I have so many words, I don’t know where to start.
Many years ago, I was one of a handful of people privileged enough to be called to our church for the “washing of the feet”. It was a time in my life that held great meaning for me – the humility that I felt at having the priest wash my feet, just as Jesus did for his disciples to symbolize both servanthood and forgiveness. That event strengthened my resolve to observe the Lenten season every year. But life got busy, success and time became at odds with each other and we moved away from our pastor, our life within that church.
I haven’t done that in years. Instead, long weekends like this became opportunities to work and catch up on home life.
Fast forward to today.
Exactly three months after I had an accident at the Cancun Airport that broke my knee, I flew on an airplane for the first time. Only to feel sick when I landed, and to fly back to Chicago the very next day. This flight, I tell you, was supposed to be an hour on a regional jet. We arrived five hours later after delays and a fun little reroute into Madison, Wisconsin. All throughout this flight, I kept asking God, “why today? Why this flight when I am feeling like my head is about to fall off?”
I tested positive for COVID three days ago, canceled our Easter plans and slept for two whole days. As I write this, I have at least 30 episodes of Law and Order SVU under my belt.
You can imagine how much frustration there is in our household at the moment. First, we’d been really careful about COVID given that my husband is his elderly mother’s main caregiver. Who would have thought we’d get it from guests from abroad who stayed at our home last week? And then there’s the Easter celebration we thought we’d be getting back to this year – after years of missing church and brunch and a get together with family, we are back to isolating for the third year in a row.
Those are the minor setbacks. We have some life changing ones that I can’t detail here.
When I was in Mexico during the holidays, I had written out a plan to hit the ground running in 2023. I was going to impact the world, publish a book, make a movie, run an agency. And then I fell in the bathroom for no reason at all, ended up in a wheelchair all the way from Cancun to Chicago O’Hare.
But despite everything that has happened this early in the year, my spirit remains strong. Maybe it’s because I’ve learned to look for the meaning behind every event that’s happened in my life. Breaking my knee has forced me to slow down. It cut my travel short, didn’t allow me to do the job I was hired to do. But twice weekly physical therapy made me stronger, the fact that I had nowhere to go made me focus on my work even more, and staying home helped me to connect with my husband and son. It was a calling from the universe to slow my life down. I couldn’t do it on my own, I had to be dragged into it, kicking and screaming. And during this downtime, I learned all about the kindness of people. Of bosses and colleagues and mentors and friends who continued to believe in me, despite my absence, despite my missing leadership meetings that conflicted with physical therapy sessions. Their trust and friendship never waned, their expectations temporarily tempered so I had the time to rest and recover.
That kindness is faith. That faith is what gets us through these crazy, confusing times.
Instead of asking “why”, I find myself asking “when”?
When will I see the reason for all this? When will I understand why this has happened? When will the darkness turn to light again?
This is the significance of Easter Sunday.
It is the rising again of our hearts, out of sadness and doubt into the light of Jesus’ promise. That He will be with us again. That His suffering and death was to cleanse us of our sins so that we can live in the light of hope forever. No matter how far you’ve traveled or how far you’ve been, no matter how you’ve given up your time with God in order to chase those dreams – He has always been here. To forgive, to guide, to pull you back when you’ve gone too far – and in this case, to give you little tiny signs that there’s a reason for every season.
That’s what I’m holding on to. That’s what keeps me going.
Wishing you all the joys of the Easter season. And that no matter what you believe in, I wish you a hope-filled life.