Good Friday

Delicate information shared with permission

The longevity of this journey brings days of weariness and that’s ok because when I am weak, I am strong because of Jesus.

2 Corinthians 12:9-11
9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

When the hurts of the past…

become the fears of today. It has been approximately 27 years since my family regularly attended church together. At 16 one of my girls was a victim of rape by a young man who attended the same church as we did. How the church handled it, for me said he was more important than she was. I had experienced inappropriate hurt towards myself and others I had cared about in the two previous churches I had been a part of in years past. This was different. The day I walked out of that church and knew this was goodbye, my heart broke. I now knew what a broken heart felt like. It hurt, and it hurt a lot. The people I so needed were not there for me.

I didn’t return…

to church until about 17 years later. One Easter Sunday morning God brought me to church, a specific church. A church family where he brought healing. A local church where more hurt came and saying goodbye again. More on that healing and hurt will come later in the story.

At the next church…

which came as a result of the church split, I knew some of the people there. I was comfortable there. I knew they loved me and would love those I had hoped would come to church with me. Then God said, I want you somewhere else. Another goodbye. For the most part, I have attended church for the last ten years alone.

Every Easter…

we hear talk of inviting others. Oh, what an excellent opportunity to invite those who don’t know Jesus or who don’t regularly come to church. The last six years weeks before Easter rolled around, I know without a doubt God laid on my heart to invite some I already loved, the ones the church would be uncomfortable with sitting in their pews. I would pray and pray for a yes answer from those invites for those Easter Sunday services. I had huge hopes. At times I was afraid of the yes as much as I didn’t want to hear the no. One Easter my trans child did come. At that time they were still presenting as bio sex. When asked what they thought about church, their response was, “it was hard seeing all the pretty dresses the girls were wearing”. It was hard because they wanted to be one that was wearing one. That struggle was so real inside them. Other than that, I mostly received no’s to the invites.

Last year I invited my gay friend and his husband to come with me. I understood his no, too well. It hurt. I understood the fear they had. But it still hurt. I wanted God to give me a yes answer to those invites. Instead, I was reminded that I am called to be faithful, not results. That’s a hard lesson, one I needed to learn. One that would come into play in a much harder situation years later. A lesson I believe God knew I would need to know before the upcoming years.

I have struggled…

to even pray for a yes answer to any invites this year. I wasn’t even sure I wanted to invite the people I would choose to invite. Then I brought myself to pray and the next morning, I have a sense God was saying he was protecting them. I don’t think from the people at church, but maybe God is protecting them from something inside themselves. Maybe they are not ready. God knows them better than I do. Maybe it is God’s plan for them not to be in church yet. Or maybe God is protecting them.

I would love to have the ones I care about and love in church with me, especially on Easter. The thing sometimes I think I want that more for me than for them. I miss going to church together with my family. I miss all that it involves, together. Some Sundays it’s difficult to walk into church alone. Though maybe I want it more for me than I should want it for them. I need to want it deep down for them, the healing God can provide for them through his church from past hurts. I knew that healing, I did want it for them.

I have been reminded…

this past week that they will see Jesus in me. I have been reminded that I have been sharing that love with them. I want more. I want it to be more than just me. It’s hard being just me. If the people I love could just experience how much God’s church (inside the walls of the building and outside those walls) can love them, maybe things would change. Maybe so much would change. But they are scared. They have reasons to be scared. History, rejection of the lgbtq+ even today, and the hate speech that is running rampant over the last few days towards all trans individuals. But I want that change, so much. I am learning while struggling to not let the hurts of the past be the fears of today. I want that for them.

New Church…

I have been attending a new church now for two years. I go alone. This past Sunday I almost started crying in church. The message was great and there was talk of inviting others to church. I knew as I listened that I had already decided there would be no invites this year. Yet it hurt. I am struggling with whether to go by myself or be with my family at home. I don’t have a surety of that answer yet. I don’t even know why God said no invites this year. I am hoping one day he reveals that to me. But it still hurts, whether I go alone or whether I don’t even go.

Good Friday…

What I do know is on Good Friday 27 years ago, my daughter was raped, Good Friday. The effect of that hurt that I carried for years. Though that is not what Good Friday is about. The day we come together and remember the love God has for us in sending his son to die on that cross as a penalty for our sins and allowing us the opportunity to have a relationship with him. The excruciating pain he endured for me, for my family, and for all. I remember the day I gave my life to Christ and all the good after that. I remember all the wrong choices I made, all the bad, all the pain, all the tears, all the hurts toward me, the hurt towards those I care about and love, the rejection one can hear and the silent rejection, all the difficult stuff. Though the thing that stands out most is I remember how much God loves me and how faithful he has been to me through it all. I remember the joy that can come in the midst of difficulty, the courage and boldness in the midst of fear, I remember the peace that comes when nothing makes sense or when it hurts, and I remember when I don’t have the answers, God always does. I remember the encouragement God never failed to send me when I really needed it. I remember the why’s of it all becoming easier, and that he will always love me and be there for me. I am reminded that “God is not done writing my story” and my hope is in a better eternity. I know that even though I might not see the result of what he calls me to do, I can be assured he is working for my good. I know the grace God gave me the day I invited him into my life, is the same grace he gives me every single day. It wasn’t just for that day, but every day after, and every day forward. His covenant with me is never broken. And it all goes back to what he did for me on that cross.

Isaih 53:4-5 Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. 5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,     he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds, we are healed. 6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. 


Easter is not about the invites or the yes or no answers to the invites. It is about the power of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is about how my life has changed because of the reason we celebrate Easter.

1 Peter 1:3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!  In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.  

This year…

also for me, it is about being reminded that I still have more I need to lay at the foot of the cross, to hand over to Jesus and trust him to carry it for me. I need to trust him with what is ahead. I have healed from the hurts of the past within churches. I am not so much afraid of the hurt that might come towards me from others because of my passion for loving the lgbtq+ individuals. I think I can pretty much expect some of that to come. I am not afraid to speak and be an advocate for loving them as the church should. Loving them with truth and grace. But I do carry a fear from the hurts of the past. The fear of losing another church family. The fear of God saying it’s time to say goodbye again. Fear of God moving me or taking away those he has given me. People he has used to help me grow spiritually, people he has used to help me heal, and people he has used to encourage me and pray for and with me. I have fear of losing it again. Easter this year is a reminder that because of the cross and because of the resurrection, I do not have to carry that fear. The hurts of the past do not have to be the fears of today. Relinquishing it to Jesus is hard. Relinquishing it to Jesus is needed.

A song given to me yesterday, by a friend. A beautiful reminder for me this Easter.

I pray this Easter no matter where I am, that I am deep down in my heart celebrating Jesus. I pray that flows from my heart to those I am with. I pray what I need to give to him and trust him with, I do so willingly. I pray every day forward I am celebrating Jesus, so those around me can see Jesus in me. I pray no matter where you are on Easter morning your heart will be celebrating Jesus too.

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