The last few days I have been pondering the events of this week as it relates to my Christian life. And this morning in particular I’m thinking about the power of resurrection. I looked up the definition of resurrection, and from Oxford Languages, one definition is “restoration to life.”
It was 2010. Caregiving felt endless. My mother was doing well for the condition she was in. When we discussed dialysis with the experts in 2001, they said her life would be extended 5-6 years. It was well past the 6 years, and I was tired. I was tired emotionally, physically, spiritually. In every way possible. I was done. I didn’t care if I died in a car accident. I didn’t care if someone took me out. I wasn’t brave enough to take myself out.
I started on Prozac. I went to see a natural health practitioner who gave me herbal drops with essences of flowers. I read my Bible. I prayed. I did all the right things I should do to help myself through this place of hopelessness. And one day, while standing at my kitchen window in our State Street home, I had the thought, “God is the god of the living, not the dead. I wonder if He could bring me back to life.” And so I prayed asking God to bring all my dead, unfeeling, emotionless parts of myself back to life.
I had not cried in a very long time, but I felt angry. I had smiled, but I felt no joy. I could only see darkness in the tunnel of caregiving. I prayed and asked God, “How long will this continue?” and I heard no answer. I had friends, and I felt lonely. I loved my family even though I felt no purpose.
I attended my cousin’s book release event in Lancaster County in 2010, and I found a cross with flowers and vines painted on it, and I bought it and hung it in my window as a reminder that the Cross brings the hope of life. I would look at it when I got a drink or washed dishes and thank God for bringing me back to life. I didn’t feel alive, but it was important to thank God for answering my prayer even though I felt nothing.
I started looking for visual reminders of life in the world around me. I filled my patio with flowers and arranged comfortable seating. This space became my haven. When my mom fell and broke her hip, and she needed transport to doctor appointments, I would ride along looking out the side windows to see flowers growing out of cracks in the road. I saw cabins and homes tucked away on mountainsides which I had never noticed. There were glimpses of deer and turkey foraging in the woods. I found music which nourished my soul. I sat in nature. I took walks by the river. I immersed myself in life-giving situations as frequently as possible, which, yes, was being in nature, being with my kids and Hubster, and a few select friends. One day I realized I felt alive again! No longer did I want to simply disappear and never return.
Today, on this Resurrection Sunday, as I reflect on that dark period of my life, I realize my journey of coming back to life was something I had to decide to do for myself. I had choices to make. I chose to turn my eyes to Jesus and look to the power of the cross. Church and going to church didn’t do it for me. Friends didn’t do it for me. My family could not choose to bring me back to life. I had to choose to want to be alive. I am here today as a testament that because of Jesus resurrection on the day we celebrate as Easter Sunday, because He lives I can face all of all the today’s and tomorrow’s. Life has become worth living.
You may also experience this power of resurrection and a coming to life, though it’s your choice to make. All you need to do is believe that Jesus is the Son of God. Connect with Him by talking to Him just like you’d talk to me. Listen to what He says to you. Read about Him and how He showed us to live life. His Resurrection power enables us to follow His commandments. He said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and your neighbor as yourself.” When you are loving God in this way, your life will be transformed, naturally. I am able to give you testament upon testament of the changing power in life because of Resurrection Day. Jesus will give you everything you need to live alive!