I’ll be honest. Easter isn’t my favorite time of the year.
It’s been over a decade since it happened, but the last Sunday we spent together as a family was Easter Sunday. Our daughter passed away the following Sunday morning. It’s harder for me when Easter comes closer to the anniversary of her death, but regardless – Easter can sometimes be kind of hard for me.
I don’t wallow in misery or anything like that. You won’t find me hiding in a corner of the sanctuary waiting for it all to just be over. I truly can (and do!) celebrate the Resurrection at this time of year. It’s because He lives that I know I’ll see my daughter again. It’s because He lives that death has lost its sting (1 Cor 15:55). I absolutely affirm and embrace all of those things. But still…sometimes the Easter season makes me sad because it reminds me of grief and the pain of loss.
This time of year reminds me of the Savior who gave all so that I could know life. But it also reminds me of sparkling eyes and a shining smile. And that’s okay. Life – along with all of its emotions – is complex. We can feel more than one thing at a time.
Enter Dawson from His Runaway Crush. If you’ve read it, you might recognize this theme. Sometimes as writers, we borrow from our own life experiences and turn them around and upside down to fit a character we’ve created. While I was never angry about Easter the way Dawson is, Easter was filled with sorrow after our daughter’s death. It took a little while for that fog of grief to lift enough so that I could again not just know but also feel the joy of Easter and the Resurrection.
Dawson, on the other hand, has had a hard time moving on from the event that turned him against Easter. That’s one of the reasons I chose Psalm 34:18 as the theme verse for His Runaway Crush. “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.”
I hope this year, as you prepare for Easter, that you remember how much God loves you and is holding you close. I hope you remember that no matter what might be weighing on you at this time, God is near to you. I hope you experience the joy of the Resurrection in a new and real way this year.
I also – because I’m a writer, and I need to put food on the table – hope you read the Easter in Gilead series and that, as you enjoy the romance stories, you are also reminded of the redemption we have in Christ. 😊