Last week was a difficult week for me. We lost a beloved woman, one especially close to my heart. Her husband then fell and broke his hip, another man returned to the hospital possibly with an additional stroke (he regressed quite a bit in just a few days) and it was Holy Week with extra services and preparations.
Quite truthfully, I was feeling a bit sorry for myself and struggled with some depression. Then I read an email from another pastor in this area about his Easter experience which was wonderful. As I emailed him back, thanking him for sharing his story I shared a bit of mine and it hit me just how wonderful and blessed I was by our Easter and how blessed I am in general, so I thought I'd share some good news for a change!
Within my first few months there was a crisis with a family that hit really close to home for me. A couple lost a child far along in the pregnancy. The doctors told them it was unlikely they could ever have one. It was devastating. Then they lost another. This past Easter I baptized their infant son! It was an extraordinary moment! Additionally, I was honored to welcome them (officially) into our church family!
Joel, my hubby/wanna be elementary school teacher, gave the most amazing and entertaining and profound children's sermon ever! As he led the children's time, I continually thought: "There is NO way I'm preaching after that! There's nothing left for me to say! I guess I'll just sit down and be done!"
But then there was an amazing musical special and a scripture reading between times and I was able to give a sermon and a very good one at that! Which was a miracle in itself! I had planned on telling a story that included my dad and not in a fabulous light, however the Spirit led me in a different direction. Thank goodness for that because who showed up to surprise me? Yep! My dad and his fiance! A little over halfway into the sermon I spotted him and then said a quick prayer for not revealing/sharing the story!
Our sunrise service had gorgeous weather and it was lovely.
I also worshipped at the nursing home that afternoon and thoroughly enjoyed making a joyful noise unto the Lord with them (I'm not a singer and most of them weren't either).
After that our family went to a hotel with a small water park and relaxed and played together. There were only a handful of families/people there and so it was perfect! Definitely an Easter to remember and rejoice in!
Thanks be to God! God is great! Amen!