Easter Sunday was a very special day for me on a number of levels: I celebrated Easter and the Risen Christ with my Field Ed church, a church that was in and of itself celebrating its own “risen-ness,” with a new pastor, its first student in at least 6 years, and a deep-rooted pain after its last temporary pastor. I also celebrated my own Easter, my own resurrection Sunday, my own coming to life.
Easter Sunday, 4/20/14, marked exactly two months since the implantation of my pacemaker, and my new beginning. Now, for many, a pacemaker isn’t much, and I get that. But let me explain. For my EP, it was a decision that we wrestled to the ground, even in the moments leading up to its implantation. In the day and even hours leading up to the surgery, my EP and I discussed whether I was making the right decision, and whether I could possibly have one more ablation before putting in a pacemaker in five weeks. He said that the eventual outcome would be a pacemaker, and likely sooner rather than later, but why not try (my previous form of treatment, definitely not curative by any means) once more just to see if it would improve my quality of life? If it would give me my Easter moment? While I appreciated what he was saying, I simply wasn’t willing to do this – I wasn’t willing to gamble five more weeks of my life (five weeks that I could actually be living as an adult, breathing (something I have grown to take completely for granted), enjoying my life?). And so, in the late afternoon of 2/20, the walk toward my Easter resurrection began. The work was not easy, and involved a second, emergency surgery, but resurrection happened. New life and a second (or fifth) chance was granted.
I was sitting at the table with Debbie & Bill Davis (a close mentor of mine, an ordained PC(USA) minister, and a member of the PTS faculty) and my parents on Easter, when all of a sudden, Debbie said, “didn’t you have surgery eight weeks ago, today?” I smiled, and thought, “How appropriate, that today, Easter, would mark the two month anniversary of my surgery…that I could be breathing and enjoying life two months out on Easter?”
We all have our Easter Resurrections – either little, or big, like mine. They come in all forms, and can be medical, academic, vocational, or relational, but they are deserving of stopping for a moment. We should pause, and celebrate the meaning of the resurrection, the change, the cause, and the tremendous blessing that has come as a result of such a change. Sometimes these resurrections come and go without much notice, either because they are so small and seemingly insignificant that our lives change without any need to pause. Or perhaps these resurrections are so incredibly life changing that we need to pause, take a breath and celebrate how life has been altered, maybe for the better.
My resurrection was life changing. Eight weeks later, on Easter morning, I couldn’t remember life before surgery. Life before surgery meant taking the elevator instead of the stairs, driving places instead of walking, sitting down all the time instead of being able to stand, and sleeping constantly instead of living wide awake. My resurrection has meant a complete 180 in terms of my lifestyle, and a new life – I will never be the same person I was before, but rather I got a new life. Every morning, when I get up and get ready in front of the mirror, I have a new buddy: a 2” scar and a lump right under my left collarbone.
But I don’t remember my life before, nor would I ever want to go back. Resurrection life means a sense of newness, not a return to the status quo, or a return to the old. I got something new – a battery, two leads, and a brand new lease on life. And now, I need to live it head on, with everything I’ve got!
What are your resurrection moments? Are they life-changing? Or are they just pauses? Where are your Easters?