Finding Renewed Joy at Easter

A military mom, missing her deployed son, still finds joy and promise of a new life.

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Finding renewed joy at Easter for a military mom.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13, NIV) 

Easter has always been a pretty big deal at our house. When our sons were young we dyed eggs, took part in community events and went to the special programs at church. For Easter morning, I put together special baskets for each of our sons, even as they moved from toddlers to teenagers. Beyond that, Easter Sunday was a special family time of worship. The boys would humor me, dressing up for service, and I always had a new outfit.

But the year our son left for the Middle East was different. He had deployed in early fall, and it had been a long winter. Now spring was blooming everywhere but in my heart. Our family felt fractured and incomplete. Not only was I dealing with fear and worry, I hated the way our family traditions had been disrupted.

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My “poor me” attitude bled into everything I did. I went through the motions, putting together Easter baskets and trying to make the holiday feel as normal as possible. 

I sent our deployed son his Easter basket, but the timing was off and it arrived way too early. Nothing seemed to be as it should. The whole Easter season felt rushed and incomplete. To top it off, I didn’t even attempt to shop for a new dress.

Easter morning finally arrived, and I continued to stumble through the motions as we headed to church. In my mind I grumbled to God. I wanted my family back together and my son home safe. But as we walked from the parking lot to the sanctuary, a dark shadow seemed to lift. The sun shone brighter, the birds filled the air with their songs, and everywhere nature was exploding with the beauty of spring.

I sat in the service with the familiar hymns bursting from the organ while I listened anew to God’s promise of new life. It was like He crafted a message just for me, reminding me that good things were still to come, and it wouldn’t be long until our son was back home safe and sound. 

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