Last week we decided we would go to Wake Forest for this Easter weekend. This decision hinged primarily on the idea that we would attend church at Grace Haven- the church our former youth minister & music minister (Dick & Ginger- they're married) started several years ago. We went to Grace Haven last Easter & it was one of the most beautiful, renewing, spiritual worship experiences I've had.
I loved the music.
I loved the people.
I loved being in God's presence on this holiest of days.
I wanted to have that again this year.
(You can probably see where this is going.)
This was my first Easter with a baby. This was my first Easter with expectations for my own family & for the worship I would experience. I had a "made-to-order" Easter in mind.
That didn't so much work out the way I planned.The sad thing is that I don't even think I realized I had such expectations until they were shattered. I went from being a fairly self-aware, laid-back person, to having a "plan" that might involve God's presence.
How could I have been so caught up in my idea of "perfect" to miss God's idea of perfect?!
Long story, short...here's what "went wrong"... We didn't get to do the "Easter basket" time when I had planned. Berkley's nap before church was not such a good one. We went to the wrong location, initially (they meet in a school or an outdoor pavilion depending on the day). We were late getting to worship. The place was packed with no chairs, hymnals or bulletins available for us. Our seat was in a noisy location- lots of families & babies and rustling and moving around us. My attitude was horrible. I spoke in a horrific tone to my husband. We didn't get a family Easter photo. The list could go on...
I'm not going to lie- I was near tears at one point & thought I might have to step out to get a grip.
But, I saw the smile on Dick's face when he saw me sitting there in the back row.
I heard the beautiful music the choir sang as Ginger so capably directed them.
Stephen reached out to squeeze my hand as we listened to the scripture being read.
And when we got in the car to go home, both Stephen and my mom commented on what a moving service it had been. They had experienced what I had wanted to.
They had come away with that joy, love & energy that God offers us through genuine worship.
And as the day now draws to a close, I am grateful for the time I've been allowed to process & remember & even...worship.
I am thankful for the time I had in the car this morning- time with my husband, mom & son. I am thankful for 2 generous teenage boys who offered their "better" seats to us so that we could have moved if we'd chosen to. I am thankful for the family beside us who gave us one of the bulletins when they realized we didn't have one. I am thankful for the woman behind us who reached down from the elementary school stage above to hand us her hymnal. I am thankful for the children & babies who made all the noise & asked lots of questions, and enjoyed Easter worship with their families. I am thankful for a forgiving husband who knows that my bad attitude can be softened with the touch of his hand. I am thankful that my mother was able to enjoy Easter music and worship with us.
Thank you, Lord- for reminding me, once again, that worship is not about me. It is about offering all that I have & all that I am to you- because you gave me the ultimate example of just that type of sacrifice through your son, Jesus. Amen.
He arose! He arose! Hallelujah! Christ Arose!