Last year right around Easter a big shift happened in my life. The dust started to settle from the loss of Annabelle. A lot happened in our lives in a very short amount of time. Two weeks after we lost Annabelle we had moved into my parent’s house and then 2 weeks after that my husband and I resigned from our jobs. Then 4 weeks after that we had left the church I grew up in since I was ten years old. I remember sitting in my parent’s house thinking to myself “here I am living with my parents and it’s not just me. I have two little ones, my husband is in a huge transition, and I’m trying to cope with a loss of my baby. What just happened?” Everything I ever thought my life would be had just changed within a matter of two months. I had no clue how I was able to grieve with two little kids yet alone I didn’t even know how to express to them all that was happening. As kids, you look to your parents for answers and I felt like I had none. I did not know at the time what was happening. I was living day by day because that is what you do when you’re grieving.
I remember imagining myself on a battlefield feeling as though I had just been shot in the middle of an open field and it was as if everything played in slow motion. I could see it playing out just like the movies show it. A soldier gets shot, you start to see him collapse, his knees hit the ground, everything in his hands drop. A film strip of his life flashes before his mind’s eye, his wife and children playing, childhood memories, and there the solider lies where he just surrendered his life. This was how I felt. I felt like my life just ended but the only difference is I’m still living. So now what?
I knew with all my heart Annabelle was in the arms of Jesus. She was whole, free, and perfect. I wanted to feel and know that same experience and the only place I knew that was to be at the feet of Jesus. At this point all I wanted was to soak in worship. I craved worship like never before and I wanted to feel the arms of Jesus as He would wrap me up like a new born baby would be wrapped up in their mother’s arms. I will never forget my first time back at church. It was two weeks after we had lost Annabelle, we were still on staff at the church as Junior High Pastor’s and I didn’t care about anything else but to get in the sanctuary to worship and my appearance showed. I walked in wearing workout pants, gym shoes, a t-shirt with a zip up jacket, hair in a pony tail and hardly any make up on. I didn’t want to face people, I didn’t want to talk to anyone and the last thing I wanted to do was to pretend to be okay. I wasn’t there to socialize; I was there for a purpose. This was by no means easy for me. But I did it. As we walked into the sanctuary to find our seat the only thing I knew to do was to hold my husband. I held him so tight during worship. He was that safe and secure place for me just the way I felt in the arms of Jesus. A few songs in I whispered to my husband “I have to go kneel at the front of the stage and worship. All I was imaging was that soldier on the battlefield and Annabelle in the arms of Jesus. So I let go of my husband and walked down to the front of the stage and knelt down; I lifted my hands to the point of surrender and began to sing out my praise to Jesus. My husband joined me and I felt like the room was completely empty and God was just pouring out his love on us.
Something happened in me that night. I was at a point in my life where I truly felt like I had nothing to give. I want you to know we all experience this at one point or another. Maybe in a relationship, marriage, career, parenting, health, self worth, finances, ect. In these moments it is very natural to want answers, change and to experience freedom in your life. At this point we tend to feel hopeless, helpless, all strength is gone. The thoughts going on in your mind don’t seem to line up with anything, your faith seems so weak to the point of maybe questioning your it. These are the moments where you truly feel you can throw in the towel and give up. When these moments hit in our lives, rather than throwing in the towel and giving up, what if we can understand the pain that is truly going on? To understand that what seems to be the end is just the beginning.
Having lived through ALL of those moments and truthfully still going through a few of them, what I learned that night in worship was to be vulnerable, real and raw to myself and to God. Even though I felt like I had nothing left to give, I did. I gave my worship. All my doubts, fears, questions and weaknesses I surrendered to God. When I lifted my hands it was my true picture of my surrender.
I saw Jesus at the cross as Jesus surrendered His life and God surrendered His son. This was true surrender. It amazed me to think about how I felt alone but to know Jesus felt alone at the cross too. In the Bible it says God turned his face and when Jesus cried out in Mark 15:34 "My God, my God why have you forsaken me." Jesus was alone in that moment. Then I thought about how He knows more than anyone what it feels like to be venerable, real and raw. He was nailed to a cross for man to see, thorns on his head, nails in his hands and feet, covered in blood for you and for me. Here I stood in so much pain when to think how He was exposed to all the sins of the world where there he hung in ALL pain. In this moment I realized there is no one on the earth that can possibly know my pain better than the one who bore ALL pain, Jesus. That one moment of feeling alone quickly left me and there I was in the arms of Jesus. He knows every detail of what you are going through and when you feel alone God’s got you right where He wants you to be because He wants you to turn to Him, the one who felt alone too. The most beautiful moment happened in all of History the day Jesus was nailed to the cross. Jesus surrendered and God took action. In other words, The
Check this out here is the most beautiful exchange that took place! God took Action!
What happened after Jesus gave his last Breath? In Mark it says “The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.” What was that curtain? In Exodus it tells us that the curtain was made to separate the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place. The curtain was used to separate man from God’s presence. The curtain was too High to reach and to thick to tear so only God could have carried out such an incredible feat. This means NOW that the curtain was torn God’s presence was now accessible to all. God sent his Son Jesus so that we can now have access to Him. In Hebrews 4:16 it says “We can now boldly enter into God’s presence" and in Hebrews 6:19-20 "We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf." So you know what this tells me? When we feel like we are in bondage or the pain or hurt we are experiencing seems to be unbearable that is the curtain that wants to hold us back but remember God tore the curtain for you and me to run to Him so that when we come with pain His presence can heal us.
Happy Easter Everyone!