Day 40 ~ Resurrection!

IMG_3627Day 40! 

This is the fourth time I’ve written a Lenten blog in the past eight years and each has been a reflection of that year in my life and in my faith. The first, in 2012 was a time of family and personal transition, but it was a good time as well. The kids were doing great – Kelsey still at Baylor and Brett working at a job he loved in Oakdale. I practiced writing stories of God’s faithfulness and learned so much about myself in the process!

By 2015, Kelsey had been in the car accident that had so injured her body and Brett was gone, further changing all of our lives forever. It’s still hard to read posts from that year because the rawness of emotion all comes rolling back in, but so does the peace and faithfulness of God! I think I wrote again in 2016 because I was still struggling so much to understand who I was and what type of life I could possibly have. Nothing in my Christian experience had prepared me for losing my son and I was desperate to find hope and healing – and once again, God was faithful to meet me, so patiently, night after night as I struggled with what to write.

This year has been different from any of the others….though I’m not the same person I was “before”, I’m stronger and have finally seen that hope is alive and that my life still has value and purpose. For sure, my biggest difficulty this go ’round has been my tendency to over-share! But crazy thing about that…. with the posts that as soon as I’ve hit Amazing Grace“publish”, close my laptop, do a head dive into bed and pull the covers over my head because I can’t believe I’ve just shared whatever it is I’ve shared…..well, those have been the very posts that have seemed to resonate with many of you as well and always draw the most precious responses. <3

 

So, I want to thank you for your companionship, whether you’ve just checked in from time to time or made it your own Lenten observance to read each night, because without you I would never have the courage to throw such personal reflections out into the blogosphere in the first place. (And because the internet is the world’s most accessible medium, discoverlentwithme.com has somehow travelled out of the US and into 18 different countries!) Yikes!!

I always feel a little selfishly sad on Day 40, because our time together for this year is done, but I also can’t deny that there is something else going on in my heart tonight as well. For the first time in so many years…..I actually, authentically feel hopeful when I think of the future. I just can’t begin to tell you how HUGE that is. I can’t manufacture that feeling….I can’t guilt myself into it….I can’t conjur up past hope and try to apply it to tomorrow. It is a gift from God, directly tied to…..the resurrection. It’s always been here, I just haven’t been able to find it – but God knew that. And He’s given me everything I would need….step by tiny baby step, leaving me bread crumbs of truth….to guide me here on Day 40.

Resurrection PowerWhat is resurrection?

It is life instead of death. It is freedom instead of bondage. It is faith instead of fear. And it is hope in place of hopelessness.

Jesus did for us what not a single person, past or present could have ever done. He fought in our place, and he died on our behalf. If you struggle to believe that, you certainly are not alone! So for you, I encourge you to keep seeking – keep your heart open – and keep asking the questions that I promise will eventually lead you to the foot of the cross. And for my believing friends, my question for each of us tonight is – now that we have been the recipients of the greatest gift known to humanity….what is our response?

When the disciples finally came to accept the fact that Jesus really had come back from the dead (basically, when Jesus showed up in the room!), they started telling everyone the story, and they never stopped. And now it’s OUR story to tell…..how do we live into that? How do we respond to this act of grace?

I have an idea about what that answer may be for me tonight, but I won’t presume to answer for you. =) But I do want to challenge us….all of us….to take preciously the days we have been given, realizing that tomorrow is never guaranteed. The only things that will last beyond this life are the things of eternal worth. We have been given resurrection power! What may God be ready to resurrect in your heart in the coming season?

He is risen

Thank you once again for the best 40 days yet! I owe you more than you know. And thank you, Jesus, for the cross and the glorious miracle of Easter!

Because of the resurrection,

Shellie

Resurrection Power
Christ Tomlin

You called me from the grave by name
You called me out of all my shame
I see the old has passed away
The new has come!

Now I have resurrection power
Living on the inside
Jesus, You have given us freedom
No longer bound by sin and darkness
Living in the light of Your goodness
You have given us freedom

That I’m dressed in Your royalty
Your Holy Spirit lives in me
And I see my past has been redeemed
The new has come!

Now I have resurrection power
Living on the inside
Jesus, You have given us freedom
I’m no longer bound by sin and darkness
Living in the light of Your goodness
You have given us freedom

Freedom, You have given us freedom
You have given us freedom, my chains are gone!
Freedom, You have given us freedom
You have given us freedom, hallelujah!
Freedom, You have given us freedom
You have given us freedom, my chains are gone oh o oh
Freedom, You have given us freedom
You have given us freedom, hallelujah!
Now I have resurrection power
Living on the inside
Now, I’m no longer bound by sin and darkness
Living in the light of Your goodness
You have given us freedom!
Now I have resurrection power
Living on the inside
Jesus, You have given us freedom
Now, I’m no longer bound by sin and darkness
Living in the light of Your goodness
You have given us freedom! (You set us free)

I have resurrection power (you set us free)
Living on the inside
Living on the inside! (You set us free)
No longer bound by sin and darkness (you set us free)
You have given us freedom
You have given us freedom!

Songwriters: Ed Cash / Tony Brown / Ryan Ellis
Resurrection Power lyrics © Music Services, Inc

About Shellie

Welcome ~ I am a mom, a wife, a friend, a sister, a daughter, a dreamer and a writer. But most of all I am a woman of faith - I have a deep longing to know and love....God.
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