I woke up early enough today and with enough energy that I decided to take out my journal. I knew it had been awhile, but when I opened it I realized I had not journaled since the day before Ash Wednesday. For the entire Lent season I had not opened my journal once.
I read my last journal entry. Wow. It was very powerful. I’m not going to share much detail but that at the time I was feeling lonely, invisible, and needy; but ultimately it was about a realization as many of my journaling’s are.
I am going to share what I wrote today though, on Easter Sunday.
Easter is the symbol of resurrection. Resurrection is revival, rising again, renewal.
As I wrote this in my journal the same Bible verse that came to me as I open my eyes this morning came to me again.
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
This is not a promise to immediately rescue me from hardships or suffering, but a promise that God has a plan for my life regardless of my current situation. If I allow love to work through me and not let the circumstance define me, if I refuse to hold offenses or bitterness inside me, I can find health and prosperity in the midst of the tribulation. This is what the resurrection symbolizes to me. That even after the darkest day when all hope seems lost I discover that the tragedy, my “dark night of the soul”, was required to get me to where I am, it was the path. To develop, cleanse, restore me into who I am today.
Who am I today as compared to that dark night of the soul? I’m confident. Confident that no matter what I endure – I will prevail. That I can and WILL use trials, tribulations, obstacles as tools to grow. I will allow them to reveal and unleash the healing power of love that resides within me.
How do I know this? Adversity doesn’t build character- it reveals my true nature. If I can sit in my own discomfort and pain and not run from it, refusing to be discouraged or offended; through my adversities I can come to know myself. I can tap into the gifts of Grace, Compassion and Love.
I’m learning to extend these virtues more to myself as well. Even though the actions of others towards me could be seen as judge mental, hurtful, or even hateful – I can give Grace and Love to the situation. Not because I deem it to be ok, not because it doesn’t matter or hurt, but because I know it is the way to true freedom. I can choose to percieve actions and words as a reflection of personal wounds. Not a reflection of who I am or who another is. I believe under all the layers there is love, whether we choose it or not. I choose to have faith, not just in thoughts, prayers or words; but in action. A sincere movement, an outpouring of love and caring.
I have made the choice to love – no matter what. My past, present, even future, and all those that have been a part of my journey. I am grateful for the souls that I have shared this journey with.
Am I perfect? Heck no. Far from it. I speak as though this was a fluid movement but it’s not. It has far less finesse and rhythm than my words above portray. There have been many tears shed, waiting, reflecting, outburst, anger, screaming, sleepless nights, despair, mourning; repeat – but on the other side of it all – I have made the choice to love no matter what. With each day, each choice I come back to grace, love, compassion – I have seen in this beauty rise from the ashes of my intentions. I am growing, learning and discovering who I am; reminding myself revelations and lessons learned unfold in perfect timing.
A new me has been born out of circumstances, choices, adversity, heartbreak and forgiveness – to me this is the symbol of the Resurrection. It’s not the end – only the beginning. What we do with the resurrection is what matters. It gives me the hope and power to start over again, no matter what my circumstances are.
It’s our new chance to begin again and create a beautiful new ending.
I love you more-