I hope that all is well with you. Unless one has young, school age children, or is religious, I know that the Easter holiday isn’t always a big event in the States. It’s a bigger deal in Europe, in the Catholic countries, where everyone has Good Friday and Good Monday off, so it becomes at least a 4 day weekend. My two youngest children attended a Jesuit university in the US, and even there they didn’t get Good Friday or Monday off, and it was just a normal weekend. And although religion has always been an important part of my life, it’s a very personal choice, and I don’t press it on my readers. For both family and religious reasons, I love everything about Christmas and what it stands for, and getting my family together for Christmas. And although we enjoy Easter too, I think that the symbolism of Easter is an important one, whether one is religious or not. The essence of Easter, and the ‘high point’, the whole point, is ‘resurrection’, the rebirth, the rising from the ashes, from an extremely dark time, into rebirth and renewal. I cherish the reminder every year, and love to share it with you, while I remind myself of what it means.
We ALL have dark times in our lives. I don’t know a single person who hasn’t had them. Some people are very lucky, and nothing too shockingly awful has happened to them. But for most of us, we’ve taken some hard hits in our lives: the loss of people we love, the passing of our parents, the loss of a child, or a best friend, or a failed marriage and divorce, the loss of a job we counted on, or some really shocking blow that left us reeling from a loss or a betrayal. I’ve had my share, and probably you have too. It is a common bond we all share, the loss of my son to suicide at 19, the loss of two marriages I cherished, some bumps in my work life, the betrayal of a friend, an embezzlement I experienced several years ago from one of my most trusted employees. I worry about my kids, myself, my life, our health, my kids’ happiness, our home. We’ve all had some disappointments, and life can look pretty dark for a time, while you struggle through it. Sometimes, it looks so dark, you can’t even see the tunnel, let alone a light at the end of it. I’ve been there, and I write about it. And I’m sure you’ve been there too. And what I LOVE about Resurrection, whatever your beliefs, is that it is a reminder that not only will you make it through the tunnel, but that sometimes after one of those dark times, the light at the end of the tunnel is so bright, it’s almost blinding—–the reminder that you will be revived and reborn and renewed and refreshed and come out of it stronger than ever. Wow!! I LOVE that!! Not only can we survive the dark times, but we can rise above them, and recover from them. We can be better than ever. What could be better?
I’ve watched my kids go through hard times too, at every age, small problems when they were younger, and real life challenges as they get older: a divorce at the end of heartbreak, physical challenges, the loss of their brother, the death of their father, my late ex-husband who was a wonderful person we all loved. They didn’t always get the jobs they wanted, or into their first choice colleges, they’ve had breakups with their partners, lost pets they loved, and several of them have lost friends to accidents or illness. No one is exempt from hard times and dark times…..and just as I have seen in my own life, I have watched my children come through these dark challenges, struggle to their feet and rise again, with a feeling of rebirth and renewal, and find the strength and courage to come out of the pain of a dark time, and feel resurrected into a new phase, to go on with hope again. Resurrection is a powerful force and phenomenon or us all, and a great thing to remember while we go through the tough stuff. And every year, with Easter, we get the reminder again that life is not about crucifixion and suffering, although that’s part of it—-but even more importantly, life is about resurrection into hope and newness of life again. We get to heal, and walk away from the hard times. We have a chance to be resurrected from whatever challenge we’ve been through. It is the essence of hope.
What I wish for you, as I always do, is resurrection and renewal, recovery, healing, rebirth…..and the revival of hope in your heart again. May you feel resurrected, and may you feel brand new and alive again. And may hope be born in your heart again, and again, and again.