It’s been a long, hard weekend met with disappointment and a bit of anguish. Nevertheless, it is still the Easter weekend, one to reflect on and to thank God for His sacrifice. Good Friday morning was spent at Exeter Cathedral where people from all the different churches gathered for the service. Although it was a short one, I enjoyed the peaceful service. And the experience of singing hymns together with hundreds of others in a cathedral was quite an extraordinary one. The acoustics of a cathedral’s interior are amazing, no need for microphones, sound just reverberates off the nooks of the intricate carvings and ceilings.
When I was younger, Easter was all about going to Sunday school and making Easter paper baskets or colouring in patterned Easter eggs and listening to the story of Good Friday and the resurrection. I remember being bewildered by the concept of Jesus washing away our sins. My literal mind just could not understand how blood could make us white as snow, free of sins. As I grew older, I then began to understand it as the cleansing of sins by blood as metaphorical; that Jesus, being free from any sin, took our rightful place as sinners and died for all our sins. Even now, with my teenage years nearly behind me, I still try to fully understand what God did for us in the sacrifice of His son.
I was reading this article from Relevant magazine about Jesus’s death being the “real Black Friday” and this excerpt stood out to me:
“It was because Jesus completely entered our broken human condition that a way was made for us to leave that condition—to overcome death and to become a new kind of humanity. The Cross was actually God’s victory over darkness—not with brute or political power but through Christ’s passively submitting to all the torment darkness had to offer, and then overcoming it by exhausting it. Paul wrote, “None of the rulers of this age understood [the wisdom of the cross], for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.”
And looking back on all that happened this weekend, there isn’t a need for me to live like I have no choice. God has already won the victory and as His child, He has already won the battle for me. I feel like I’ve been fighting my own battles, taking it upon myself to carry emotional burdens that just never go away. And then I realise, as much as I’ve been praying for God to help me surrender everything to Him, I haven’t actually surrendered in my heart to let go and let Him take control. It’s unarguably, one of the hardest things a human could ever do because we feel uneasy not being in control over our own matters.
Admittedly, this Easter weekend hasn’t been one filled with utmost gratitude to God for me but it has dawned on me that I have been fruitlessly fighting my own battles when I don’t need to. Even though today has been one of my worst days, I realised two important things: 1) Crying never really helps, it only gives me headaches that last for hours. 2) My biggest fear is probably feeling alone. I wanted to write “being alone” but then they are two different things. I’m one of those who can deal with being on my own, I do like my own space at times. But ashamedly, I can barely hold out feeling completely alone. I do wonder if I’m feeling particularly vulnerable recently or if it’s just a belated bout of loneliness that was supposed to have hit me hard months ago when I first arrived here. It’s almost amusing to think that it comes the worst not when my flatmate leaves the house for a day trip but when people back home I’ve been messaging go to sleep, as trivial as it sounds. Perhaps others leaving the cyberspace and communication world at around late afternoon my time over here affects me more than my friends leaving physically to go home or something. Strange.
Having said all these, I know that this business of loneliness is part of the overseas experience, integral to growing my emotional maturity. It’s just hard to remember that God always has a bigger and better purpose for everything He puts in our way. Perhaps it’s God’s way of drawing me to Himself and to relieve my poor loved ones of bearing the brunt of my emotional outpourings. This takes a lot for me to say but I have to say that even at nineteen, I still have a lot of growing up to do and boy, is growing up hard. And as for today, even though I got such little work done so far, I am grateful to God for revealing hard but necessary truths about myself and for reminding me that He is still there.