Tomorrow will mark the first Easter in 20 years that my husband and our kids haven’t gone to church. It will also be the first Easter that we haven’t had all five of our kids home. With three of them living on their own, that makes us four separate households and technically, we shouldn’t be gathering to celebrate.
These past few weeks have been hard on me. Even though I’m primarily home anyway, watching the fabric of our society change rapidly has been unsettling. So much is uncertain. And despite being certain of my resurrected Savior, I have a confession.
I’m grieving for friends and family who’ve been sick and quarantined.
I’m grieving for my mom, who has worked super hard to create a beautiful backyard space in anticipation of all of us gathering there for Easter this year. A home she bought not two years ago after a long journey of renting, finishing her Masters, finding a stable job all just shy of turning 60. Now thanks to COVID-19, that gathering will have to wait one more year.
I’m grieving for myself and fellow Christian writers who weren’t able to gather for the annual conference at Mt Hermon. I haven’t been able to go for three years and was finally set and paid, with a complete manuscript ready to go. I miss my Santa Cruz Mountains and the unique miracle of God placing the writer dream in my heart when I lived there over 30 years ago. I had no idea of who He was or that a Christian conference/retreat center existed right over the hill from where I lived and typed out the beginnings of my first novel at age 11. 2020 was supposed to be the year I finally set all obstacles aside and finished several WIPs, intent on writing a full, new novel per year going forward. It was supposed to be the year I reconnected with my writer friends and mentors, formed new friendships and professional relationships, and recommitted to writing no matter what.
Although I’m grateful we’ve had some warm weather in Idaho this week, and I’ve begun getting garden spaces ready in my yard and making plans for our spring projects of updating our deck and adding fencing, a trip to the home improvement caused me grief yet again. While we were picking out some plants outside, and determining which shrubs and trees we will buy later, two elderly ladies with medical masks in place struggled to push their carts over the hose blocking the path to the parking lot. My husband offered to help, and each of them refused with a polite “no thank you”. I’m nearly 100% certain they would have gladly accepted his gesture had the invisible virus not been present.
Yesterday, Good Friday, was a tough day for me. I felt fatigued, worn, and by the time I went to bed I felt as if I’d been crying all day even though I hadn’t. I felt guilty for not feeling more grateful, not having the resolve to focus on the good and the blessings that still exist in my life. Then it occurred to me…
Didn’t Jesus die for me for this purpose? For these moments when we as a society, as humanity, as individuals are weak, insufficient and failing? For the moments we are most vulnerable and least able to be strong?
I don’t know for sure, but all I know is I’m human and not God. Today I feel weak, sad, punished, vulnerable and unable. I pray that changes with the sunrise tomorrow.
For no matter how I feel, the power of Resurrection Sunday remains.