Recently, I was asked what Easter means to me. My answer? Easter is all about having victory over death for Jesus and ultimately all of us. I particularly think about what my late husband Greg always said throughout his cancer journey, that he experienced more joy after being diagnosed because he was truly living out his purpose to bring others to new life in Christ. He always told us that once he died we should never feel sorry for him because he would be more alive than he ever was because he would be with Jesus.
Easter also means renewing or rebirth, which I always think of as new beginnings. My new beginning started last summer when Greg went home to Jesus. It took me awhile to get through the first stages of grief but after some time, this new beginning made me realize that God has a purpose just for me. It was not just a purpose for Greg and Tracey as a couple. Nor was it a purpose for Greg that I was supporting. This time, God was calling me and I am starting to uncover what He has planned for me.
One of the things he called me to do was continue Greg’s mission of saying “yes” to whatever God laid in my path. Since wearing that mantle, God has given me incredible opportunities to experience the same joy that Greg so passionately embraced.
Some of these moments are last minute, random encounters and other times I hear God telling me to go somewhere on a mission to reach people. It wasn’t too long ago that I saw a girl on the side of the road asking for money. Instead of ignoring her or just giving a few dollars I stopped and talked to her, getting to know her, her story and prayed for her.
Then another time I felt God calling me to help someone in the parking lot of Sam’s Club. I ended up driving up and down the parking lot looking for someone to help put their grocery cart items into their car. I ended up finding a young family trying to manage two kids and get their items in the car. When we were done they thanked me but assumed I was helping because I heard them struggling, the fact was God told me to help and just as I learned from Greg- I knew I needed to say “yes”.
These moments of “yes” bring me great joy and peace. These encounters are a way for me to honor Greg and remember that he will always be with me in spirit. They may be small simple acts but I know they are a part of my calling and hopefully showing people a glimpse at how much they are loved by God. Yes, this new beginning has been hard but as I reflect on this Easter season, and the ultimate sacrifice made for me, I know that even though we will all experience valleys; God is faithful and He can and will bring new life.