As we are approaching the Easter season, I have somehow volunteered myself to teach the Easter lesson on Sunday. My mind and heart seem to be fluttering all around me and full of thoughts, deep emotion I may or may not want to release, and above all love and complete gratitude.
3 ½ years ago I thought I knew my Father in Heaven and my brother Jesus Christ. I knew of them, I read of them, I believed in them. I prayed daily to them multiple times and offered prayers of thanks to them regularly.
But then my life changed in an instant. In literally minutes what I thought I knew, what I thought I understood, what I thought was a strong relationship with them completely changed when my first born son Miles passed through the veil and was welcomed home by them and so many others who had gone before.
I found myself stripped down to my core. It was so raw. I had no strength, no will, no desire left within me. At times I still don’t. Things that seemed to matter to me before, I no longer gave a second thought to anymore. My desires, my appetite and my love for so many things that I had loved previously vanished in an instant. So many loving and kind people offered, and continue to offer, kindness in their words and actions. Each one trying to lift me. Yet I felt more alone than ever in my life, and again at times I still do. No one really knew the thoughts, feelings and complete despair I felt. I barely could understand it myself.
But I knew that my Eternal Father knew. He too gave his first born, his eldest’s, his beloved son to die for each one of us. He willingly sent him down to this mortal world to be mocked, scorned and sacrificed in his name so that each one of us may return to live with him again. I can’t imagine how painful it must have been for him to witness all that our Savior suffered in his life. Yet he loved each one of us enough to allow him to go through so much pain and ridicule because he knew the bigger plan.
Then there is our brother Jesus Christ, the Savior of all mankind. What love he has for each of us. The fact that he lead such a perfect life and literally gave all that he had, even his very own life so that we may return to live in the presence of him and our Eternal Father as an eternal family. To say that I love him and am eternally grateful to him feels so miniscule at his love and sacrifice for me.
It has been through trials, big and small, that I have gained faith, grown in faith, and been changed by faith in my life. But losing my son rocked me to my core. And it was there that I not only found my faith, but it lifted me when I couldn’t lift myself. My faith was tested more than ever before. But it was and is solid. It has literally saved me and continues to save me daily. I have found that while I thought I knew my Savior and my Eternal Father I had only known them like a distant admirer. It was through losing my son, through Miles’ death that I was truly awakened. Yes I was Awakened by Death. No only do I see clearer, but I listened clearer and I know and understand more clearly.
I know that we have an Eternal Father. That he loves each one of us more than we will ever comprehend. I know we that wants us to return to his presence and be an eternal family in celestial glory with him. I know that our beloved brother Jesus Christ is our Savior. That he gave all he had, literally, for each one of us because of his love and devotion for each of us personally. I know that it because of him that we can be forgiven of our short comings and can be encircled by the glorious embrace of our loved ones again and live with them in eternal splendor. And for that I am forever grateful and indebted to them!!!
So Easter is such a special holiday for me. It’s a holiday of love, gratitude, joy and hope. It’s what I cling to daily as I await to hold Miles again in my arms. 3 ½ years ago I would have told you that I lost everything. That nothing mattered anymore. But it was through losing my everything that I gained more than I ever thought. Miles gave me and continues to give me more than I ever realized I had or even knew. Miles gave me and continues to give me more love, gratitude, joy and hope than I ever realized possible. His death woke me from a slumber I didn’t realize I was in and he brought me to KNOW my Savior and Eternal Father in a way I may never had before. And I love him even more for it!!!