1:20: Awakened out of a restless sleep by a sharp nightmare. Ugh.
After orienting myself, went to check on all my crew. Mark’s asleep on the couch. Tim was in bed but awake. Keli has gone with her boyfriend to his mother’s house for Easter. And my baby girl is sound asleep, resting peacefully under the influence of her medicine. I check her breathing and she’s not making a sound. Not a sound. Astonishing. Could the surgery already be making such a big difference? I certainly hope so.
Technically, it’s Easter Sunday morning. But honestly, right at this moment, it doesn’t seem like it is. The air is thick and heavy in the wake of being awakened. I’m torn between writing out my soul and grabbing my work computer to work on a document that is giving me trouble. Sleep is far from my mind. It’s definitely one of those nights where I don’t relish the idea of returning to sleep.
It’s not that I’m not looking forward to Resurrection Sunday Worship this morning. I am. With Keli gone, Tim is going to stay with Bethany so that I can go and at least stay through the worship set. And it’s a good, Easter morning worship set. Worship is important. Worship is not nothing. And the worship of Christ tomorrow morning is the very most important thing in the world, whether it be during my time with Him alone before church or during church itself. In fact, it’s the very most important thing, every single day. Easter or not.
I’m sad to not have any Easter treats for my crew tomorrow. This year there is no candy, no baskets, no new clothes. Between work and Bethy’s surgery, it just didn’t happen. And there is not a single thing in this house to eat for Easter Dinner. I will have to run by the grocery store and pick up something in the morning, provided they are open. I imagine they are.
I realize that I am rambling here; and it is a reflection of my rambling mind that is stirred up. My thoughts turn to Jack tonight, wondering what Easter will be like tomorrow in prison. Will they be allowed to have worship service? Sometimes they aren’t allowed to use the community/visitor room for some reason or another. My heart is heavy. I remember elaborate Easter surprises that we would work on after the kids would go to sleep. They never knew what to expect when it came to trying to find their Easter Basket. And no matter how dirt poor we were, I always managed to get them a new outfit for Easter–a lot of times a hand-me down outfit that was 10 times cuter than I ever could have bought (Thank you Sally Edwards!!!)
I want to fight for joy today, and I think that I will be able to particularly once we are leading worship–there is a natural joy that floods my soul when we sing. But for now, the silence of God seems loud. It still feels like Saturday–the day in between the death and resurrection of my Jesus.
Looking at my stats for my blog today, I was surprised at how many people were searching for the John Ortberg sermon that I posted in my last post. He addresses that Saturday–how it must have been for the disciples; for the followers of Christ. They had no idea that Sunday was coming. They had to wait. Here in the middle of the night, it seems as if I am waiting. Waiting to sense God’s presence. Waiting for my soul to settle down. Waiting for morning to come. Waiting to go home.
I celebrate my baptism anniversary tomorrow as well. Bittersweet memories–to be able to be baptized by your husband, and then to lose him shortly afterwards to prison, that I have to fight to remind myself what my baptism was about. It was about me, recognizing Jesus for who He is. It was about seeing that I am the evidence that God exists through my changed life; my changed soul. It is about being able to say, with Thomas, “My Lord and My God!” That’s what my baptism was about–a symbol of death, a symbol of life. And as I write these words, a flicker of joy does dance in my soul. Small, but it is there. And I am grateful for it.
For the past three nights, I’ve slept with my book “The Cross of Christ” by John Stott. Probably one of my most “marked up” books that I own. I’ve spent time each night reading through my highlighted portions and doing some closed document writing on some of the things I come across in there. O, how that book challenges my heart when it starts to doubt. Amazon informs me that I purchased this book in 2008. Now it’s 2012 and I still need the kicks that, that book delivers, along with the assurances against doubt.
My prayer tonight, I suppose, is that when dawn breaks and I sit back down at this computer to spend focused time with God in prayer and study, that I will truly sense His presence. That my soul will be awakened. That I’ll be able to pray my Sunday prayer for pastors who at that same time may be reviewing their notes and also seeking God’s presence. I will pray that I will be able to fight for joy in the midst of this strange, long weekend. And that I’ll be well enough to attend worship to help lead the congregation to true worship–to real worship. I take that kuleana, that responsibility, very seriously.
And as I pray, I will pray that each of you, too, my friends, that your soul’s will also be awakened and will experience true joy at the fact-the Fact- that Christ is Risen.
He is Risen, Indeed!
Below is David Phelps singing “End of the Beginning”, which is our choir special for tomorrow: