Easter is such a special day for me. It marks the saviors resurrection and most importantly the atonement of Jesus Christ for our sins. I am reminded of the pain he suffered for us. But more than that, that he knows all my suffering. He felt my sadness, discouragement, and pain in every way. He did it with a perfect love – and if it were only for me – he would have still done it. As I have reflected on this sacrifice and ultimate perfect love, I have thought about my own story of redemption. I share this as an imperfect person, and imperfect member of the LDS church, and someone who strives each day to grow closer to our Heavenly Father regardless of these imperfections.
I remember the moment clearly. That moment when I knew I wanted to feel the grace of God in my life again. I was literally in the worst place a person could be – in every way. I was lying at the bottom of a three tiered metal bunk surrounded by the worst of society. I remember feeling that emptiness that comes with being away from Gods light. My life had turned for the worse. I had spent every day for years searching for happiness. And when I couldn’t find it I turned to pills, drugs, and alcohol. I desperately sought after love in all the wrong men and in all the wrong ways. I was an empty shell of a person. Betrayed by a husband who should have been there to protect me and watch out for me. I was alone, truly alone. It was in that darkest place that it came to me. A small bit of light came to my heart and overwhelmed me. All I had wanted, all that I looked for was there all along. Christ had his hand outstretched this whole time, but I was too stubborn and proud to see it.
The road back to grace was difficult. The repentance process is not an easy one. But one that was full of love. I had to face the life I had lived head on… then put it behind me. And that I did. I closed the door on that life and a year later went through the temple. I wish I could say that was my happily ever after. But as we all know – life doesn’t work that way. We have our ups and downs. Our own pain and adversity, our own failings and imperfections. But no matter what. I know that God lives and loves us. I have had a blessed life since. Yes there are difficult times. I can not deny however, that we have a good life and so many rich blessings. I know that today marks the day that our brother, our Savior Jesus Christ was resurrected after dying for our sins. I have a relationship with God that is my own. And that relationship is there regardless of my imperfect mortal state. And I know, that I am blessed. That God touches my life everyday. On this Easter Day, I simply hope you are surrounded by those you love. Happy Easter.