My favorite memory of Easter is from the year I was diagnosed with MS. I had started to run again, and on Easter, before church, ended my run on a downhill from a golf course when a woman in her car drove down the same hill, rolled down her window, enthusiastically waved, and shouted "Happy Easter!" Yes! I was running down that hill, on that beautiful morning... I was running down that hill... I was running! Yes! Alleluiah! I hadn't been able to run for months, but right as I was diagnosed, I had started again. That's the uncertainty of MS. I was running - it was slower, and I didn't know what would happen. But I was taken to new "heights."
Recently (April 10), I hit 10 months without an MS attack and felt a bit the same way. Then there started to be some "hiccups." They were small - what was this? Is it too hot where I spend most of my time? It's 75 degrees. I am having trouble walking. I can't feel my hands. Uh oh...
I would return home and find most strength returned. But day after day of 75 was taking a toll. Take it easy. Rest. Stop pushing.
And then Maundy Thursday I was at home. As the day went on, I felt everything return. I was ok. It wasn't MS that got me. It was 75 degrees. I tell people that heat gets to me and it's interesting that they may say "me too." No - see it makes me physically sick.
But I came back. I rested. I waited, with more patience than I thought I had.
It was almost like this was my own unique Lent journey, except that it turned on Maundy Thursday, not on Sunday, when "he is risen."
I had to take other steps too. Recent extreme stress - change that to a focus on physical strength. I was being drained, but before I hit bottom, I turned.
On Thursday, I questioned if things had REALLY turned, so I tried a few new things - was I better? Was it possible that not only was I better, but that I took another "step" forward? Could I stand and let go even more? Yes? Could I walk somewhere I hadn't even considered until randomly, the night of Maundy Thursday? Yes, I could. In a totally different sense than that of Christ, I am risen.
I am standing here, right now, in my standing frame where I spend a half hour each day (work up to an hour?), writing this, knowing I somehow averted disaster, which took rest, patience, time to cry, time to pause, time to laugh. It took until Holy Week for me to do these things, but it is never too late. As usual, God is with me.
And it was strange timing as it all turned around near Easter and I celebrated Easter stronger... just like back when I was running. I still run in my dreams, which I won't give up
Only God knows if there's significance in timing or if it's just random, but I've been accompanied by God again on this journey.
Christ is risen. He is risen indeed. Alleluiah!
Thanks be to God.