This year I connect with the Easter story in a whole new way. It’s been on my mind for months. God, what is your purpose in having me walk through this during the Easter season? The timing is not lost on me.
Around Easter 2008, our first child, Chloe Faith, passed in utero from fatal Down Syndrome. That painful loss changed us, our marriage, and how we relate to God and others. New things were birthed from her death. We lived the Easter rhythm of death and resurrection. Chloe’s death led to new life in us that we have seen breathe new life into others.
Last night Sophia asked how old Chloe would be. 13 – one year older than Sophia. But, not really I explained. If Chloe had lived, Sophia wouldn’t be here. As Sara walked into the kitchen to listen, I told her she wouldn’t be here either.
It gets quiet when we consider that reality. I can’t imagine life or our family without them. They bring such love, joy, delight, kindness, goodness, and beauty to our lives. But if Chloe had lived, we wouldn’t have Sophia & Sara and that breaks my heart in a completely different way. Let me say, I don’t believe babies need to die or that God needs more angels in heaven. All I know is that Sophia and Sara are here and Chloe is healthy and whole in heaven and we will all be together in Heaven one day. We get all 3 daughters. Beauty from ashes.
In this Easter season, I know He is doing it again. Things are dying and new things are being born. Transformation, growth, and change are happening that wouldn’t happen otherwise. I don’t willingly lean into a cancer diagnosis. Yet, I know it’s creating something beautiful. Like the caterpillar that struggles out of the cocoon to become a butterfly or the seeds that sprout new life after a fire – death brings new life.
The crazy thing about Easter is that Jesus chose it. He knew the pain, torture, and agony and he willingly leaned into it. He counted the cost of every whip, blow, thorn, nail, and mocking word and said He would do it. It was worth it because of the new life in us that would come after his death. We were worth it to Him. It wasn’t easy, it was hard and he would have loved a different path – he asked if there was any other way. But it was the only way and he chose it. He knew all would be restored because of His sacrifice. Resurrection was coming on Sunday and a final resurrection when He will make everything right. It was worth it to Him. You are worth it to Him. I am worth it to Him. His love poured out on a cross.
Easter is the reason we can be free from sin and shame and have hope for new beginnings. It’s everything.
It’s the reason I have less fear of death, yet also a stronger desire to live.
It’s why I have hope for my future and that of my loved ones. It’s reminding me to pray for people who are in prolonged seasons of their own Good Friday and Holy Saturday – the dark places of uncertainty and waiting.
Resurrection Sunday is for all of us. It’s a gift of love to us. It’s hard to understand and it’s not something we can control or dictate. We don’t know what it will look like, but we can trust it will be for our good. It will be beautiful. It will be what we need more than what we could necessarily say we want. In my life, it’s been better than I could have dreamed for myself. Worth the pain and waiting of Good Friday and Holy Saturday.
Today it’s Good Friday. The time to mourn, grieve, lament, and acknowledge the brokenness, sin, selfishness, cruelty, abuse, injustice, rejection, shame, and pain in the WORLD and in ME.
That’s what the cross is about. Making sure those things don’t have the final word. Atonement and payment for all of it – once and for all.
So that all can live free.
The cross is everything. It’s where the payment was made for the decision in Eden. No more payment is needed. Just receive and live free, in God’s love. The way it was always intended to be in the beginning.
Today we can pour out our hearts to a Savior who understands and grieves too. There are many things to mourn and release on Good Friday. Global and personal. Things have been done to us and we have done things to hurt others. Sometimes we didn’t do or say something, and that hurt others. Life is still messy and complicated. People are messy and complicated. I’m messy and complicated. That’s why I need Good Friday.