Happy Belated Easter

Well, my Easter greeting coming a few days late is very fitting for the article that follows. I had grand plans of writing a killer article on all things Easter. Everything from my conflicted emotions of gratitude and sorrow when I think of Jesus’ suffering on the cross to the angle of how Christ suffered and died for all sinners, even the ones who broke up our marriages. Then the connection between the suffering in divorce and how it unites us in some distant way to Christ’s pain on the cross.  And lastly, the new life we have from the resurrection and the new life that comes from the healing after divorce. All of these topics have such rich depth and are perfectly in line with how we all experience and recover from divorce. As we know, sometimes the best laid plans crash and burn. The time I had set aside to put those ideas to paper was emotionally halted by a single mom experience I had on Easter Sunday at church of all places. Now, I have A LOT of support in raising my daughter. I am a firm believer in the village life parenting. My village loves, raises, and nurtures my daughter alongside me. With all that said, sometimes you just want some parental back up in the moment. All the help in the world can’t remedy the single parent moments when your toddler simply isn’t listening to you and needs the voice of their other parent. My Easter Sunday mass started with the lady behind me leaning over the pew and obnoxiously shushing my daughter and nephew. I felt helpless and irritated that someone would actually have the audacity to do something like that. This really threw me as I was trying to remain in the Easter spirit of restoration and new life. The mass went on and I was feeling pretty proud of how quiet my daughter was staying. As we were getting in line for communion, something about where she was standing in line set off the toddler unreasonability and she started crying. It felt like every eye in the church was on us. As I took her tantrum outside, I felt myself on the verge of crying.

Outside of the church, her tears turned to mine. Even with the progress made as a single parent, the emotions hit you at different times. There I was three years into the single mom gig, crying on Easter because my kid had a tantrum and I didn’t have her dad there to help me handle it. I felt broken all over again. And there was the Easter message in a way I hadn’t expected. Jesus died for the brokenness of humanity. He rose again so we could have freedom from the mess.

St. John Paul II said,

“We do not pretend that life is all beauty. We are aware of darkness and sin, of poverty and pain. But we know Jesus has conquered sin and passed through his own pain to the glory of the Resurrection. And we live in the light of his Paschal Mystery – the mystery of his Death and Resurrection. 'We are an Easter People and Alleluia is our song!'"

My prayer is that we will hold on tight to this message. In the single parenting, in the toddler tantrums, in the mess of divorce and rebuilding. Jesus conquered it all for us, let’s basque in that victory together.