Today is the second Easter since our daughter was born. The second Easter since she passed away. My second Easter as an empty nester in her mid twenties.
It’s a difficult holiday because of all the things I wish I could do: the egg hunts, the pretty frilly dresses, the big baskets left by the Easter bunny, the children’s books about the resurrection.
But it’s also a hopeful holiday for a grieving heart. Hope because Sunday came for Jesus, and Sunday is coming for me.
It’s hard because there are so many times when I feel like I’m stuck in Saturday. Good Friday feels like it has come and gone, but I’m in the in between phase. Still on earth yet missing my daughter who has gone to heaven before me. I’m still waiting for my own day, when I can hold her in my arms again. And while I try not to live that way, just wishing each day away until I can see Aria again, it is the hope of that day that keeps me going.
While we were still in the hospital after giving birth to Aria, Brian and I had a conversation about Easter and what it meant to us. I said to him, “If there is no heaven, I’m done here. If I don’t have the hope of seeing Aria again, I don’t want want to live another day on this earth.” In this moment, my faith was being rocked and shaken harder than ever before. Was my faith going to overcome my pain? Was I going to keep trusting in a God who was allowing me to lead an earthly life filled with so much agony?
Somehow, despite so many prayers that look a lot more like me screaming angry frustrations at God, I’ve grown to trust Him more than ever before. I’ve leaned on Him in the moments when I’m walking through more than I can handle. He hasn’t always rescued me in the way I wanted, but He has carried me through. I know this because I’m still here, and without Him I wouldn’t be.
I don’t know where you may be in your life today. I don’t know if you are like me, and your heart is hurting in an unimaginable way. But I do know that Sunday is coming. All will be made new. Every tear will dry. And this is why I celebrate. This is why I hope. This is why I live.