“But some will come to me—those the Father has given me—and I will never, never reject them.”  John 6:37

“You can never run again.” Sure, my spine surgeon said it kindly and with soft eyes because I was crying so hard that I might have been blowing awkward bubbles from my nose. Two centimeters is 0.7874 inches. Doesn’t seem like much unless that 2 cm is your jelly-like lumbar disc extruding from your spine and making contact with a nerve root. Because then my friends…it’s a really big deal. Like acid burning through your nerves. Had I known the last time I ran that it would be my final stride, I would have made it a delicious one. I thought I was past the memory but running and Easter are a collective symbolism of my surrender and my faith.

Photography: Suzanne Sonnier

The colors of spring danced in the bright, fuchsia azaleas mocking the lingering sadness in my heart. I bent down to tie my running shoes and with a quick skip, I was off for a run. The sun pooled into Lake Pontchartrain as the white shells crunched rhythmically beneath my feet. It was near Easter, over twenty years ago on a New Orleans levee and a younger ME was putting as much sweat and distance from my sin, when I lost my footing and fell to the ground. I struggled in frustration to get up, as a trail of blood slipped down my chalky knees. Warm air and embarrassment settled around me and on that well worn path, I cried out to God to save me. That day, sin lost its traction to my soul. My life was redeeMEd. I love Easter because of this. Everything about it. 

It’s an older ME this Easter. I had many runs and conversations with God since that day. I was undeserving of Christ’s mercy. We all are. It doesn’t mean that I don’t sin or even from then, that I made all the right choices. I’m afraid that I’m a serial repenter in need of His grace on a daily basis.

I did a little math the other day and based on the average life expectancy and my current age, I can expect to live over 10,000 days. It seems like a lot but then the realization that I only have 28 Easters left sinks in. I came to the end of myself 23 Easters ago and collapsed in my Heavenly Daddy’s arms. In His love and mercy, God carried me to a spacious place for the redeemed and ransomed. (Isa. 35:9). He pulled me from a pit and crowned me as His daughter, with love and compassion. (Psalm 103).

Jesus Christ’s blood was the ransom for my soul and yours. I never fully understood the finishing work that Jesus did on the cross. Through His life, death, burial and resurrection He left nothing undone when He redeeMEd us all.

Today, I pray that you place your HOPE on the grace fully given (1 Pet 1:13-25) and surrender to the open arms of your Savior, Christ Jesus. As He pulls you tight and whispers a love song to your soul, look closely because He’s engraved your name on the palm of His hands. (Isa. 49:15-16)

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