Mrs Williams

Easter 2012

on 08/04/2012

I have lots of blogs I could write today, I could tell you about how lent went (very well on some challenges, pretty poorly on others), I could write about my home-made hot cross buns (not great), I could write about the egg-celent easter fayre my church put on yesterday and how a new guy came to our church because of it, I could write about the hilarious video I’ve spent the weekend making for my gorgeous friend Carla who is getting married in 3 weeks and whose bridal shower I cant go to as its in the states.

But today is for something else. Today is Easter, and I want to write about that.

I try hard not to force my faith down my friends throats, I believe what I believe, they generally know roughly what that is, and I live in certain ways because of that, but I don’t like to put that onto anyone too forcefully because I think they deserve the right to believe what they believe as much as I do. I’ll chat about it to people who ask, but I don’t go on about it too much.

But this morning in church I realised how much I am shaped by the story of Easter. I know I probably should have known that already as a life-long Christian and churchgoer, but somehow it was only this morning that it clicked that the Easter story is MY story. It’s amazing that it happened, but its most amazing because is HAPPENS! My life is the story of death defeated and life in all its fullness, not just death defeated on that day 2000 years ago, but death defeated just a few years ago in my heart.

My Christian journey has been long and winding with moments of deep certainty, elation and fulfillment as well as questions, hurt and doubt. But around 4 years ago I went through a real dark time when I just didnt get it any more, I  didnt connect with church or faith or God. I felt so alone, and so hurt and damaged by the experiences that got me there. I started to make some bad decisions, tell lots of lies and stopped caring about most peoples opinions or feelings,  I wasn’t out and out nasty, but I didn’t mind ignoring the opinions of people I’d respected for years. I stopped going to church, and tried to run away from all of the things that had held me in church throughout my childhood and adolescence. I was so hurt and angry and deeply damaged that I couldnt take any more, so I decided not to be open or vulnerable anymore. Church jargon talks about sin and shame, and as much as those words don’t make sense to everyone, I cant think of many better ones to describe my life, my choices or my state of mind at that time.

One of the reasons I was so angry was that God had brought me out of a situation that was bad for me, but by this point I couldn’t see why anymore. I didn’t seem to be getting anywhere that was any better than the old life, and I felt so angry that I had lost so much and gained so little. It was a real wilderness experience, and although they are mentioned throughout the bible, I felt like the first person to go through it! Sara Groves sings a song about the experience the children of Israel had in the desert after leaving Egypt which says ‘I’ve been painting pictures of Egypt, but leaving out what it lacks, cos the future feels so hard and I wanna go back. But the places that used to fit me cannot hold the things I’ve learned, those roads were closed off to me while my back was turned’ and that was exactly how I felt!!

There aren’t many times in my life that I’ve felt I’ve heard from God, I don’t get booming voices or prophetic dreams, but during that darkness, God did speak to me. He spoke to me about having a plan for my life, and about what I needed to do to be in line with that plan. He spoke to me about needing some security and stability in my life, and challenged me to go and find that. He spoke to me about the need for real relationships that are raw and honest and accountable. I know that not everyone who reads my blog believes this stuff, and like I said, I don’t want to ram it down anyones throat, but for me, there was no doubt that God spoke to me, and changed me.

Since then there have been lots more twists and turns in the road, but I have found some of the security and stability I needed in the form of a wonderful church who have loved me through a lot of the hurt. I have met a wonderful man, and understand now what God was preparing me for, and I have learned some hard but fulfilling lessons about obedience from my incredible parents who have upped-sticks and moved to an incredibly difficult situation in order to serve a God who needs obedient people. I am a changed person because of the work of a resurrected God.

This Easter, I am in awe of a God who would send his son to die because he thinks I am worth it. I am blown away by the power of my God who raised Jesus from the dead and defeated death and sin. But I am also the product of a resurrection story, I have been brought from a place of death and darkness into a place of life and hope, and although I dont like to ram my faith down peoples throats, I do want to share this experience because it is so integral to who I am. I have friends who, right now, are in those dark places and who need to hear that there’s another side to them. Some who believe in God and need him to intervene, and some who don’t believe in God but need something to happen.

So this Easter, I danced and I clapped and I grinned as I sang MY song ‘Oh Happy Day, You washed my sin away, Oh Happy Day, I’ll never be the same, forever I am changed!!”


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