Easter is one of the saddest days of the year for me now.

I would love so much to be able to be with the people I used to do community with. When I was religious. I log onto social media and I see everyone. And I know it would be as simple as making a big show of standing in front of them with tears and telling them I was wrong. Maybe more to the point, telling them they were right all along. Then I’d probably have at least a few of them that would talk to me again like before.

But as much as I miss them every damn day, it’s not worth it to trade the Life that is finally in me for the hell I used to think was living. As painful as it is to be utterly alone almost every day, I can’t see me ever trading THE Jesus I know and more importantly have now experienced for the literal blasphemous anti-christ they tried to sell me, albeit mostly ignorantly and with the best of intentions.

And that really sucks. No matter how much I understand it, no matter how much I know God is with me, it still hurts a lot. And that really sucks.

I have to put my ego into check or I’ll spiral. I have to put my big grrrl pants on and not take any of it personally. Even though I have to proceed as if it is personal. Because it’s not okay to treat people like they have treated me. So, forgive them, love them, but at the same time they don’t get a free pass on their behavior just because they don’t know better. Especially when they aren’t open to doing differently when confronted with the opportunity.

And yet this is the best day of the year for those that follow Jesus. Because Easter signifies that there is nothing so bad we can do that will ever put Their Love for us in jeopardy. We already literally hit Jesus with our best shot. And He allowed us to do it in order to prove to us that we have nothing to fear.

Easter is the celebration of the absolute triumph over fear, failure, and death. And everything in me wants to scream and shout that from the rooftops. Wants to dance and sing and celebrate that Truth in the streets. But I have no one to celebrate it with in the physical. No place I can go yet that is safe.

And yet I have to spend the entire day driving by church after church packed with people. Knowing they are probably not hearing the true good news. They are probably being baptized in a colossal dose of condemnation. Knowing that shit is going to stick with them for at least a little while. So, basically stay out of their way until the next crisis in their life that challenges their beliefs and opens their ears and eyes for at least the audacity to consider differently even for a moment. Before they shut down and go back to what they know. So they don’t end up like me – cast out and alone.

And that really sucks.

Yet the Easter message is that even when it looks like there is no hope, God can pull the rabbit out of hat. 😉 That’s the whole Easter message: God doesn’t need our strength. I can relax. And trust that there is something bigger going on than fat-single-lonely-chick gets abandoned by so many people that used to tell her that they were her friends. That they loved her. That she was family. No, the story has to be bigger than that. My God wouldn’t just leave me out in the desert. My God didn’t do abandonment on The Cross and my God doesn’t do abandonment now!

Is anything too hard for The Lord? Even changing the hearts of those completely inundated with and hardened by religion? The short answer is emphatically, “NO!”

And I have myself as daily proof. If God can change me, then God can also change them. Hopefully I’ll get to see that day and reunite with them.

In the meantime, even though I am one thousand percent absolutely sick and tired of feeling sad for the millionth time, I have to give my heart the space and patience to yet again grieve and feel angry. About everything. Everyone.

Not so I can get any “poor me” attention. At all. No, the only reason I share this is to honor myself and this journey. Especially on days like this where there is no one to turn to. I have to be my own best friend in the physical. I have to validate my experience for myself. I have to give myself the grace and patience I deserve. And celebrate myself for all the shit I’ve fought through. Not in a boasting way. Just acknowledging these monumental challenges.

Think of how much pain is involved in a divorce. Then think about everyone divorcing you one by one, year after year. That is such a significant loss. Almost debilitating.

And yet Jesus is my hope.

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