On Easter 2020 I Tell the Story of Why I Smile

KLOVE Resurrection Sunday

It’s Easter Sunday 2020.  Our new world situation requires that we attend church online…cease Easter egg hunts…plan family gatherings for later in the year…and put away the Easter bonnets.   With that said, it is a day we can actually sit quietly and ponder what this day means.

Statistics show that the number of people writing wills is up, as are the numbers of Bible sales. Despair and fear have driven many individuals to look for ways to fill emptiness in their lives. So that it why I believe it is time to tell you my story.

I tried for four hours yesterday to put this post in a video, and never could get it uploaded for you to see.  Perhaps that is divine intervention or just my lack of video talent, but after four hours I stopped and began to do what I know best…tell you what I want to say in the written word.

After ten years of blogging, I have occasionally been asked to share the story of my faith.  I have over time shared little snippets, but not really the entire story of why I smile and speak of joy so much.

I was raised attending church most Sundays.  My parents believed it was important and I am thankful for the religious foundation it gave me.  However, the church we attended had little Bible study and lots of ceremony.  I can remember my father often snoring before the sermon ended and I was so embarrassed.  He was not a believer and later in life, he and my mother both would get angry with me when I wanted to discuss faith.  But, he did want to be seen by others as a good man…and a good man took his family to church.

Pamela Lutrell shares history of blog

But, we would leave on Sundays and enter a home full of anger, yelling, and judgement.  The air inside the home was always thick with cigarette smoke and the tension between my parents.  My mother grew up in an alcoholic home where my grandfather was physically and verbally abusive to his five children.  My father grew up on an East Texas farm, an only child, of another angry woman. 

My mother carried that anger and hurt with her throughout her life and it intensified as she aged. She made everyone around her miserable.  I longed for a normal mother-daughter relationship, but it was never to be.  She and my father were rarely together when they were not fighting.

At the age of five, I began to pull out all of my eyelashes.  No one knew at the time that I was pulling them out…they just knew they were gone.  The entire time I lived at home, I had no eyelashes.  They began to grow back when I left for college and I have had them since then.  But, anxiety drives us to do random destructive things.

Throughout college and my young adult years, I was striving to be a successful professional woman.  I partied a lot…I mean a lot.  I was not an alcoholic, but I easily could have been. Do you remember that old country western song…Looking for Love in all the Wrong Places?  That was me.  I listened to awful advice from others to be wild, to be driven, to treat people in the workplace with arrogance and disdain.  I was not a nice person.  But, I was angry too.  And, I was hurting deep inside…terribly lonely and lost.  I walked around with the shackles of sin and darkness wrapped around my ankles.

In my early 20s, a co-worker invited me to a Bible Study.  I had never heard the Bible discussed like this and it was fascinating to me.  I did not know there were other translations than King James.  I had never been around people who discussed God so freely and personal.  I began to listen to every pastor on the radio and study constantly the Word.  After a time, a woman I did not know approached me at an event, looked me in the eyes and said, “You want to know Jesus.”  I was amazed because she was right…I did desperately want to know Jesus.  I prayed with her to accept Christ into my life.

But, the young advertising executive still lived with one foot in the world of sin, and one foot in Bible Study.  It was ripping me apart.  In a moment of despair when I felt unworthy to know Christ, I laid on an apartment floor and cried out to God to show me He was real.  He did just that.   In that apartment the presence of God visited me and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt God is real.  He taught me about the power of grace and true forgiveness.   I felt the chains fall from my feet and I received his forgiveness and was granted the ability to forgive others. Finally, I had found the love I looked for all of my life and He equipped me with a new heart to love others.  I started a new journey as a new creation in Christ with a smile on my face and joy rising up within me every day.  Some of you may know what it is like to truly experience the presence of God, and you may join me in confirming He wants to do the same for all of his children.

Spring Flowers in San Antonio Texas Spring 2020

I begin each day inviting God’s presence into the day and spending concentrated time in prayer.   I also make sure I speak with him throughout the day.  If I don’t, my joy wains and I can feel the walls of the world begin to cave in.  To avoid that I enjoy our relationship daily…moment to moment.  It doesn’t mean that I do not experience problems, but it does mean I trust God will see me through and past those problems.

This all happened to me because of Easter.  Jesus gave his life on the cross that I might know his grace and have assurance of a life with him.  It is Jesus that is our hope during something like a pandemic.  In fact, make sure you read Psalm 91 in the Old Testament…read it each time you feel fear from what is happening in our world.  It is full of God’s promise to protect us and the biggest protection from harm is Christ sacrifice and reassurance of life in heaven.

Someone in this audience must need to hear this story and that is why I did it.  I don’t know why the video would not work.  But, I feel confident there was someone who needs to pray and accept Christ into their hearts today.  Just say, “Lord, I believe you, I need you.  I ask for your forgiveness and for you to fill my heart with Jesus.”  He will answer.  If there is anything I can do to help, send an email to over50feeling40@gmail.com.

For everyone, I will be here tomorrow with my smile, my joy,  and my desire to help you navigate life over 50.

Thank you so much for being here… stay home…stay safe…stay hopeful  and…………

Remember, in our social distancing world, your smile is the way you send hugs!  

KEEP SMILING….and HUGGING!

He is risen indeed!

 

By Pamela Lutrell

47 Comments

  1. Thank you for sharing this, my sister in Christ! What a peace that passes all understanding….to know the love and forgiveness of a Risen Savior!!!! Have a wonderful Easter Sunday!!!!

  2. This is beautiful, thank you for sharing your story Pam. I honestly share so much of what you wrote here, from the kind of church I attended as a young girl, the strife at home, the kind of life I lived as a young adult…this really resonated. It brought tears to my eyes as I read through what you wrote. My uncle led our family to the Lord, one by one. While I accepted Jesus into my life, there was no direction (my uncle lived on the other side of the country and communication was by letters in those days, no internet!) I didn’t know HOW to be a Christian or all that it meant. Thank the Lord, He never gave up on me! Now I know, now I invest the time in knowing Him better because I really want to. It will be a lifetime of learning, but what a blessing that because HE lives, I can live! Thank you for sharing your story Pam! Such a blessing to read this today!!

  3. Such a beautiful post Pam. My heart goes out to that young girl that she had to suffer so. The fact that you were able to turn your life around is a testament that anyone can find peace if they look. On this unusual Easter Sunday let us try to find some small happiness in the fact we are not alone and celebrate what happened so very many years ago. Thank you.

  4. Pamela,
    No video could ever be as poignant as your written word. You are a very gifted person who’s goodness shows through your smile. It sounds like your parents did the best they could with what they were given. You have certainly risen above your troubles.
    Happy Easter! Your blog is a Godsend.

  5. Pam, this is a beautiful story with a message for us all. Some of us attended church as children, professed faith in our Messiah, and then kind of stagnated. I firmly believe we are sent a person who will be our guide for a certain period of our lives. Your co-worker was there for you when you needed her most. I am in my early 70’s and find that I learn something new each time I read Scripture. The learning never stops if we open our hearts to Yeshua.

  6. Dearest Pam,
    Easter Blessings to you and everyone you love, to the many ladies who follow your blog here, and to the sad, lonely, fearful or grieving among us. Life is filled with struggle and pain, but also the light of hope, the joys of love in all its forms.
    Thank you for sharing your heartfelt testimony, for baring yourself so that others may feel inspired.

  7. Pam, thank you so much for sharing your story. I’m always warmed and encouraged by your sweet smile and now I understand why. God will use your story to reach others who are in that place of despair.

    Grace, forgiveness, joy, and peace. I think those have to be some of the most beautiful words ever spoken, and Christ makes them all possible!

    Happy Easter!!! 🌅

  8. God’s perfect will for us individually is sometimes beyond our comprehension, but one day all the components of this crazy thing called “life” will make sense. Thanks for sharing your testimony – I pray your story has touched hearts and today is a “birthday” for many. He is risen!!!

  9. Thank you for your Easter message. YOu have many wonderful, meaningful comments that have been posted.I really appreciate your taking the time to write all this.especially in the current times we are living through. It is so easy to forget who created us and what we need to do. Thanks again.

  10. Pamela, your post is a wonderful reminder of the healing power of God and His love. Thank you for sharing His beauty, joy, and hope.

  11. Thank you for sharing your testimony with us. I grew up in a loving Christian home & church, but like you, I have spent time with one foot in the world & one foot in the Bible. So many times, God has meet me right where I am by speaking to me through others, my daily devotions & His word. There is nothing that can separate us from His love. Happy Easter to one & all. It may not be the Easter for which we planned, but it is indeed Easter, and He Has Risen.

  12. Pamela, thank you for sharing your story. Love and Blessings at Easter and throughout the year.

  13. Thank you very much for opening your life to others, to give hope and the promise of a new life in Jesus. Happy Easter! Alleluia He is risen!

  14. What a beautiful expression of faith. Thank you for sharing and I pray that through your story it will resonate with other women who will come to know how pure Jesus love is for us. May you have a blessed day and year.

  15. Thank you for sharing your faith! This is a terrible time but I have peace in spite of the circumstances because I know God is in control. That doesn’t mean I don’t have my moments of wishing I didn’t have to stay home but He is with me and when I turn to Him he calms my restlessness. Happy Easter!

  16. Pam, how wonderful that you would share your witness for Christ, unashamedly! Your testimony is a tribute to Christ who gave all for you & for me, for all who come to Him by faith. Your words inspire me & others to always be ready to give an answer for the hope we have in Christ! Now, I know why you smile as you do!!!
    Happiest of Easter’s!

  17. Thank you for sharing your story today. I can relate. Look how far you have traveled from those early, difficult times. Keep moving forward with our Lord. That’s my goal.

  18. Thank you, Pam, for sharing your beautiful testimony. Christ’s love shines through your smile! You have blessed us all. I am sure many needed to hear this.

  19. Thank you for this beautiful post today, Pamela! And thank you for sharing your story with us. I pray that it will be an encouragement for all that read it. The way we celebrate Easter may look different this year, but the reason we celebrate hasn’t changed – Jesus died for us because he loved us and his resurrection has set us free! Have a beautiful and blessed Easter!

  20. Pam, I was so blessed by your journey of faith. May God’s richest blessings be yours. He is Risen!

  21. Pam, thank you so much for sharing your testimony so openly! Though my childhood home was not as fraught with anger and tension as yours, I can relate to many parts of your story. I have been walking with the Lord for over 40 years now and I can truthfully say that He has brought me through every trial and given me joy in spite of even the most difficult circumstances. I know without a doubt that He will continue to do that even in these most unusual days. Blessings and Happy Easter from this sister in Christ!

  22. Thank you Pam- what a beautiful Easter gift- the gift of life in Jesus!
    May God’s blessing be on you and your family – you were called for this very reason-, love never fails!!!

  23. Thank you for sharing your story. Just finished watching the movie “God is NOT Dead”. One of its messages was if everyone texted 10 people, “God is NOT Dead” we would reach thousands!, great idea!!

  24. Pam, thank you for sharing your story. There are so many of us living beyond painful childhoods. You found your path with the help of a coworker. It was just what you needed at a time and place you were ready to accept guidance to get beyond your unhappiness.
    I believe one has to be ready at some point, through some path, to accept that they are adults and do not need to be tied to their past. It’s a path of not blaming yourself for things you had no control over. That’s on them, not on you. It’s like a light shining through telling you, you can be who you want and need to be. I literally found happiness overnight when I stopped blaming myself and realized the actions of others were nothing I could control or change. So why was I making myself miserable over them? I also had to learn to not be bitter. They are mired in their own misery which I couldn’t help them with. I learned to keep my distance and emotions intact. That was the hard part! I could be the person I chose to be.

  25. Pam, I am so thrilled to know you are a child of the King! So am I. I will keep reading your blog and “smiling”.

  26. Thank you so much for your testimony. We never know who needs to hear the gospel of Jesus, but GoD does. Amen

  27. Hi Pam,

    Thank you for sharing your testimony. I gave my life to Christ when I was seventeen and I am grateful to Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior. It is awesome that you shared your faith and provided an opportunity for others to know Jesus.

  28. I’m sorry I was not able to read this until today (Tuesday).

    Your story is beautiful. Thank you for sharing and being so positive.

    Blessings to you, Pam!

  29. Thank you so much for sharing your journey to the Saviour. I too am a child of the King and so thankful for His sacrifice for us.

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