Sunday, April 16, 2017

Easter Morning Hope

Easter Morning 2017

The sun has not risen yet. After awkwardly stumbling down the dark hallway, Lilli opens the cupboards in the dark kitchen, looking for the iphone. She accidentally knocks the mug holder that is on the counter onto the floor. Mugs clatter and roll.

It is my turn to get up with her this morning and at the sound of the fallen mugs I already feel my temper rising within me.

It is Easter morning and I wanted to wake up differently.

Not this way.

Not this way that we wake up every day here in this house with a teenager who has autism and cerebral palsy.

I didn’t want to take her to the potty and wash her 13 year old hands for her. I wanted to sleep. I didn’t want to have to drag the baby gate out and put it up so she won’t repeatedly go down the hallway and open up all the bedroom doors and turn on the lights, waking everyone else up.  I didn’t want to have to hide all the devices quickly in the cabinet before she came looking for them, crying for them. I didn’t want to have to push the table back against the wall that she always yanks out because the lego bin is tied to the legs of it  because she always dumps the legos. All of this before I get my first cup of coffee.

I didn’t want it.

Lillil's current corner. The table I push back every day. I have to give her a corner to try and keep the legos sort of in one place. The laundry basket is tied to the table in hopes that she won't dump the entire basket multiple times a day.  She tries. My plan doesn't really work that well. 

I feel anger, but my anger is strangely directed. It is not toward my daughter.

Whenever I feel this anger, it is because I feel so alone. I feel angry at people who judge us for looking for answers to help our daughter, and judge the decisions we make.  I feel angry at people who have formed opinions about us, yet they will never have to live this life we live. They have never walked in our shoes. They have no idea what it is like. Others come to help and go. But in the end, we are the ones who are left to deal with how our daughter is. This is why we are always searching for ways to figure out what happened and how we can help her. It is because I worry about the future, and I see years of this same scenario playing out before me in my mind with no relief. I think about how I will be living this same morning routine when I am 70, and it hurts my heart more than I can describe.

She falls on the floor and cries. I want to cry. I am so not up for this today. She comes to me a dozen times, pulling on me. Crying. She finally gets settled with watching Cinder Elmo on her mini DVD player, probably the 25th one we’ve bought for her since she’s broken all the rest.

And then I sit down with my coffee. I take a breath, and I think, it’s Easter.

Thank God it’s Easter. Thank you Jesus, I need today. We all do.

Tears fall. Tears of sorrow and relief at the same time. Sorrow for the deep pain we all experience in this life. Relief that there is hope.

These words I have clung to for the past few weeks:

So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while.
What does that even mean? Wonderful joy ahead? It means we don’t even know how amazing it is going to be when we get to heaven. Because this life is darn hard, and only getting harder. And this hope we have, through Jesus Christ, of heaven after this life is over...this is what gets me through. And these "trials" in life? Wow, I don't even know what a true trial is. I am blessed. Despite our daily challenges, we have freedom in this country and so many blessings to be thankful for in life.
The current verse above my doorframe.

Easter is Better Than Christmas

Easter is truly the best day of the year. It is the holiday of hope, of miracles, of redemption and salvation. Easter is love and joy and thankfulness. Easter is the most amazing day we have. It’s better than Christmas! I tell my children.

Ahhh, wait a second, better than Christmas? I don’t think so… some of you are thinking right now.

I explained to my kids that we celebrate Jesus being born at Christmas, and that’s an amazing thing - to celebrate his birth! You could argue that we wouldn’t even have Easter if we did not have Christmas!

But we would not have the eternal hope we have if we did not have Easter.

Without Easter, Christmas is just someone else’s birthday.

Yes today there will be chocolate, and baskets, and an egg hunt in our back yard. There will be hours of family time and food and laughter and hugs. We will truly enjoy today together. But we will remind our young children why we are celebrating today. My seven year old would tell you that it’s because Jesus died on the cross for us. But it’s not just because He died, it’s because he rose again. This is nonsense to many. Others do not know why we believe this. Why do we trust so deeply in something that others joke about and see as complete ridiculousness?

I would say tell me what faith is. Tell me what hope is. Tell me what you think this life is about. Why are we even here? Is this life all there is?

I hope for things in this life, but I have no guarantee of anything of what will happen on this earth. But I have a guarantee in heaven. And that is a hope I can count on. That is why I celebrate. That is why I can go on. Because of this:

1 Peter 1:3-7  (NLT)

The Hope of Eternal Life
3 All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, 4 and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. 5 And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see.

6 So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. 7 These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.

I pray that my children have an understanding of true hope as they grow up. Because this life is hard. But today gives us a reminder of our hope. Blessings to you and yours on this beautiful Easter morning. Enjoy your families. Enjoy the eggs and chocolate. And be reminded of HOPE.

Hebrews 13:14 NLT
For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come. 

1 comment:

  1. Loved...every...raw...true...heartfelt word❤️