Candy! Bunnies! Flowers! A Ham Feast! … Seriously, is there anything NOT to love about Easter? This is such a special time of year, and it truly is one that I’ve always loved. When I was little, I remember waking up on Easter with ‘Christmas Morning’ level of excitement. My brother, sister, and I would pounce upon our goodies-filled baskets. We also usually received one or two ‘spring toys’ (which just meant toys to be played with outside), and a spring outfit that we’d probably end up wearing to church later that morning. It was so much fun, and I have so many great memories of this time of year. The holiday weekend also always included a delicious Easter Dinner at my grandparents house and time spent playing with my cousins. It was just like Christmas – only without all the crazy hustling and bustling around.
As I’ve gotten older, Easter – like most other things in life, has changed. I’m not typically involved in any crazy competitive Easter Egg Hunts, and I’m a little more conscious of my sugar intake, so the chocolate and candy is a bit more limited. But one thing that’s grown exponentially for me is the power of the Easter Story, and what it means to me.
In recent years, Easter has been a bit tough at times. It was the last holiday that my mom was alive for, and one that I actually didn’t spend at home. Mac’s family had invited me to celebrate with them in Newfoundland, and I eagerly accepted. We had a wonderful long weekend, and my mom spent the weekend with my brother and sister in Halifax. Though I sometimes look back with a twinge of regret knowing that I missed out, the truth is that I believe ultimately this was a gift. After all, I lived at home with my mom the year prior to her death. It was just the two of us, and our bond became cemented more than ever before. Her having that weekend with my brother and sister without me around gave them the opportunity to make one last weekend of memories before our loss to come. My mom also bought me a cute necklace that weekend while shopping in the ‘big city,’ and since then, I’ve worn it every Easter.
I’ve found healing in the Easter season as I reflect on this loss. There is so much peace and hope that comes with redemption, which ultimately is the strongest message I believe in from the Resurrection Story. This peace has given me the ability to be ‘at rest’ and meditate on the present moment. This is such a gift – not just when we are hurting, but in times of joy too. When life becomes hectic and frustrating, or in times when I feel lost or confused – turning to this sense of peace is powerful for me.
You see, the Easter Story is one of the ultimate sacrifice, made out of the ultimate love. It is heartbreaking in the most beautiful way, and a reminder to all of us that we are already saved. We are already enough. We do not need to strive for more or fight for approval, because we already unconditionally loved. So much so, that we have Easter. In all my moments of insecurity, believing that is pretty freaking incredible.
In joy, in sorrow, or in the mundane – tapping into this sense of peace is an important part of my self-care. The message of love and purpose that comes through the redemption found within the resurrection story is indescribably impactful for me, and while I know this may not carry meaning for some of you, it carries an enormous one for me.
I don’t write about my faith a lot on this blog, but this shift in my perspective on Easter has evolved as I’ve entered adulthood. This is a message I’m eager to share, and I hope you’re equally eager to hear.
Whether you celebrate Easter from a religious perspective, or take a more secular approach and recognize this holiday as a time to spend with family and friends, or maybe you don’t celebrate at all, I hope this long weekend brings peace to you.