As I reflect on another February come and gone, another birthday celebrated and lots of memories made, I'm reminded how God's plan is not always my plan. I started the month knowing I would be packing and moving. I spent the first week doing just that. Then packing and moving some more - only in the middle of the move, my plan changed. "Okay, God. What's plan B? I'm going to have to let You figure this one out."
He never left me hanging. Although I admit what has followed has been a swarm of chaos, I am holding fast to His steady grip that has never let go of me.
With that behind me, and new opportunities ahead, I'm staring March down with intensity, looking at the calendar and thinking I can't possibly squeeze anything else in. I'm excited that at the end of this month we'll be celebrating Easter and that means more to me than anything.
It was March 31, 1984, when I was just five years old and I prayed to receive Christ as my Savior. This year on Easter Sunday I will celebrate a risen Savior while I also celebrate my 29th birthday - literally - of being born again into His family. (Don't worry - this is nothing like the FebruCarrie birthday celebration. But it is reason for me to celebrate the most amazing gift I've ever received.)
I don't exactly remember what words I said as a 5 year old little girl kneeled beside the bed, but I knew I needed to ask forgiveness of my sins. I knew I needed Jesus to save me. I knew I wanted to be assured that I'd be in heaven with Him when I died. And so I prayed.
I wish I could say the past 29 years have been a perpetual journey of holding fast to the straight and narrow. At times I've drudged through the valleys, while other times I've celebrated on the mountain tops. And all the while, He's never let go of me. Continually held in the grip of His grace, even when my own grip loosened.
Easter is not about baskets and bunnies. It's not about jelly beans or speckled robin eggs or even chocolate (although I can't deny my love of Cadbury eggs). It's about the death of the Word became Flesh who lived a perfect life then took upon the sins of the world - even knowing every time I would fail Him. It's about the One who willingly paid the price with His life so He could one day redeem mine. Easter is about the grave that held Him and the victory that came when death was defeated. No longer would I be sentenced to condemnation but instead my filthy-rags would be replaced with His righteousness.
To some, it's madness. To me, it's life. Eternal life.