I have been waiting to download the Easter pictures before writing an update. Sorry it took so long! As you can see above, we made sure we got in the face painting line early this year, to avoid a Meany Clown vs. SuperDad rematch. Abbie was quite pleased with her butterflies (the other cheek was painted to match.) However, I wasn’t able to snap a picture of all the kids before the boys visited the clown as well, hence I share with you our lovely Family Easter photo, 2008. Nothing like a couple of Spiderman faces to proclaim “He Is Risen!!!’, right?
Easter was a beautiful day for all of us. Abbie is in such new place as of late, that all the sting of this particularly poignant holiday was taken away this year. I was not holding my breath at all that day, which is unusual. On other Easters I’ve had to pray for each and every breath to be given, as my strength would fade and despair would rush in. God provided everything this day, right down to Abbie’s hair accessory. We were running a bit late for church, since we took the unusual step (for us) of attending the early service. A bit ambitious, but necessary to make it to brunch. Abbie ending up rolling out of the house with just a purple elastic band in her hair — certainly not up to her standards!! Oh well, I thought…all that matters is that we are going to church. We’d been seated less than five minutes when a member of the hula and sign worship team walked up behind Abbie with an ornate flower arrangement for her hair. Each of the dancers was wearing one, and they had one extra….which they gently pinned in Abbie’s hair. Well, my, my…who was the princess now?
At the end of the service, as Pastor was closing his message, Abbie became quite animated. So, she and I carried on a covert conversation, with me whispering and her squeezing my hand. I’d had to disconnect her switch earlier in the service when “Happy Easter” rang out over and over as Pastor began speaking. I was almost certain I understood what she meant, and my heart nearly burst. But, I waited until we were home to confirm it.
As I laid her on the couch I said, “Do you think we should tell Daddy what we were talking about in church.” Big grin. “Do you think we should tell Daddy that you asked Jesus into your heart today?” Her body about jumped off the couch.
Tears came as I knew the confirmation was concrete. You see, Abbie became “talkative” in church as the pastor shared the story of salvation: how each of us are created in God’s image, beloved by Him, made to have a relationship with Him; but then through our errors and mistakes are separated from Him. Christ laid down His life so that our sins could be forgiven and we could once again have a relationship with God. Abbie was enthralled, and clearly understood what was being said. When the pastor invited any who were willing to accept Christ’s free gift of grace, Abbie kicked her legs and squeezed my hand yet again.
Earlier in the week a friend had emailed that she would be praying for “an Easter miracle for Abbie and your family, for a new beginning.” You know what I was praying for that new beginning to be, but God had something much bigger in mind. Luke 5:23 says, “Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins have been forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk?'” God accomplished the impossible for Abbie on Easter, the salvation which makes rising and walking look like a speck of dust.
I suppose because unlike almost all of the rest of us, she has glimpsed Heaven, I somehow thought the eternal transaction had been made there. But, on Easter the Lord showed me that perhaps one reason He gave Abbie back to us is so that she could say “Yes” to Him of her own free will.
On Easter Sunday, 2008 the name Abigail Faith Vara was written in the Book of Life.