By Margo Gregory
1 Corinthians 15:24-26 Then comes the end, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father, after he has destroyed every ruler and every authority and power.For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.The last enemy to be destroyed is death.
I love Easter and springtime. It always reminds me that after the cold and darkness of winter comes new life, new creation. All things become new (2 Cor. 5:17) and every day is a new day. These are things I have to remind myself of when my life is feeling bleak or things aren’t going the way I wanted them to go. Or on days when my grief journey has taken its toll on me and I succumb to my bed to escape. Every day is a new day. I’ll do better tomorrow.
I wanted to write this feeling healed. It has been almost ten years since the sudden death of my husband. I have pulled off getting my kids raised and out of school. I downsized my home and my belongings, and gotten my career back on track. I’ve found a wonderful community of friends, and my kids are thriving. God has been guiding me in all of the right directions, and I was finally able to see Easter morning on the horizon. So when Bailie asked me to write this post for Easter in February, I was ready – I had so much Easter to talk about. My life had truly been resurrected.
On March 12, after working a ten-hour day, I got the news around ten o’clock in the evening that my sister-in-law had been in a car accident and was being taken to the hospital. My initial reaction was disbelief: WAIT! What? …this cannot be happening!
By April, my disbelief turned into grief and anger. My sis was there for so many important parts of my life: she introduced me to my husband, she went on our first double date, she stood in for me at my wedding rehearsal, she was there for the birth of two of my children, she was a wonderful sister-in-law and aunt. How has this happened? How does one family experience so much loss in one lifetime? And so I find myself thrust back into grieving. Lent is here again, and I lift my voice like the Psalmists, asking “How long O Lord?”
I wanted to write a blog that told you that life goes on that it gets better. That we can have hope because Easter is coming.
I don’t have any of the answers. My mind feels frazzled once again. Once again, I struggle to pull thoughts together. Once again, I fail to remember important things. Once again, I mess up booking my clients or let things slip or drop the ball on something. Grief feels like two steps forward and three steps back.
For now, I will be angry; because that’s the stage of grief I’m in. My mind will be scattered; it is what it is. It’s what I feel for now, and as I have tried to teach others the last ten years, feel what you feel. You can’t run away from grief. You can’t cover it, you can’t ignore it – it will catch up to you at some point in your life. I know this. I’ve done this. I will do it again.
I think that is what life is all about: getting up again and again. There will be days when I’m too tired and spent to deal and so I will sleep. I will rest and get back up and get back in the race. And that’s why Easter matters – because it reminds us that life is a cycle of death and resurrection.
I am still here. And so, I will stay steady on my course and continue to try to understand what my purpose is in this life. I may never know this side of Heaven, but I sure hope God does something with my life. I pray that my suffering may somehow allow someone else to admit theirs and know they are no alone. Others have journeyed the rough course and come out victorious on the other side.
God, thank you for this life you have given me. This resurrection life that I could not achieve on my own, but because of the hope I have in you, I may have life and have it more abundantly (John 10:10b). Thank you that you bore our suffering and you are with us in our pain. My pain is but an inkling of what you had to suffer on the cross. But thank you that you understand what we are going through and thank you for being there through it all and guiding us to our next destination. What a journey I could not bear had it not been for you. Thank you that you have done away with death altogether and that some day soon, we will all partake in the great resurrection.