Come on in, friend! Pull up a chair, grab a cuppa, and let's chat! I'd love to share what God's been putting on my heart about the topics of family, femininity, and faith, and you do the same. If you want to go deeper, join my Facebook group for "This Side of Heaven", and be sure to subscribe to keep up with every new post (no spam, I promise!). I look forward to getting to know you and sharing the journey "this side of Heaven!"
If you have an interest in homeschooling in general, classical schooling specifically, and Classical Conversations even more specifically, check out the Columbia SC Moms Blog today where I share about "Homeschooling with Classical Conversations":
On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked...Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”....Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” John 20: 19, 21
Easter - a time of hope, of joy, of new clothes and new life and celebrations of faith and family. A wonderful, joyful time of year.
Unless your heart is broken and your emotions are tumbled inside out and upside down.
Unless God feels very far away and promises of new life ring hollow in the chasm that used to be your life.
Easter Sunday five years ago was a blur for me. We had buried our daughter Naomi two days before, on Good Friday. We were still anticipating and planning her memorial service. I was still recovering from major abdominal surgery and looking toward a second by the end of the month. And I would be returning to work soon, another moment to dread.
When Easter dawned, I went through the motions of dressing up, returning to church for the first time since Naomi's death. I worshiped externally, but my soul was in turmoil. I was grief-stricken, confused, and anxious about the future.
That's why Jesus' words on the first Resurrection Sunday resonate with me. The disciples were also grief-stricken, confused, and anxious. Yes, they had seen the empty tomb that morning, but they didn't understand. Why had Jesus died? Where was He now? What was happening? And what would happen to them?
When Jesus finally appeared to them, His first word spoke to all of their fears and sorrows and anxious thoughts...and to mine.
Peace...because Jesus was with them again.
Peace...because God's power was greater than anything on earth, including death.
Peace...because their lives now had new purpose.
Are you in turmoil? Is the promise of life and resurrection ringing hollow to you today? My friend, I want you to have the hope of peace today, resurrection peace.
Peace...because Jesus is alive and present with us everyday, to strengthen and comfort and guide us.
Peace...because in spite of what your circumstances may be screaming about life being chaotic and meaningless, Jesus' resurrection shows that God is in control, His power is greater, and His plan will prevail.
Peace...because your life, even in the pain, has purpose. You may not be able to see it yet - neither could the disciples - but God will make it clear in time.
Easter is ever so much more than spring and new life and colored eggs. It is about an empty cross and an empty tomb. It is about God's power, and Jesus' presence, and our purpose.
And this year, even if your life has been turned upside down, it can be a time of peace.
There are no "red letter words" today, because on Saturday, Jesus was in the tomb. He said nothing. And I am sure the silence was deafening for those who loved Him. With that in mind, I am sharing an article I wrote several years ago, hoping that it will continue to encourage others, especially those "stuck in Saturday".
"The women who had come with Jesus from Galilee followed Joseph and saw the tomb and how his body was laid in it. Then they went home and prepared spices and perfumes. But they rested on the Sabbath in obedience to the commandment." Luke 23:55-56
No one talks about Saturday.
Plenty has been said about Good Friday, the day Jesus was crucified. A day of anguish and accusations, darkness and defeat. Friday was the worst, darkest day in the disciples’ lives. All of their hopes were dashed, nailed to a cross, buried in a tomb.
And Easter Sunday – we know a lot about that. Jesus alive! The grave empty! A day of joy, hope, and miracles!
But no one talks about Saturday.
Two gospels skip it entirely, as if anxious to leave the darkness behind in exchange for the glory of Easter. But Jesus’ followers did not have that luxury. They had to live through Saturday, with no idea that Sunday would hold a miracle. Luke tells us what they did.
That’s it. They awoke Saturday morning, if they slept at all, possibly angry that the sun dared to rise when their world had ended. They probably spent time together – the women making plans to anoint Jesus’ body. The men slowly finding one another, still hiding in fear, perhaps voicing their regret for the past. “If only I hadn’t run away…I wish I hadn’t denied him…”
But mostly, they rested.
That’s what Saturday was made of. Rest. Reflection. Remembering. Regret. Remorse. And the realization that Friday had changed them forever.
Most of us have experienced a Good Friday moment, when the world as we knew it ended. What was it for you? Was it the end of a marriage? A cancer diagnosis? The loss of your job? A phone call from your child’s school? The death of a loved one? Or maybe a season of financial troubles, or a season of abuse by a parent or a spouse?
My “Good Friday” was March 9, 2009, when I realized that the baby I’d carried for 18 weeks had died. In that moment, my world ended, and I was plunged into the darkest place emotionally that I had ever been. I clung to God, desperate for His comfort and peace.
Then one day it was “Saturday.” The rest of the world went on as normal. Friends were pregnant with babies who lived. Co-workers laughed and joked. But I was stuck in my Saturday of remembering, of wondering if I could have changed things “if only.” Of resenting those who wanted me back to “normal” when I was forever changed, and those who tried to tell me God was still in charge. Of railing at God, my source of comfort, for not protecting me from hurt in the first place. Of reflecting on Scripture, trying to understand how God’s love and power co-exist with tragedy in the lives of His children.
Saturday begins when the worst pain is behind you, but a throbbing ache has taken its place. When the sun dares to shine, but your world is still dark. When the abuse is in the past, but not the hurt and shame. When you are no longer hemorrhaging, but neither are you healed. When the rest of the world expects you to be “over it”, but you’re not.
Where are you? Have you experienced the darkness of Good Friday? Do you feel stuck in your Saturday, not really sure where God is and why it seems he withheld his hand of protection from your life? We, too, can follow the example of Jesus’ followers.
Rest. Reflect. Retreat from the frenzy of the world. Talk with others. Don’t be afraid to ask God the hard questions. And do all of this with an element that the disciples didn’t have.
They didn’t know what Sunday would hold. They weren’t waiting for a miracle. They were just waiting.
But we know that Jesus rose, and just as He did on that first Easter, God longs to move us from Good Friday to Resurrection Day.
When that resurrection comes, it will not erase the past. Easter Sunday did not change the fact that the crucifixion, in all of its ugliness, had happened. His followers would never forget that day. And there was no “getting back to normal” either. They didn’t return to their former lives of following an itinerant teacher and healer around Judea. No, they went forward into their “new normal” characterized by God’s power and presence in a way they had never dreamed possible.
But first, you have to get through Saturday.
I've spent much longer in my Saturday than I wanted to, but I’m also learning to embrace it – the time to rest, to reflect, to remember, even to rail against my Maker. In the process, I’ve learned to trust Him again, and every now and again I get a glimpse of the resurrection power that awaits, when I also experience God’s power and purposes and presence in a new way. Maybe you are there, too, living between the bookends of Good Friday grief and Easter Sunday glory. May you, too, find the rest you need in preparation for his resurrection power in your life.
Father, my Good Friday experience wiped me out. I’ve never hurt so badly in my life. Now it’s “Saturday” and I feel stuck and sad and full of questions that may never be answered. Help me, please. Hold me through Saturday, even when I rail against you. Use my Saturday for your glory. And give me the perseverance and hope to wait for "Sunday" and to trust you to resurrect my buried dreams into something that speaks of your power and presence in my life. Amen.
Welcome! My name is Kristi. I am a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, a teacher, a writer, a musician... but most of all a child and worshiper of God discovering that even in life's messes, God is still good. Learn more about me and my journey here!
Subscribe to keep up with This Side of Heaven. As a special thank you for trusting me with your time online, I will send you my e-book, Dear mom of a baby in heaven, for free.
Support This Side of Heaven by shopping with these companies!
Christian Book Distributors!