Once upon a time Saturday nights were the highlight of my week. They were a time to get together with girlfriends or a date and enjoy dressing up and going out after what my pre-motherhood self thought was a stressful week. Once babies came, Saturday nights were often a time to reconnect with my husband. It was the one night we would get a small break from our routine of work and rearing children to stay up later than normal and enjoy each other’s company.
Our last Saturday night together was a perfect one. I have always taken to heart the sentiment of the saying, what if you woke up in the morning with only the things you thanked God for the night before? I fell asleep late that night next to my husband thanking God for him, our children and the life we were building. I was perfectly content with my world at 32 years old and wondered how I could have ever been so blessed. I was genuinely happy and took great care to water my own grass so that it was the greenest in town. I’m glad I had no idea then that my world as I knew it would shatter around me just 48 hours later.
Taylor and I only had one more night together after that perfect Saturday night and on Monday he was gone. I know I will carry the pain of losing him with me for the rest of my life on this earth, but nothing compares to that initial hopelessness I felt just one short year ago. I truly had to get through those first months minute by minute and step by step. There was no way to see a future or happiness through my heartache. I remember family and friends gathering together every day and night to support each other as we broke bread over dinners brought over by our caring community. It amazed me how everyone would comment on how good the meal we were sharing was when all I could wonder is if I would ever have an appetite again or enjoy the taste of my once favorite foods.
“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
This past Sunday, many of us sat with our loved ones to break bread over Easter brunch as we celebrated the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the hope his sacrifice brings mankind. I spent the last week studying the account of his crucifixion and resurrection given in the book of John. This is a familiar story I don’t ever remember not knowing. I now read it to my young children and answer their questions the best I can. It’s a lot to wrap your head around and this year, I had a new connection to the story when I read a devotional by John Ortberg titled In Between Despair and Joy. Ortberg points out the peculiarity that so little has been said or researched about Saturday, the day after Jesus’s crucifixion, when the day before (Good Friday) and the day after (Resurrection Sunday) are two of the most studied and written about days in history.
Ortberg says, “It’s a strange day, this in-between day. In between despair and joy. In between confusion and clarity. In between bad news and good news. In between darkness and light…” I so painfully remember that in-between feeling. That feeling of no hope, knowing that I had just experienced the darkest moment of my life, but still not being able to see any light peer through even the most miniscule crack in my tunnel of grief. I am still living through my Saturday and so are many of you. The thing about Saturday is that it comes every week so even when we come out on the other side, there will be more Saturdays waiting for us in this life. The good news is that God sent Jesus to die on the cross and save us all from the despair of Saturday. Because of Christ’s sacrifice, those who believe in Him have hope. Spring is here and Sunday morning is just around the corner!! While the hangover of whatever Saturday we are living in or will walk through in the future feels debilitating right now, we can live with hope that the fog will soon be lifted! Christ has risen and victory has been won! God created the seventh day and instructed us to keep it holy. Let us all rest peacefully because the Sabbath is in sight!