Holy Saturday reminds us that we are constantly between the already and the not yet.
Holy Saturday whispers: “Not yet. Wait. The joy is coming.”
Holy Saturday feels like an eternity. The longest day we will ever endure. Never ending sorrow left from the mourning of Good Friday.
On Good Friday, the world goes dark.
My entire life, the world was light. Good Friday was a tradition I upheld as I awaited my Sunday morning Easter basket. I unwaveringly believed that the joy was coming- why would it not, after all? If you follow the rules, if you stick to the script, the world will reward you by staying a bright place. I was assured that all would be well exactly how I thought it should be.
You see, I was completely on the inside when it came to the Church. My image, my reputation, was something I had worked hard to craft and maintain. I was privileged beyond belief (and still am in many ways); and had never been viewed as anything other than legitimate.
Until my world went dark.
I made one decision: to choose this blended life of uncertainty and unknowns, this life where I had no idea where I fit in. And most of all – I certainly did not feel legitimate. A legitimate mother, a legitimate wife, a legitimate Christian. My family didn’t line up with what I was taught families would look like.
All of the sudden I was entrenched in depression and anxiety, fighting with my new husband and struggling to parent a child I hardly knew. I have resentment that is foreign to me; rage I cannot begin to explain. In my mind, there is a way things should be and this was not it.
I have slammed my screen door and stormed off into the night, even though it was thirty seven degrees outside and I had nowhere to go. I found myself accidentally near my pastor’s house because we are neighbors. And all I could think was, “PLEASE DON’T LOOK OUT YOUR WINDOW, EVERYTHING IS FINE. Hi Brandi. Yes, we love the new children’s curriculum! Just thought I would go for a walk in my pajamas in February.”
The image of me sitting on a curb in my pajamas in February was certainly not a part of the way I wanted to be perceived. My image was falling apart – it was now clear that I was barely making it through my own life.
I cried out to God and said, “Why is this the story I have been given? I hate attorneys and custody orders. I hate not knowing what my role is. I hate feeling like I am under a microscope. I hate being asked if I am the babysitter. I hate planning holidays around drop off times. Does anyone even care? Does anyone notice how hard I am working at this step mom thing? Why can’t I just be normal?!”
And Jesus has said, “Wait. The joy is coming.”
The world saw its darkest day two thousand years ago on a hill in the Middle East when God gave up Himself. God did His greatest work in the midst of the worst that humanity had to offer. We say that we earnestly believe in the resurrection- but we forget that first everything must die.
My resentment must die.
My pride must die.
My anger must die.
My snarkiness must die.
My idea of how things “should be” must die.
Nothing can be resurrected that has not died- it is the only way.
The message of Good Friday is that Jesus came because nothing is as it should be – but the Resurrection doesn’t come without the suffering. The Glory is coming, but first there is the crucifixion. The Resurrected King is resurrecting us.
Victory is coming. You can make it through Saturday, too.