By Jen Matthews

When I was a child, Easter was so exciting because it meant baskets and candy and shopping for a new dress. Of course, I ended up hating to wear said dress, but the candy… that was still a win.

I’ve traveled a lot of road since I was a child. A road with more twists and turns than I may should have experienced, but all have shaped what Easter looks like to me now. Don’t get me wrong, I am now, and will always be a lover of candy. It goes deep.

But what I see now in Easter goes so much deeper than what I could ever observe from the outside. It’s not dresses, it’s not the family lunch, it’s not the hidden eggs, or even the smiles on all of the faces at the fun Easter events.

When you find the ability to realize exactly how in need of grace we all are, and how freely given it is, Easter becomes something different entirely. See, it took me a long time to realize that I wasn’t the only one that had flaws. I wasn’t the only one that was carrying the shame of bad decisions and the fear of not being good enough for rescue. Turns out, that’s what most people feel.

But here’s where we find freedom; when you realize it’s not just a messed up YOU, but we live in a world that is fallen and needs saving, then you can see the hope. Easter hits deep for me because it’s a glaring reminder of how much undeserved grace and mercy I have received.

There’s not a day that goes by that I’m not keenly aware of what the Lord has done for me. But to soak in the full extent of it from Good Friday, remembering the sacrifice, to the ultimate celebration on Easter Sunday, remembering the ultimate victory over death, becomes the most powerful and humbling moment.

To receive that amount of love and grace. To allow yourself to see your life in the way the Father sees it; as one worth giving everything for, knowing we’re still going to be messed up, flawed humans. It’s overwhelming in the best way.

I pray that this Easter is more than candy and dresses and family lunch for you. I pray that you find the moments to reflect and realize the love and sacrifice involved and allow yourself to sit with the Lord, imperfections and all.