Let me say from the git-go that I’ve never considered myself a religious person, except perhaps in college during a deeply philosophical conversation and far too much liquor. If I ever acted religious, it was for show.
Not being religious gave me a heady, intellectual persona, or so I thought (Alcohol was probably talking again.). With recovery, not only did the alcohol go away, so did the idea that I had to find a religious type.
Instead, I took up with spirituality. People in recovery told me I could live with a higher power–a God of my understanding–and I was good with that.
A few weeks ago I wrote about my Fat Tuesday impulsive decision to write daily essays during Lent based on prompts from Rev. Phil Ressler’s book, 40 Things to Give Up for Lent and Beyond: A 40 Day Devotion Series for the Season of Lent. I set the intention of getting more God in my life.
You see, I was kind of coasting during the early part of this year. Feeling kind of blah for no real reason. You know the story–everything is fine but nothing is really good. I needed a shake-up and now that I’m on the backside of 40 days of publishing 350-500 words each day, I’m feeling pretty darn good.
I wish I could fully express what writing those 40 essays did for me. (To read the series, go to my Facebook Notes page.) It feels like a pretty cool accomplishment and I’m grateful for the reader interaction.
The best part about the practice of letting go of 40 different things–and writing about it–was my heart opened as it hasn’t in a long, long time.
My open heart led me to say yes when my sweetie asked if I wanted to go to a church service on Saturday night. A friend and colleague of hers asked if we would be her guest at the Saturday evening Easter service at Elevate Life Church here in Frisco, Tx.
This is my Year of Yes, so I had to go. My mind was open but I was not prepared for the swell of emotions that washed over me during the evening. From the time we stepped out of the car in the cathedral’s parking lot to the time we stepped out of the ladies room following the service, we felt a genuine welcome and warmth from the multitude of volunteers.
The production of the Easter story was moving and masterful. My eyes leaked torrents of tears from start to finish.
I was surprisingly absorbed by the musical uplift and by Pastor Keith Craft’s message about seeing the proof and feeling the promise of the Resurrection. He said a resurrection plays out for each of us as we feel renewed or restored to our Christ-like selves (not his words, but the words that work for me).
I was carried away from the experience on a blanket of love. I felt (and feel) unstoppable–that word is Pastor Craft’s. I know the power of Christ is deep within me, that Jesus is a part of me. I guess that makes me religious after all.
Who knows what happens next. I don’t much care. I gave up a lot of things during Lent but gained so much more. On this Easter Monday, I am an Easter-sated gal ready to take on the world!
Photo courtesy of lauramusikanski