March 30, 2017

The Memory of Easter

The other day as I walked through the grocery store I eyed my favorite candy—one that only comes out this time of year . . . the infamous mini Cadbury eggs. (Don’t tell peanut M&M’s) I almost giggled to myself as I set a bag in the cart. For a second I was so excited, and then it hit me . . . another year had already passed.

I am starting to wonder about time—how it never stops—seems a little shady to me. Like maybe we can’t really trust it at all. Because just when I think I get it “all” figured out, time seems to slip away and change things.

So then I got to reflecting over Easter’s gone by.

I thought about the first Easter we had with Shawn and Jordyn. We had overcome so much, but little did we know the battle of blending families and a murder trial that were yet to come.

I thought about Easters when I was just a kid—even then I thought I had life all figured out. I thought I knew what Easter truly meant. I thought I understood what Christ had suffered for me.

And then another Easter came to mind . . . six years ago—when for the first time in my life—I learned . . . I knew nothing at all. 

That year—when Easter came—I wasn’t sure I was ready to celebrate a holiday that promised grace. I couldn’t see past the concept of it being anything more than just for sinners. I was stuck in my fog. I was scared, I was full of hate, and I felt alone.

A friend of mine had offered to take Easter pictures of my kids. The day finally came and as I got them ready, a large pit grew in my stomach. Fear echoed through my mind. I was bitter about a family picture that was never taken; I became reluctant that Easter wasn’t going to be worth celebrating.

This powerful belief grew in my mind . . .  that I wasn’t capable of feeling His love—and I wasn’t worthy of grace.

The drive to her house was long—mainly because I couldn’t allow myself to get out of the car. Each time I drove up to her driveway, I would pass it by. Soon—however—I was unloading car seats and showing kids inside.

My bitter heart grew colder with every glance at my children. I had put them in the same outfits they had worn just weeks earlier to their father’s funeral—a decision I had begun to regret. My eyes burned as I choked back the tears that had fallen all day.

Cheryl got them all seated and began putting live bunnies on their laps. Soon they were in position and she pulled out the camera. And that is when the miracle happened—grace found a blackened heart. My babies—all five of them—looked up at me and with big blue eyes . . . and they were smiling. In that moment I could almost hear the heavens singing and the simple truth of grace—Atonement—bathed over me.

And that is when I knew Easter—and all the love of the sacrifice Christ made in that garden, and on that cross, and in that tomb . . . was not just for all us sinners—it was for the broken hearted, the humiliated, and the lonely.

It was for me.

My babies might have been smiling at me that day—or maybe they could see all the angels that had been surrounding us, I will never know for sure—but one thing is for sure . . . their love—for a split second—let me feel His love.

And that is—to me—what grace has become. Not a perfect road, or an easy path along this journey we call life . . . but a glimpse of light on days when the world has gone dark; a feeling of love in a moment when we have never felt so alone; and a moment of hope to remind us of our worth—our eternal significance, in a way that no one on earth could ever show us. Grace, becomes a tangible and daily part of our life, when we realize His love is sent in the smallest of ways that help us remember to never give up the fight, to live on, and to strive every day to be that light for someone else.

We are not alone. He is with us, whether we ask Him to be or not. He knows personally the pains that we suffer, and He chose to be the One to carry them all when it gets unbearable. He chose to walk where you have walked; He chose to feel what you feel; but even more, He chose to die . . . for YOU. But the most exciting part is what happened three days later when Mary went to the tomb and found that . . . He lives again.

And He lives inside of you.

Christ is the #princeofpeace. He is the one who comes and brings us hope in the dark. He is the life and the light. With Him . . . we are eternal, enough, and whole. With all my heart I believe this promise. With all my soul I have felt these assurances. And with all my might, I will never stop fighting to find the truths He created just for me . . . and YOU.

We are enough. We are worthy of His love. And we are not forgotten.

At Easter we get another chance to reflect on the Savior’s life and example. It is strange to think about how much His life did for us—and even stranger to think how much He did for us in death.

Sometimes I am so jealous that—when He walked this earth—I wasn’t one of the twelve apostles, or one of the many that witnessed His miracles. Although, I think it is clear that even they didn’t realize all of His significance even though they could see Him face to face. It is hard to imagine denying Christ when He was within your view—and yet we have been promised He is close by us today, and how many times have we forgotten Him?

So we have Christmas and Easter to help us keep Him in our view. With so many memories of candy and baskets—bunnies and chocholate—it is easy to forget the most significant Easter of all—the one that changed everything.

So this Easter, along with remembering the death of the Savior, let us also remember His life—and the resurrection. The three days after Christ hung on the cross—when He lived again. And He still lives. Within each one of us, there is truth and light and hope. Don’t let a moment of His love be forgotten.

Easter is about grace, and grace is about love, and love is only possible with and through eternal truth. And the truth is . . . He died for us, and He lives in us. The prince of peace, the Savior, the Redeemer. He lives, and because of Him . . . so will we.


To read original bunny picture story:
Easter picture post


















Visit Mormon.org to learn more about the principles of peace and how you can grow closer to the Savior. 

more about the resurrection


1 comments:

Stephanie Sanders said...

Beautifully written!! Praise the Lord!! Thank You for dying for US Jesus, We love you!! Thank You Ashlee Great Post!!

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