For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son -John 3:16
As I sat in church this morning, with my family at my side…..my heart was internally aching.
Easter Two-thousand Fourteen, had been so different for me. In fact, just four days prior, I had given birth to our little Audrey….and my only worry was whether I was going to be discharged from the hospital in time to be home to put out Easter baskets filled with skipping ropes and bubbles, and to be able to hide colorful plastic candy-filled eggs around our home.
I did make it home in time. One day before to be exact….and although our holiday tradition included attending the Easter morning service at our church, I am not certain I can really say I ever took a minute to realize the true significance of the day.
Audrey slept through the entire service, and I can remember feeling truly proud and full of joy as we sat there as a family of five. The day continued on to include beautiful weather and quality family time. The only holiday we would ever get to spend with our daughter was perfect.
But this year…..Easter Two-thousand fifteen, was different. As our now returned to family of four sat there in the exact same building…this year felt different. This day took on a whole new significance…and as I listened….I mean really listened to the Easter story, and of the death and suffering of Jesus…for the first time in my twenty-six years my heart truly felt it.
I realized that God not only knew my pain and suffering that has come with child loss…but that he too has lived it…that he too has experienced the same pain as me. With that, he also had the power not only to stop the suffering of his son at any time…but that he had the power to prevent his death entirely. He had the ability to change the story…..but that would also have meant changing all of ours as well. He chose the ultimate sacrifice of his child so that I could have the chance of eternal life….so that my Audrey could live again. A sacrifice I am eternally grateful for. A sacrifice I know I would have never been able to make.
This morning I felt the heaviness of the day. I felt the pain of his followers and parents as they watched their son die while not understanding God’s plan. I have questioned the exact same questions of the why’s and how’s that they did that day. I know what it is like to feel the pain of Friday….while not knowing that Sunday’s coming.
I am fortunate enough to know God’s bigger plan of his Son’s death. That in three days he rose from the dead on that Sunday, and that because Jesus’s death was not the end of the story, there is a new found hope and trust in the Lord.
Audrey may not have been sent here to save the world, but she has helped to save mine. I believe with all of my heart that he has a plan for her life that is bigger than I could have ever imagined. That his plan for mine has joy beyond what I am able to see right now.
Because of Jesus’s death…and his resurrection, I do have the trust that “my bigger picture” is for my good and not to cause me pain or harm. That no matter how hard or how awful things seem right now that maybe not in three days or three years for that matter….but that someday my Sunday will too come and I will finally be able to look back and understand his plans in full.
Until then, I continue to be thankful, to follow, and to trust in not only the joys that I am given…but in the trials that come my way.