In Heaven with our Creator where all of our pain will be taken away and we will live in peace with all of those who we have lost. I love you very very much. My weekly email will probably come tomorrow. :)

Leigh Anne said...

hey, janna - so sorry this has been a hard year for you. "Desert Song" by Brooke Fraser (Hillsong) has been huge encouragement to me in the last year and a half! Look it up - I think it speaks a lot of what you just said on here!