This past Sunday was the first Sunday after Easter. When I went to Grace Covenant Presbyterian the picture on the left was on the cover of the bulletin. I looked at it and thought, ” what does a little girl ready to climb a ladder into heaven have to do with Easter?” When I read the quote from Pope John Paul II underneath, I was more confused. “Do not abandon yourselves to despair. We are the Easter people and hallelujahah is our song.” When I heard Kristy Farber’s sermon on Thomas in John 20:19-31, I understood.
She asks, “One question we may sit with is, how are we to celebrate God’s resurrecting power when the world around us appears so broken?” She continues, “Even when we spend time, money and energy trying to help those in need, it often leaves us wondering if our feeble attempts have made a difference.”
I can relate to her words. Sometimes I get frustrated and angry with myself when I see so much need in this world and how little I am able to do. Right now, I’m involved with organizing two different things that I believe are very important in this world. No one else has agreed to organize them so I’ve decided to do it. Oorganizing is one of my weaknesses. It stresses me out and makes me anxious. But I’ve thought it through and made a choice to go forward with them.
In dealing with this stress, I’ve realized that because I’m a perfectionist, I put more stress on myself than others put on me. This is forcing me to tell myself as a former therapist of mine suggested, to just stop. It doesn’t matter if either one comes out perfect. It is not even in my control. I do like to be in control of things. However, I’m not in control just like none of us is in control. I had no control of the car when it crashed into me. I’m also not in control of my double vision or of my current hand difficulties. (I probably will have to have hand surgery again – I’ll write more about this later.)
In her sermon, Kristy tells the story of a group of undergrads who took mission trips to Haiti. The students were astounded by the joyfulness of the children there. They just couldn’t understand it. Kristy writes, “Resurrection is life coming out of death. New life and new hope. Thomas looks for joy, hope, peace – not in a clear, unblemished form. He needs to see and to touch resurrection in the midst of brokenness.”
Tomorrow I have a Brainstormers support group meeting. The location is close to me but one of the members is going to pick me up on the way there. I will walk the block to the main road where she will meet me in a parking lot. Another member of the group picked me up this way before but she got all confused with the directions so I gave this other person clear directions. It turns out she knows the location but laughed and said if she wasn’t familiar with it, she would have become confused as well. (spatial orientation)
So like the children in Haiti, we could laugh about our scars together. I read my favorite passage of scripture again today in Isaiah 43. I read this passage all the time and am always filled with hope. “Do not remember the former things, or consider the things of old. I am about to do a new thing.”
Living with a traumatic brain injury means constantly finding ” a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” (Isaiah 43:19) I refuse to abandon myself to despair. I am one of the Easter people and hallelujah is my song.
How do you remind yourself that you are one of the Easter people? How do you refuse to abandon yourself to despair? I write in my journal, swim laps or work in the garden. I also give myself days when I don’t get anything done. Feel free to comment here or email me directly firstname.lastname@example.org