On the evening of April 6, 1982, a Tuesday, I had went out with a friend but had decided, for whatever reason, not to drink alcohol that evening. You see, I was a teenage alcoholic at that time, so it was very unusual for me to not be drunk by the time I had returned back to the bar in which I worked and lived behind. I said my good-byes to the friend and walked into the bar. I was shown a very vivid and clear picture of the life I was living and how grotesque and sad it had become. All of my so-called friends were very drunk and disorderly, and very uncomfortable and upset that I was not! I needed out! I ran outside and stood on the curb and cried. It was then that I heard an audible voice, at the time not knowing where it was coming from, that told me “Get out and away, or you will die here.” Broken and hurting, I knew I had heard the truth. I walked over to the payphone next to me and called “home”.
Later that evening, I prayed “God, if you exist, please give me a reason to live.” At this point in my life I had failed at everything in my eyes. Failed at daughterhood, wifehood, motherhood, and overall, lifehood!
I was given a place of refuge and rest at home. That following Saturday, April 10, 1982, the day before Easter, I met a boy who would change my life. If there is a thing called “love at first sight” I had it! We talked, laughed and joked for the rest of the day and night. We “teamed up” that very day, and have been a “team” ever since. That evening, the boy asked what I was doing the next day for Easter. I told him I was cooking for my family, including my 16 month old daughter which lived with my parents. He, the very handsome, genteel, and compassionate boy, asked if I would go to church with him. Of course I agreed! Remember, “love at first sight!”
Easter Sunday, April 11, 1982. He was late! Two and a half hours late! I had already changed back into street clothes thinking I had been stood up. Then a light tap came on the door. He had come. It was too late to attend a church service so we drove around for 2 or three hours and just talked! The first time in a long time I had just talked and listened to someone! He cared, he listened. We laughed, talked, I cried, just got to know one another. No judgments, no criticism, fellowship and growing in a relationship.
Time to go eat with my family. We returned to my home, with my family all there. As I finished cooking the Easter meal, the boy, Mark Easley, went into the living room of the apartment, sat down on the floor with my Daughter, Amber, and began to play, talk, laugh with her as well. He became her daddy that very moment. There was “something special” residing in this boy. I wanted whatever he had within him. I somehow knew I could trust this “thing” in him. For me as well as my daughter.
We (all three of us) married one year later on May 6, 1983. Our family was united.
April 21, 1984, our next daughter was born to us. The day before Easter.
April, 1985, our next daughter was conceived. Yep, around Easter!
In the past several years I have struggled with Easter, even to the point of not celebrating. Just this week the Lord has shown me why. I have been relating it to the loss of our beloved DD, my sweet mother-in-law that we were all so very close to … but it was far deeper than that.
First of all, that voice I heard on the curb was my Heavenly Father sending me a His salvation message. I was going to die if I had not let the Lord take me out of where I was at, and place me in a place of rest and restoration. I did have to decide if I wanted to die or not! I did not!
Second, God does exist and gave me a reason to carry on. He (God) chose to give me Mark Easley. From the very first moment I met him, I wanted to be a better, life-giving, compassionate person. The one I knew I was, and had deep inside me. “Deep calling deep.” I am by no means saying Mark was my savior, but he did point me to our Savior from the moment we met.
Third, Mark became Amber’s father even before we met. But Mark knew that the day he met his first born daughter Amber. It was “love at first sight” for them as well!
God continually used the Easter season to be very significant and special in our lives. Beyond the first significance of our Savior being crucified for us, he has continually used the Easter season to give our family new life and restoration. Mark, me and Amber meeting, Christin Faith born, and Anna Nichole conceived.
About 6 years ago, Mark and I’s relationship had grown very divided. It was a very difficult and dark time in our marriage. I missed my husband and our friendship, closeness, marriage. Then something very painful and hard happened. Our beloved DD passed away. That was the final proverbial “straw” severing our relationship. Mark and I withdrew from each other, and went into our corners. We both “coped” and lived our own unhealthy ways. I started boycotting Easter, thinking it was because of the loss of DD. But this week God has shown me what all that has been about. I was and have been mourning the loss of my marriage. The loss of my best friend. The loss of my husband.
This year is once again a year of restoration and healing for our family in this Easter season! The Lord has reminded me of all the good He has done for us during this season in the past. The correlation of death, life and love that was so beautifully shown to us by our Lord and Savior is playing out once again in our lives today. As Mark and I are deeply and purposefully studying the week of Easter, the Lord is fully restoring us individually and our marriage together. I believe He will continue this on and carry it out in our family as well, as He always has.
Easter is a love story. Easter is our love story. Easter is our family’s love story. I choose to celebrate once again!!!!! “Hosanah” Save Now.
Written by Kathy Easley