"Chris is Risen! He is Risen Indeed!"
No phrase has filled me with more joy this year than that one has. Every time its said, whether ritually or sincerely, I get a warm feeling in my heart. Perhaps that is cliche to say, but it fits perfectly into alignment with the reflection of the past few months, which have not been the easiest on me. It has to do with uncomfortable decisions I've made, decisions I was advised against making. Falling into a world of lies and deceit. Questioning people's motives, wondering if I would ever get through this. And at one point, I looked Satan straight in the eye wondering if his path would bring the joy that it appears to have brought so many. I celebrate love, Christianity, Jesus, God - have for many years. But deep down in my heart, I can not deny that evil does not always lose in the struggle between what is right and wrong. Sometimes things just seem easier if you focus most on what you want, even at the expense of the people you love. And given these temptations, these sadistic philosophies - I found myself turning my back on God to the point of almost complete denial of his existence.
I was angry. Saddened that I had once again been hurt by the people I loved. Devastated that I have continued to try and see the good in people when everyone else is blind to them, and instead found my heart to be repeatedly pierced by my own good intentions. It was a terrible way to feel. I spent many nights laying awake, cold and shivering. Anxious, tearful. A complete emotional trainwreck. I lost sleep. I've been eating unhealthy. And the worst part is, I was so ashamed I didn't feel comfortable talking to anyone about it - not even my own therapist. I was sinking into a dark cavern of hatred, with steep slippery walls.
Then with one last gasp before completely sinking into the dark abyss of temptation and sin, my mind called out to a God I was trying so hard to tell myself did not exist. The words I spoke to him in my mind were as follows:
"God, if you exist, please listen to me. I know you are busy. I am busy too. This isn't me. I know you know its not me. I have a good heart, but it has been tainted by life. It may be a good heart, but its not a strong heart. I need you to make it strong. I don't need you to fix my problems. They are my problems. I just need you to give me strength. To give me a reason to pull myself out of the swallowing depths of hell. Give me a reason to move on. Maybe you don't exist. Maybe the atheists are right. But what I need the most is for you TO exist so you can give me the strength I need to fix myself. Please do this for me."
The voice of doubt that was plaguing my mind stayed with me that night. I asked myself why would a supposed higher being that governed billions of people care about me. Eventually, I fell asleep.
Now, perhaps there are logical explanations for what happened next. Maybe its just coincidental, or I was playing mind games with myself using what I really wanted to drive my inhibitions. All I know is that the next day, I felt like a new person. I suddenly had this unexplained burst of energy flowing through me. Without explaining in detail the changes I faced, it is important to know that throughout the next couple of weeks I managed to get a lot accomplished. I was acing tests left and right and getting papers turned in on time. My co-ca, Shelby, and my boss Jen can vouch for my turnaround as a Community Advisor. The bottom line: I was acting on all of my responsibilities with 0% doubt or denial that I could achieve my goals.
I didn't see tears flowing from a concrete statue. I never had a rosary turn to gold on a trip to Italy, and I've never seen a man who's been blind since birth be able to experience the wonders of sight. However, I DID experience my own miracle. It was a miracle because the previous day I had honestly believed all was lost. I was so self-absorbed in my misery that I failed to recognize that there was someone watching out for me. Or, maybe it was me that WAS the blind man. I didn't think it was possible for me to see, and I held on to the slightest bit of faith I had left desperately asking for the ability of sight. That small grain of faith changed my whole perception, and did it over night. And even to this day, I don't feel like anything can stop me.
Christ experienced a similar miracle. He went through the most painful suffering anyone could experience. And though he stared death in the eye, he used his last grasping breathes to call out to God. God heard him, and responded by resurrecting him from the dead, as I believe God heard me and resurrected me from being completely lost into my own hatred for the people that caused me to hurt. Jesus Christ is Risen, and because of that so have I.
The message of Christianity is often lost by the misquoting and misrepresentation of scripture. The Bible has a lot of great things in it, but it is filled with stories. They might be true. They might be false. But holding them on a higher account than what is truly in your heart seems futile. All Jesus ever wanted us to do was love. And we do that by having faith.
For the small amount of people that read this message, thank you. I'm not the best writer, and I spend a lot of time writing blogs of opinions that I have, but this is a true story that I wanted to share with my friends and family. This was an Easter miracle that I experienced, and this is my way of thanking God for the miracle. By sharing it to the rest of the world, so they too can find faith in their hearts and be 'resurrected' from their own deaths.