by Christie Perkins
The true meaning of Easter is much more significant than it has ever been for me. Stage 4 cancer has given me this valuable insight and appreciation of the resurrection.
The Savior took upon Him our pains and afflictions and broke the bands of death.
The Bands of Death
Now I don’t know about you but when you are handed a slip of paper that foretells your death ticket: non-curable stage 4 cancer the bands of death take on a whole new meaning.
Suddenly “beginning with the end in mind” is incorporated into everything you do. The heavy burden of death challenges how you spend time, how you interact with others, what you think about, and how you spend your money.
It’s a blessing and a curse.
But, there comes a time when that band of death becomes cumbersome. When it no longer helps you, but holds you down.
It was then that I had to trust in the gift of the resurrection.
There was a time when death was all I could focus on. Stage 4 cancer has that special unwanted effect. But then, like all things, it passes and there was a time when that hardly crossed my mind at all. His power to bear my burden was real. There came a time when the bands of death were cut loose by the atonement of the Savior. He took upon my worries of death and loosed them. The pains of death no longer held me down.
I felt a wave of goodness fill and illuminate my soul.
I no longer focused on what I couldn’t change and realized that I had power over my life. That my life was a gift and that I was free to be me. Now, I wake up every morning full of sunshine knowing this one clear fact:
Hey. I’ve got today. And I love my life.
Today matters. When doubts, worries, and stresses creep in I am reminded of today. I can change today. I live today so that tomorrow there will be no regrets of yesterday. Today is my gift to my family, friends, and especially my dear children.
And there’s no bands when I’m bonded to them forever.
And somehow in all of this, the sting of death is swallowed up. We will all die some day. When? Who knows. And it’s always too soon.
The Power of the Resurrection
So. In this season of celebration of Easter I want to just share my love of the Savior and the blessing of the resurrection.
I’m grateful for the power over death- even while I am still alive I feel the effects of the power over death. He takes that burden from me. A ray of sunshine and hope glimmers through as I am certain of one thing:
No matter what happens it will all be okay.
And one day when we pass from this life the gift of the resurrection will allow our bodies and spirits to be reunited and we will no longer have to suffer disease or death. Our mutilated, worn down, and disease ridden bodies will be restored to glorified state. And the most awesome gift of all is that life will continue.
Death is not the end but, rather, a perfecting and continuation of who we are. We are not held back by death but rather free to be glorified in who we are meant to be.
The resurrection is an amazing gift. And though there is always grieving and holes that comes with the death of a loved one (it is our most pure and natural expression of love) there will come a day when a ray of sunshine trickles through and fills our souls with peace and light. I am grateful for the power it has to break the bands of death whether we anticipate it or whether we face the results of our loved one’s passing their mortal existence. Cancer has given me this firm knowledge that life continues and it will all be okay. I know because I feel that extra peace give rest to my heart.
May those that have experienced the great heartache from death find a ray of light and hold tight. The resurrection is real. And it has a power to carry you, even while you are here in your mortal experience.
All will be resurrected.
May you love the life you are given and squeeze your loved ones a little extra this Easter season. Take advantage of life, here, and know that there is life beyond the grave. I know. I know because I feel it’s healing power now.
Have a wonderful day!
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