Saturday, April 13, 2013

Candy for Breakfast

We were blessed this year with gorgeous weather for Easter Sunday! Kyle and I had a busy Easter, which is quiet the change from what I have known in the past (more on that in a minute). We started off the morning with breakfast at our house with my mom, my sister, and her friend Bryn. The five us attended a packed house service at Mars Hill Shoreline. Kyle and I have been loving our new church campus, and it was so great to see so many friends from church all dressed up and ready to celebrate Jesus!
My sister, my mom, and me

After that, we parted ways and Kyle and I headed over to his grandma Eva's for a yummy Easter lunch and egg hunt. 
Kyle, Heather and Zeke

Grandma Eva with great-granddaughter Brighton
After a really relaxing afternoon in the sunshine, Kyle and I headed to Mars Hill Ballard with my dad and Kyle's family. Yes, we saw the same sermon twice in one day - and yes it was just as good the second time! It was really great to be back at the Ballard campus and see some of our old friends.

Kyle and me (and Drew too!)

Giving it Grace: This day, Easter Sunday, used to mean almost nothing to me. At best, it used to mean candy at breakfast , and at worst it was an annoyance because it meant I couldn't hang out with friends that were with their families doing obligatory celebrating. To be clear, I don't blame my parents - or anyone - for this. I believe God's timing is perfect, and my life changed according to His exact plan.

On Easter we celebrate that Jesus rose and conquered Satan, sin and death. While this had big implications for the world, it also has very real implications in my life and the lives of those around me. On Easter, we celebrate that the God we know is living, His word is alive, and Jesus' life and death (and life again!), is more than just a one day celebration. It's THE day that gives meaning to all other days.

This year, I was reflecting on how I got to this place where what we celebrate on Easter means everything to me, because without it, everything is nothing. It didn't happen overnight; I didn't have that "wake up and come to Jesus" moment. While I had been exposed to the gospel intermittently my whole life, it wasn't until I was an adult that things really started to change.

I admit I selfishly started going to church as part of my "good person" check-list. There was something there that I liked, but I wasn't going to go all-in. I just wanted to pick and choose the parts I liked, and ignored or rationalized the rest. Initially, I refused to let go of certain parts of my life: my weekend activities, my viewpoints on current hot topics, and my works-based motivations (to name a few!). 

Eventually though, I found myself asking "why not just try the Bible? Can millions of people really be wrong?" So many other things had let me down: moralism, volunteerism, judging, working my fingers down to the bone - it all left me feeling empty to some degree. Logic led me to a point of deciding "well, if I'm going to believe in God, I have to believe what He says is true. Otherwise, I am believing in a God I can't trust - which is pointless. He says His word is true, so I've got to start living by His word."

Suddenly, I felt I had two choices: I could believe in God (and thus His word), or I could deny the existence of God. I wasn't brave enough to deny the existence of God, so I gave His word a try. I began to figure out what His word said by reading my Bible and learning from other Christians (joinging a community group and joining a service team within the church). I put aside what culture had told me to believe and the things I thought to be true, and just looked to hear God out and see if I really could trust Him. Of course, like any person who truly opens their heart to God, I never looked back. 

And that's the really, really short version of how my Easter Sunday no longer involves candy for breakfast (although candy for breakfast is not something I've ruled out during this pregnancy...!).