This post does have a lot to do with Resurrection Day. It has a lot to do with Jesus and all that He has done for us. It is pertinent to Easter weekend, but also to every single day for a Christian – disciple – a lover of Jesus Christ. So bear with me knowing that fact. Bear with me and believe me about that.
This week – Wow. Just Wow. What a weird week it was for me in my spirit, friends. What a weird day it still is for me today.
The section of scripture I am placing right below this paragraph is what I feel God is really asking me to mediate upon and work on with Him in my life right now. Maybe some of you are in a similar place. So, understand that this post is a display of the wrestling I am doing. It is not one that will show that I have finally grasped this, learned everything I need to about this, nor is it a story of my own personal triumph. Not at all. In fact, it is really a telling of the struggle I am facing in regard to all of it right now. God is growing this in me right now, friends. Most of the time, I would write about something like this once I come out the other side of it. He is leading me without question this time, in this area, to share the place I am in regard to all of this while I am thick in the MIDDLE of it all.
Ready? Here it is:
Today, we celebrate Resurrection Day – the day of all days. The day that Christ rose again and defeated the grave. The day we can celebrate that He is Risen! Today, this day, we celebrate the unquestionable fact that in doing so, He shows the world that it is truly “finished.” That death has lost it’s sting.
- Sin’s reign over us; it is finished.
- Death’s attempt to conquer all and lock us up forever – finished.
- Satan’s desire to keep us apart from God – it is finished.
- He has defeated it all – for us. He finished it.
This is SO Awesome. Please understand that I am not diminishing that. Christ is Risen and I am soooo happy about this. WE get to celebrate it. We get to live it. We get to know it, bask in it, revel in it and breathe it in. Praise Jesus, friends. Praise Jesus!
But this last week – passion week. This very day? I sit here in my home and think about how strange everything seemed to me all week long. I am thinking about how strange everything still feels for me today. Today, as we celebrate Him, we celebrate that it is “finished.”
Even while I celebrate along with many of you, I feel strange still – melancholy mingled with joy. I feel….weird. Saved, but weird all the same. Most of you who know me well would not be surprised about that – it kind of goes without saying. Yet I find myself in awe all the same at how strange of a bird I really am. I find myself wondering how many others out there are strange and weird the way that I am. I find myself wanting to share my part of this story with those who may be the same way.
I have to wonder: when all this happened almost 2000 years ago, was that mixture of feelings going on for many of the disciples of Christ too? Or were they all just….”happy?” Please don’t take this as me condemning anyone who is feeling nothing but elation today…that is not what this is about. I am simply sharing my heart today. My story that He is writing in this life of Annie as you read this. It is unfolding as you read it, dear friends. Still unfolding. Just like all of yours are – we all have a wonderful story that hopefully Jesus is still writing in our lives.
So I know…. leave it to me to bring the dark side into the equation – the not-so-feel-good-stuff at the exact time that most people are enveloped in the light side of things. But, I have been praying to Jesus about this all morning. Here is what I have been conversing with Him about:
Jesus I am so grateful – beyond that even, for all you have done for us. But not just today – every day. I don’t show it or express it every day, although I want to. I don’t want today to be the only day that I celebrate You and all you have done for me. I don’t want Good Friday every year to be the day that I mourn all that we did (and still do) to You, either.
Today as I celebrate that You have conquered the grave, I am keenly aware, (as much as I think I can be, which still falls way short) all at the same time, of why you had to even do it. I can’t shake that feeling right now, even though I am supposed to have “transitioned” from mourning on Good Friday, to celebrating here today, the fact that you are Risen. I am happy – I am grateful – I am thankful that you are alive and have conquered EVERYTHING. But I am still somewhat sad too.
Is there something wrong in my heart that I can’t just “move on” from the mourning piece of all of this? Is it an indication that somehow, some way, that means I am not in the right place with You and my relationship with You? Or is it simply that you have given me a spirit of empathy and these things are hard for me to move past in a mere two or three days?
By the way: If anyone out there is in a similar place with me today, you know what I mean when I say it’s hard to fight condemnation creeping in if you are experiencing this. Let’s just say it’s not “popular” or accepted very well even, to be one of the few who seems to be “dwelling” upon the ugly parts of all of this along with the good stuff. Not at all. And I get that. I understand that. But it doesn’t make it not be true for me.
So, I share the truth here. That’s what I do and will continue to do. Even if the truth isn’t pretty.
I sat in church last night and struggled. I struggled to celebrate. I thought this was because I myself, well, I haven’t felt well physically all week (to say the least) and that it was finally taking a toll on me emotionally. I was still in pain during the whole service, and after I was very cranky. I even took it out on my husband in front of a couple of people. I was not the normal “Annie” last night. Church brothers and sisters in Christ? I tried to stay away from them. I wanted to bolt out of there so I didn’t take anyone down with me in my misery. I didn’t want anyone to experience my black heart.
I was walking in condemnation all night long after this because I couldn’t move past all of it – the focus on self. Even while sitting there in service, I was hearing this in my head: (I couldn’t hold back the tears as this was happening, either)
“What is wrong with you? Look around. Look at everyone smiling. Everyone is happy and focused upon Jesus Christ right now, not on themselves, their pain, their problems. Can’t you do that? Why can’t YOU do that? You are so selfish.”
“You shouldn’t be here – people who are sensitive in the spirit are picking up on your vibes, sister. You are bringing people down.”
“Can’t you put aside all of this and focus upon Jesus and what He has done for you? You can’t even do that today – THIS day?”
Guess what? I loathe Satan.
Then, after praying a lot tonight and this morning, I realized there is probably something more going on. I’m going to try to articulate it, but I’m not sure that I can.
- I cry in my soul that Jesus Christ had to be crucified, beaten, mocked and flogged for our sins. Deep soul crying.
- It shatters me as I watched the Passion of the Christ and read the passages in Scripture about those last days Jesus walked this earth, even though I know that the way it “ends” is something to celebrate and is only the beginning of everything wonderful for each and every one of us who loves Him and accepts Him as our Savior.
- Simultaneously, I am so filled with peace and joy that Christ is risen – that “it is finished”, that I get to spend all eternity with Him in heaven, and that He is alive and actively loving us the way that only He can to this day. That He always will.
But it – the ugly part of it all? It doesn’t feel like it’s over for me. It may be for our eternity, but right now, something is still happening here. (By the way, show me a colorful easter egg right now, and I can’t be responsible for my reaction – hee hee).
My sin may be wiped out – and that’s excellent news. My eternity is secured, and that’s even better. But for me, I don’t feel it is finished. And that’s because not EVERYTHING is finished. The most important thing is (thank Jesus for that!) But I haven’t figured out how to find a way to live this life to the fullest and not long for home.
I am keenly aware of the fact right now that I not there yet. I am not in heaven. I haven’t walked out of the grave and into eternity yet. He IS with me – right this moment. Today, this day, He is with me. Today and every day. But “it” – this life on earth. “It” is not yet finished for me.
And guess what else? I don’t have a horrible life here on earth either. That’s what makes this longing for home so very strange. Why can’t I just be happy with this part and not wish I were there already? I don’t know. That’s the part He is working in me I guess.
So…I am being selfish. I am. And maybe that’s why I am so sad still. Not only because I am sad for what we and our sin have done to Jesus, our Savior. But because I am feeling sorry for me.
In the face of THAT, I am still feeling sorry for ME.
I am a sinner. I am a sinner who NEEDS her Savior.
Then I realized….I haven’t finished taking up my own cross yet, have I? I still have to live this life day to day taking it up and carrying it – dying to self. And it is painful. I must say, I really stink at the whole thing. I need my helper. I can’t carry it alone. I just can’t.
Yes, what I have realized, is that instead of celebrating what Christ has done for me to the utmost, I am still mourning what we did to Him. What we DO to Him. I am mourning more than I am celebrating.
I am still in mourning.
I am still grieving selfishly that I have to stay here. That I haven’t “finished” my walk on this earth. That He has conquered death for me, but I don’t get to go home yet. I want to remain here for my family and to be an instrument for Christ. Yet I want to go home at the same time. This week I couldn’t move past the desire to just go home.
It’s been a weird week, yes. And there are more to come.
My eyes continue to be opened to just how selfish, yet saved and redeemed, that I am. Those two things definitely can and do co-exist for this girl. Yes they most certainly do.
Guess that’s proof of why I need my Savior. Guess that’s proof – ongoing proof, that His sacrifice was and is absolutely necessary in order for us to enter into God’s kingdom.
I am the weird project on display – and it serves an awesome purpose. It is living evidence of why our King needed to live and die for us – living proof of why He had to conquer death and rise again for us to be saved.
I just pray that my weakness – my ugly – my selfishness – my struggle with the line between conviction and condemnation – I pray that all of it will display without question just how strong and sovereign and divine that Christ in me truly is.
I pray that my ongoing relationship with Him and my day to day learnings about relying upon Him and not self can be a living testimony to His grace.
- Maybe others who are blind might see Him.
- Maybe others will turn their eyes upon Jesus.
- Maybe others will crave and reach out and desire a relationship with Him.
Nothing we can do can justify ourselves or what we have done. Not. One. Thing.
Only His grace can save us. But hopefully our weird stories – the ones He is still letting unfold as we walk in Him, live on this earth in Him, long to go home one day with Him, will make all the weird weakness we experience shine light – much more light – upon just how truly wonderful that He is.
So glad nothing can separate us from Him. Not even death. I pray that this life doesn’t get in the way of our relationship with Him either. This girl is ready for the day she gets to have her glorified body. This chick wants to go home. But it is not finished – my time here yet. He will decide when it is.
Just as He always has. He will decide when we no longer have our own cross to carry.
HE will decide. He already did the hard part anyway.
Thank Jesus that we who know Him and accept Him as our Lord and Savior – thank HIM that we know the end of our story. I guess it’s just this middle part I am still working on, huh?
So let the weird-ness continue.
The weird – the really, really weird – kind of “weak”.