Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Choosing Easter

Another HEX essay. This one I submitted gutsily; you'll see why. M— tells me it is beautiful. I'm still trying to convince myself that being this open is alright. I see it as responsibility, but it still scares me. Just a bit. It's featured in next Monday's issue.

My Easter was September 2nd, 2007.
It was the end of four years negotiating and reasoning where and who I wanted to be in the space of my life, and what I was willing to do to get there.
It was releasing my dependence on the twenty-three LDS Sister missionaries who, transfer by transfer, made my home a central stop on their tracting route for three years, even during the months that I wasn’t so glad to see them, and they’d spend their visits listening to me rant on and on about my grievances toward the LDS Church, Joseph Smith, and God.
Easter was releasing anger and bitterness and blame for everyone, including myself. It was the bravery in leaping toward faith when I knew so little, and at the same time more often than not, when I knew far too much.
Easter was lying in my bed in the darkness of the late 2007 spring, and catching myself fantasizing: What hymns will we sing? Who will I ask to speak? Who will stand with me in the water? Who will lay their hands on my wet head?
Easter was that moment I stopped pushing aside all of my reasons to the contrary and allowed belief to take root.
Easter is justice and mercy. Easter is compassion. Easter is a brain and body that function the way I want them to. Easter is the hand that brushes away the tears of those I’ve wronged. Easter is the hand that holds mine every time there is no one to comfort.
Easter is that pot-bellied little girl standing on the edge of the pool without her water-wings waiting for the courage to rise up so that she can finally take that running jump into the outstretched arms of her big brother. Easter is flying through the air, knowing you’re going to be caught, and that you’ll be safe. Easter is that kind of trust.
Easter is the putty that fills the cracks of words spoken and actions made on impulse. It is the humility required to teach my kids that I, too, am human, and that the mistakes I make can sometimes be earth-shattering. So much so that it took not one, but two LDS swimming parties to get my belief right.
Easter is also teaching my kids that the miracle putty is strong enough to put anything back together; not just my drop-kicks—theirs too. Easter is the courage needed to bring up my mistakes and my swimming parties to my children over and over, as often as needed, until they realize that I really did take the plunge. I really do believe this. I really do trust. And I trust so deeply that I can let my kids take their own reigns and make their own choices, because I have given myself entirely to faith in the repair when things in life don’t turn out as we hope.
Easter—be it beneath an olive tree, or nailed to a beam, or speaking the surest love to a weeping woman beside an empty tomb—all of it is a choice. And me, I chose a second immersion.

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