I’ve needed to be emptied in order to be able to soak in the Joy of a new season. There is clutter in my heart and in my home and even in my soul that seems to hold me back from delving deeper into gratitude and Joy in my Father. I’ve asked for forgiveness from those I’ve felt all kinds of bitterness towards…and received it. I’ve packed up boxes and things I’ve simply held onto for no reason and dropped them off to be donated. I’ve cleaned and I’ve cleared and I’ve prayed. Like these jars from my kitchen, I’m in a season of preparation to be filled. Stepping out of a dark season is more difficult than it seems. This most recent Lenten season has willed me to see that more clearly. While Easter was so incredibly joyful, it is hard to erase the weight of pain which took place in the days leading up to it. Infertility is hard to erase from the mind, even after you’ve been healed. It causes doubt and fear even after you’ve overcome it. But just as Jesus left behind Him an empty tomb in order to take up the full glory He was meant for…we have permission to leave empty those spaces in our hearts which seemed dead but now have the Hope of being very much alive. What is it that’s holding you back? What can you empty yourself of? Is there forgiveness you’ve been withholding or not receiving? Is there pain, or guilt, or shame?
“Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; He has risen, just as He said. Come see the place where He lay.” – [Matthew 28:5-6]
Our stories can read the same way because of Jesus. Mine can read: “I know you are looking for her who suffered infertility. She is not here. She has risen. Just as Jesus said she would.” The same can read for those of you who suffer from depression, alcoholism, grief, disappointment, shame, illness, shattered dreams. Because Jesus rose from the darkness which tried to hold us, He forever shattered its grip over us. You are free to walk away from your empty tombs. You are free to empty your heart of its dark days and let in the light. You are free to live again in healing, in hope, in resurrection. Jesus has opened the way.