This past Sunday, April 13th, I had the opportunity to hear Kyle Idleman’s awesome message and realized that this year’s Easter was going to be different. When I realized this I didn’t understand why I felt this way, so I began to the process of allowing God to open up my mind and heart.
Over the weekend, my dad who has been living out of state delivered special, exciting news that he would be moving back to Louisville because he had accepted a new job in this area! Since then I have been house hunting for him and reflecting back on all of the father-son moments I never got to have with him but excited about the opportunity to have them now. With all of that excitement, I have barely been able to really grasp how much of a blessing this was that my own dad was not going to be thousands of miles away, but that he would be right up the road. Receiving this news brought me such a tremendous joy…a joy that I had not felt in quite some time. I don’t even know what to do with myself but to give praises to God.
Walking into this week I knew that God isn’t done with revealing good news to me. This past Tuesday, we had our monthly all-staff meeting, where we get to worship God as a family and hear some exciting news, stories, and updates from all the different Southeast campuses. During worship, I began to completely release everything I had been thinking, feeling, and containing…the things that I had been trying to hide from God. We sang the song “Hosanna” by Hillsong UNITED and I began to feel overwhelmed by the Holy Spirit. This feeling of a love that was indescribable, a hug that was inescapable, and tears so uncontainable that they began to pour out of me. At this very moment, I began to realize that the life I have is completely blessed by the Lord and most days I don’t realize it. I am very loved and cared for by the people who surround me. Most days, I walk around waiting for a blessing or miracle from God, but in this moment I realized that blessings and miracles happen every day and are all around me. For example, most days the sun has a beautiful sunrise and sunset. The front row seat we get, to witness God’s creation is absolutely incredible. We wake up every morning with the same breath that God breathed in us to create life. Those three basic examples of how God performs these blessings on a daily basis are examples of the things we take for granted. Sometimes our blessings are the miracles. As we continued to worship as a staff family, we began to sing “Resurrecting” by Elevation Worship. This song expresses the announcement that the resurrection of Jesus Christ isn’t just a one-time event, it happens within us every day. The same power that raised Christ from that tomb is alive and in me! As I began to sing this song I absolutely lost myself. I could barely sing because I was overwhelmed by tears of joy and gratitude. My heart had never been reminded so warmly that Jesus had already defeated and conquered the grave. Walking into Easter, the joy that I have, the freedom I experience is because of the conquered grave, the living sacrifice that Jesus made for me. I can live unarrested from sin and that is the greatest blessing that has ever happened to me.
Through all of this, I continue to prep my heart for Easter and how impactful it is. The fact that Jesus died on the cross and suffered brutal beating for YOU and me, is incredibly mind-blowing. It is so inconceivable most people can’t seem to grasp this free gift of love that frees us from sin if we chose to accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior and be baptized. I can’t exactly quote a statement Kyle Idleman spoke this past weekend but it went something like this, if the innocence of Jesus can be beaten and whipped, why is it so hard for us to accept Him and repent then be baptized?