Sunday, April 24, 2011

Jesus Conquered the Grave!

Happy Easter! 

We had an amazing morning at church.  Worship was awesome, the building was packed (we have our Easter service at the High School cause we can't all fit in our church!), and we helped out this year with a new children's program (there's normally no childcare) and although we missed the sermon it was a ton of fun getting the kids excited about Jesus' resurrection....and it sure beat standing in the hallway with all the little ones that can't make it through the sermon with nothing to do, which is where I normally end up with my babies anyway.  I would have loved to be "stuck" in the hallway with Rachel this year...

Today my heart is filled with gratitude that Christ died for me.  Whenever I give my testimony (or think of it for that matter), I am always humbled to tears that He could love me... with all my fears and failures.  That I did all the things I did and that He still accepts me.  It's a hard concept to grasp .  I know everyone sins, but let's face it, some just seem worse than others and I know that there are people who would probably be scared to enter environments that I made myself very comfortable in and to be around people who I hung with. Never mind do the things I did.  I wonder how I made it out alive at times...I wonder how I managed to fit in since quite often I was scared too.  Jail was actually less scary in many ways.  But ultimately, until I found Christ as my Lord, I was in a jail of my own making and a prisoner to my sin - no matter where I was.

Today, as we sang songs about Jesus being the author of our salvation and conquering the grave, I thanked Him that He saved me and that the grave couldn't hold Him down.  I thanked Him that He conquered my sweet girl's grave too.  I have never disliked the word 'grave' more than I do now.  If that was all there was, I would probably die of a broken heart... but it's not.  She is dancing with Jesus in heaven today.

So, we have 13 more days until Rachel's Playground will be completed!  10 until we start!  I stopped by the church the other day to take a picture of the spot it's going since I'm a big fan of 'before & after' shots :o)

Here it is...

But when I did, I realized something that I always knew, but had not considered...  Do you see the little cabin in the woods?  That is one of the "cottages" from a yucky motel that is next to our church.  The thing I realized as I was posting this picture is that little cabin was the first place I ever got drunk. I was barely 13.  I also had another really bad thing happen to me that night that I can't share.  The party was loud and out of control, and the police got called.  When they showed up, I jumped out the back window (without my shoes) and ran though those woods and hid until they were gone... right where Rachel's playground will go.  At that point in my life, I had only stepped foot in a church about 3 times...and yet as I laid on the ground trying to stay out of the line of their flashlights, I knew it was a safe place to be.  Too bad it took me so many years to go inside.  It's also really too bad that I went back to the party, but that's another story.   I would have been better off getting arrested...

Right now all this barren land holds is a bad memory from my childhood.  In a couple of weeks, it will hold a big playground in honor of my girl... a symbol of Hope, love & courage... a symbol of God's provision through trials.   A symbol of how God carried me above the storm as I carried her to His arms.  And I don't believe it's a coincidence that He is turning this spot into something beautiful and God honoring - I didn't pick the spot, Joe from Learning Structures and Pastor Bernie did.  I was there and just nodded :o)  But I believe God knew I would eventually pick up on this detail... it's as if He's reminding me again that He is the only One Who can turn my ashes into beauty.

It's been a beautiful, hard journey.  But at least there is beauty.  My life before Christ held no true beauty.  But In Him, my heart rejoices.  Here are the lyrics to the song that had me in tears this morning...may they speak to your heart like they did mine.

Mighty to Save - Hillsong

Everyone needs compassion,
Love that's never failing;
Let mercy fall on me.

Everyone needs forgiveness,
The kindness of a Saviour;
The Hope of nations.

Saviour, He can move the mountains,
My God is Mighty to save,
He is Mighty to save.
Forever, Author of salvation,
He rose and conquered the grave,
Jesus conquered the grave.

So take me as You find me,
All my fears and failures,
Fill my life again.

I give my life to follow
Everything I believe in,
Now I surrender.

My Saviour, He can move the mountains,
My God is Mighty to save,
He is Mighty to save.
Forever, Author of salvation,
He rose and conquered the grave,
Jesus conquered the grave.

Shine your light and let the whole world see,
We're singing for the glory of the risen King...Jesus (x2)

My Saviour, you can move the mountains,
You are mighty to save,
You are mighty to save.
Forever, Author of Salvation,
You rose and conquered the grave,
Yes you conquered the grave

He took it all... every sin I've ever committed or will commit and He covered me with His precious blood. He did this so that My Father does not see me and my sin, but Him... without sin.  If you don't understand why you need to believe in Jesus to enter heaven, here it is...  God cannot be in the presence of sin.  That's us folks... we can't stand in His Holy presence the way we are, no matter how 'good' we try to be.  The only way to be with God is to be covered by the blood of Christ - and for that, you have to believe in Him.

Life will still be hard, trials will still come - life will still be uncertain.... but eternity... that will be certain.

Thank You God for Easter!

Oh, and I have to just say that I got to meet one of my blog friends this morning.. Eve came from RI to celebrate Easter here and I was so honored to meet her!  God used Rachel's story to reach her heart and I have a new sister in Christ!!  And so does Rachel ♥


  1. PRAISE THE LORD!!! That you and I have a new sister in Christ through this road you are walking is an awesome thing! That you got to meet her on Easter, even more amazing!

    I love that God is turning your ashes into beauty! I LOVE how He does that!!! He is so amazing! Thank you for sharing your ongoing story with all of us!

    Happy Easter!

    Love and prayers.....
    Carrie :0)

  2. tears flowing...our God is so AWESOME. Bless you!


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