this year, easter was bittersweet.
bitter, obviously, because my son was not here to participate in our family's traditions of egg hunting, attending church, and then a big dinner with both of our families. i didn't get to dress him up. i didn't get to make him an easter basket. and i didn't get to watch kate steal eggs out of his basket, as i suspect she would have done if he were here.
bitter, because this year, our traditions were broadened to include visiting our baby boy's gravesite.
bitter, because at the egg hunt i happened to stand right next to a new father, who proudly gushed about his five-month-old baby boy's recent milestones; how he was just starting to army crawl a little bit. in the split second i allowed myself to look at the baby, i noticed how adorably chubby he was. i guessed he weighed somewhere around 17 pounds.
and then i looked away.
i definitely felt bitter. actually, more like crushed. wounded.
i love how God, through His word, has a way of gently reminding me of who He is, what He has done for me, and why i shouldn't be so focused on the temporal all the time. yes, my pain is real. yes, life is not the same without jonathan. but if i focus on those sorrows without remembering the true significance of easter, then of course it will be bitter.
i am reminded what crushed and wounded really means in Isaiah 53:4-6:
"Surely he took up our pain
and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted.
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.
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."
and suddenly it wasn't so bitter anymore.
the sweetness of this truth is that i have a God who knows my pain. who also willingly suffered incomprehensible pain on the cross.
so that i would have hope, as i suffer in this fallen world, to be fully healed one day.
and hope that one day i will celebrate easter with my precious jonathan.