Friday, April 6, 2012

Because It's Easter

Late last night I sat on the couch in the dark, staring up at the moon that shone through my second story window.
Jason is out of town, and Emily had long drifted off to sleep.
I had finished a movie, and then had scrolled through my pictures, looking for a particular one.
I found one of Emily, after the second time they had opened her chest, and the pain that hit me as I looked at the picture was unreal.
I couldn't stop the tears for anything, and after a few minutes I didn't try.
I was that way for a long time...watching the moon and wiping away the tears.

* * * * *

Not too long ago I became reacquainted with a friend from high school.
We haven't seen each other since high school, and thanks to the wonder of Facebook we reconnected.
We both believe in God, but we belong to different churches.
Not too long ago she posted something to Facebook that was derogatory to those of my faith.
In truth, I wasn't upset by the content of the comment as much as I was by the fact that she posted it, knowing that it would undoubtedly open a dialogue that others would use as an opportunity to slander something that I and so many of her other friends hold sacred.

In an email I sent to her, I told her why her actions had disappointed me.
That email opened a conversation between the two of us that lasted several days.
My friend tried in every way she knew how, and with every accusation she could find against my church, to convince me of the error of my ways.
And even after I told her that I would no longer have a conversation with her that spoke of anything religious, she emailed me again, with another list of reasons why she believes I'm being deceived.

At the core of everything, this girl is worried for my soul.
She won't accept me as a Christian because I believe differently than she does, and nothing will convince her otherwise.
She doesn't trust that I believe in Jesus Christ.

* * * * *

I thought of this girl...who claims to be my friend...last night as I sat in the dark.
And I thought of my husband, who is saddened by the fact that I carry such a heavy burden in my heart.
The words of an earlier conversation between Jason and myself played over and over again in my mind.
"Noelle, the only person who truly understands...and the only one who can shoulder the burden for you is your Savior.  You need to give it to Him, all of it, and allow him to heal your heart."

* * * * *

Easter, and all that it represents, holds more meaning to me than it has in years past.
Jesus Christ's sacrifice is more personal to me now... now that I know something of pain and sorrow ...

And in case there was any doubt, I believe and trust in Him with all of my heart, as broken as it feels, and I know that He has the power to make my heart whole again.


TortugaRachel said...

I may not be the same denomination as you, but I can surely see the Lord in your life and in your faith. There isn't a shred of a doubt in my mind that you don't share a personal relationship with our Savior.

Oh, and Jason's right, y'know. But knowing that you should give it all to Christ and doing it are two wholly different ballgames.

cathyjoy said...

This is beautiful.

Happy Easter.

He is risen.

-stephanie- said...

Every denomination is different and not one is the perfect one. What does matter is the personal relationship we have with Jesus Christ. Your words tell me you have that relationship with Him. Keep taking your burdens to the cross and our risen Christ will comfort you.

He is Risen, and He lives!

Beth Zimmerman said...

Sweet Noelle, I don't know much about the doctrine of your denomination. I do know that it differs from mine. BUT I also know that Jesus said that all of those who believe He is God and trust Him, and Him alone, as their Savior, are saved! The rest is just the stuff that separates us. Jesus is your Savior ... as He is mine. And if I never get a chance to on earth ... I am going to give you one HUGE hug in Heaven!

Kristyn Grace said...

Thank you for sharing this! It is a truly beautiful thing! I'm sorry for the actions of those who don't understand but know that God uses that to make you stronger in your faith. I don't know what denomination you are, and frankly it doesn't matter. I am Catholic, my fiance was raised Jehovah's Witness, though he long ago stopped practicing a particular religion, his mother is Jehovah's Witness and his ex-wife and children are Pentecostal. They constantly teach me about my own faith and help me grow closer to God. That is the beauty of the many religions in this world - they challenge us to explore our own beliefs in order to grow closer to God. My fiance knows how important my faith is to me and he goes to church with me every Sunday even though he will never convert to catholicism, he stands and sits along with the rest of the congregation, he sings the songs and says most of the prayers - more than I could ever ask for. And he does it because he wants to because it is a part of me. That sincere respect should be how we treat everyone regardless of religion.

I was at Good Friday service and there is a part of the service where the priest carries a large wooden cross around the church as a symbol of the cross Jesus was crucified on. The church sings "Jesus remember me, when you come into your kingdom" and every year, I hold back tears as I am so moved by Jesus' sacrifice. Your husband is a wise man - the only person who can bear the burden is Jesus!

Thank you for sharing you thoughts and feelings and beliefs!

angel shrout said...

And they gathered together and when they were in ONE ACCORD.. when will we get back to that?? It is so hard sometimes to foresee that as even a possibility. It doesn't say we all believed this or that. The only thing they all agreed on was that Jesus WAS the Son of God, Was their redeemer/savior and HE alone had the power to heal them, carry them, lead them, even after death, resurrection and being taken up. THAT is the ONE accord. When we get there, and we will get there, can you imagine the gates of heaven that will open and pour forth the blessings..

Joann Mannix said...

I am so sorry.

I have had the same sort of intolerance towards my faith and the sad thing is, it was from someone in our family. Someone who was once of the same faith, who had been "converted to real Christianity." Their words.

Here in the South, my religion, Catholicism and a few others are looked on with suspicion and this narrow belief that we are not saved and therefore we are not true Christians. I wonder what our Heavenly Father thinks of this manmade dogma that determines who is a Christian and who isn't. My bet is He's not a fan.

"And they'll know we are Christians by our love, by out love. Yes, they'll know we are Christians by our love."

You're spy man is right. All you can do is pray. For her. Obviously, she forgot the love part.