Laura Haley-McNeil

4/16/17, Resurrection

Hello, Everyone!

I hope you had a wonderful week and enjoyed some nice weather in your part of the world. Today is a special day for Christians, and if you are as I am, you are celebrating the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. Of course, it is much more than that. With the resurrection comes proof of God’s unconditional love, rebirth, forgiveness, all things new and starting with a clean slate and much, much more. We still have our past and sometimes the past is hard to forget and hard to forgive. We’ve all experienced disappointments and loss. Some of us have had very difficult times that we must move past. Whatever happened in our lives we must move beyond that to experience an inner healing. Again, I realize that is easier said than done, but that’s where the strength of Christ helps us through this. And then there is the ability of trusting God to help us heal. If you’ve been betrayed by someone, it’s hard to know that God is deserving of our trust. It took me many years to realize that and many times I still don’t believe it. Life is not easy. There is always something we can learn and sometimes that isn’t very pleasant. I was fortunate in that my parents cared about me and my sisters and brother. They always wanted the best for us. But that may have worked against me as I met people through life whom I couldn’t trust and didn’t realize it until it was too late. At the time, I was devastated and there were times when I didn’t think I had the energy to take another breath. But as I look back on those moments, I see that these relationships and events shaped and made me who I am. I still have a lot of room for improvement, which pains me. At my age, you would think I had done all the growing I need to do, but every day I encounter events that teach me and hopefully make me a better person.

In the United States, Easter doesn’t seem to be as important of an event as it did when I was growing up. My parents decorated Easter baskets and filled them with candy. I especially liked the cream filled eggs. We would dress up for church. My mother dressed all six of us. For the girls, we wore patent leather shoes and dresses with petticoats. I’m talking about a long time ago. And we wore Easter bonnets. My younger sisters wore white bonnets with ribbon ties which they never seemed to appreciate and were always trying to pull off the bonnets. Usually the bonnets trailed down their backs in a wrinkled mess by the end of the church service. Easter holiday seemed more important, but that could be because I attended a parochial school. We had a holiday that began Maundy Thursday and lasted through Easter Monday. Of course, that meant attending church everyday which was difficult. Dragging 6 children into church once a week let alone everyday had to be pure insanity for my parents. A few years ago, I flew to London with some women who worked at the various downtown offices. I hadn’t realized that we would be gone over the Easter holiday. Easter Monday is considered a holiday in England and nothing was open. We did have a tour guide who found some activities that were available on that holiday, though I can’t remember what we did.

No matter how you spend the holiday today, or even if you are a believer or not, I pray God’s peace and blessings in your life today and everyday. If you are going through something difficult, my heart goes out to you and I pray that circumstances will change for you. May this be your day for new beginnings or may that day be in your near future. My prayer for you is renewal, recovering, healing and that hope will again reside in your heart. Sometimes we have to reach out and believe in hope over and over again. It’s human nature. We become discouraged, but we rise above that discouragement. Sometimes it seems the cycle will never end, but it does. My wish for you is joy and peace and love for this week and everyday. God bless you!