I am a child of God. I was brought up in the church. I went to a Christian elementary school and every Sunday I went back to that school building to attend church.
With two deeply religious parents and a super long driveway, separating me from the evils of the world, I felt very strongly for a very long time that I had a close and intimate walk with God.
As soon as I left my spiritual roots to find my own way - without the constant Bible reading and sacred teachings of the Word, I quickly found myself happier than I ever was in the religious setting of Chapel Christian Academy.
So, for many years, I walked around with knowledge of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, but did absolutely nothing to be a witness to those around me. Sure, I found a new church - one that I visited almost every Sunday with my family - Mountain View Chapel. And sure, I hung my head in solemnness to pray. I even went as far as inviting friends to youth group gatherings and to Sunday services.
But, I didn't mean any of it. I guess I thought I did at one point, but I never really understood it.
Fast forward to now. I got married to an incredible man. My best friend. I had a daughter. I have a home. I drive a fairly nice car. Don't have a lot of money, but my needs are always met.
there was always that missing piece. That piece of me that I left die alongside the road in a ditch. It's that something that made me..... well... me. I let it die and along with it came bitterness to all things holy and sacred. Sure, I was still a nice individual. And sure I still smiled and laughed and played.... But, I wasn't fulfilled.
It wasn't until this past year, when I met up with my parents one Sunday morning at the church they have been going to, that I finally found that missing puzzle piece. I went, talked with the pastor several times and got to know some of the people there.
And little by little, that emptiness inside me was replaced with forgiveness, grace, and hope.
And while my personality as a whole hasn't changed all that much - I'm still a happy person (albeit with a shorter fuse than some and I get angry from time to time) and I love to laugh. But, one thing is different. I know. I know. I know.
Maybe it's the growing up I had to do - quicker than most. Maybe it's the tragedy my life has seen, and believe me, I've endured great personal tragedies. Maybe it's the fact that I am an observant person who can judge or gauge situations and people with my gut.
Or maybe it's the holy Spirit inside me. That voice from my guardian angel or Jesus whispering in my ear. But, I know now that I am a more happy and content person since I found God again.
Don't worry. I still laugh at the same jokes I used to. I still listen to great music. I still swear (on occasion) but will really avoid taking the Lord's name in vain.
And I won't be beating you down with my Bible. Or preaching on the city street with my cardboard sign that warns of "judgment days" and "end times." There's a myriad of other people for those types of things, and I'm not one of them...
But, I am a sweet woman with a great sense of humor and a greater sense of family.
So, as the Christian people get ready to solemnly remember why Jesus died on the cross and rose three days later, I am going to celebrate it because I know who I am and why I was put here on Earth and will be busy thanking God for dying for me and all my transgressions. But, I will also be in remembrance for His work while He was here on Earth and the things he taught.
Happy Easter to all...