We went to Easter service at the Anglican Cathedral in Victoia today. It was meaningful for a few reasons – obviously celebrating Christ was one, but also it’s the place my parents took us when we used to come to the Island for Easter and is filled with happy family memories. One reason I hadn’t thought about until we were sitting there was that Ansley who had been the priest at my parents’ church in Calgary and who walked with us in the last stages of dad’s life and after he passed away was preaching there. I knew she was there, but I wasn’t really ready for the emotional kick I got when I saw her. Interestingly although there was a sadness when I saw her, there was also a lot of peace, joy, and comfort – she was part of a very important event in our lives and one that brought about great change for me.
I cried through most of her homily. One thing that I have really realized on this little vacation is that somewhere along the way I had lost hope, and over the last couple of weeks I’ve been finding it again. I had been saying I was feeling overwhelmed, but I think what I was really feeling was hopelessness. That’s a bad feeling.
My meditations lately have been about finding hope during times of chaos, my readings have been about how chaos takes us away from our connection to God and He’s the one who gives us hope, my prayer time and chats with God have been about finding hope and believing that anything is possible. So, it makes sense that we were here for Easter to hear her story of being Easter people and of finding hope as well.
She told her own Easter story about her sister and as she was talking I kept thinking of the parallels in my own life – my story with dad and leaving Mr. X, and all that has come with it. She talked about how Easter is remembering and celebrating that even in dark times we know that God puts things back together in different, beautiful, and usually better ways – sometimes it’s just a matter of seeing that. How important it is that we always hold onto our hope that the sun will shine out of the storm.
I have always felt that the kids and I coming back home and getting out of that abusive and scary environment was dad’s last gift to me. It came with a lot of pain and a lot of change, but I am starting to see the hope shining out of the storm. Tears were streaming out of my eyes (I will be glad when I stop crying in public all the time, but I’m learning to embrace it more) as I sat and listened and really absorbed the miracles that have happened in my own life over the past two years. There have been a lot of storm clouds, but rainbows and sunshine along with them too.
Happiness is hope, happiness is celebrating Christ, happiness is time here at the ocean with the two people I love most in the world.