Easter 2023: The Most Joyful Day of the Year

Easter 2023

Happy Easter 2023!  For those who believe, it is the most joyful day of the year!

As songwriter Chris Tomlin sings…our chains are gone…we have been set free…my God…my Savior….has ransomed me!  

This past week many have been focused on a trial…however, the most important trial ever, resulted in the death of Jesus Christ…who three days later on Easter…rose and made a way for all who believe to live with him in heaven one day.

 

Easter 2023

I am not into religion.  I have a real, alive, thriving relationship with Jesus and that is the source of my joy.

Freedom gifted to us through Easter is the fountain of unending joy thus making this the most joyful day of the year.

I have told you my story on Easter for the last three years…so here it is again…and please let me know through email if you would like to speak with me about your own walk ……

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.

Easter 2023But, 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.  And she became a very outspoken victim…sharing her victimhood in any way possible.

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.

Easter 2023

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.

Easter 2023

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 share it every year.  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.

YOU ARE LOVED and need never feel alone…Jesus loved me and you that much…and always will.

KEEP SMILING….IT IS EASTER 2023…HE IS ALIVE AND ALWAYS WILL BE

By Pamela Lutrell

35 Comments

  1. Pamela, the miracle of salvation never gets old and cannot be told too many times. Thank you for sharing your story. Have a blessed Easter.

  2. A beautiful conclusion to an unfortunate (sadly) childhood. But we all witness you- The woman you’ve become encompasses everything beautiful and joyful! Have a lovely Easter!

  3. Your testimony is a joy to read, and though it brings tears to my eyes, they are tears of happiness and rejoicing for your taking Jesus into your heart, and now showing His love daily. I thank you for blessing me especially today, and I pray that you, and all those who read your blog have a most joyful, blessed Easter Day.

  4. Thank you for sharing your testimony. It is just what I needed this morning. He is risen indeed. Happy Easter to you and your family. Love and Blessings.

  5. I have just recently found your site, which I really enjoy. I just wanted to say thank you for sharing your story.
    Happy Easter to you and your family.

  6. What a nice story to share with us on this Easter. I feel I am leaning on Jesus more and more these days. It’s comforting to know there are others who have an interesting and different story that brought them to Christ.
    Thank you for sharing and have a Happy Easter.

  7. I mean this respectfully and with admiration… your story reminds me of the slogan — you’ve come a long way, baby. Thanks for sharing today and every day!

  8. Thank you for sharing this with us. The pain he endured for us, to save us. Have a joyful Easter. Yes, he has risen.

  9. Dearest Pamela, yes there are readers that needed to hear this today, thank you for sharing your journey I needed to see this today. I need to remember to bring Jesus into my heart and life every day. Have a blessed Easter. He has risen indeed!!

  10. Thank you for sharing your story and your journey in your faith. There is so much I can relate to and this is a reminder that Jesus was there leading us through it all. Many blessings to you and your family on this joyous day.

  11. Love hearing your story each year. A great reminder that God is real and Jesus loves us and wants us to have a relationship with Him. He is our Savior, our Redeemer, our Shepherd, our King and we are blessed to know Him.

  12. Blessed Easter and thank you for your post today. And thanks to the Lord for all who will be touched by it.

  13. This is such an important story. Thank you for sharing it. It is so wonderful that Jesus can intervene and stop generational anger and transform individuals and through individuals, transform families. He is Risen!

  14. Pamela, what a powerful story and strength to character to share. You inspired hope for everyone….Happy Easter & blessings

  15. Lovely Pamela, We can’t rewrite our history. Despite a challenging childhood, you have risen from dark times. Your story is heartfelt; thank you. I will re-read it. You’re a beautiful person I hope to meet should you visit North Scottsdale. I was raised in a Christian home, never missed a Sunday church even when on vacation, attended a Christian college, journalism degree like you. Endured two marriages that proved abusive narcissistic. One ex now is in prison for life. Many of us, like you and me, are far into reinventing our lives. Thanks for continuing to inspire…and for being forthcoming about your faith. Hope you continue to feel loved and blessed, my friend.

  16. Thank you for sharing your story! Bless you for your willingness to witness to the marvelous love and grace of our Savior! Praising God for you and your joy! ( yep, I used a lot of exclamation marks!)

  17. Thank you for your testimony. What a beautiful experience. My great nephew was baptized today at a church in Colorado, and his grandmother watched it on line in Virginia. We all rejoiced at such an Easter blessing.

  18. Hi Pamela,
    I recall sharing your story before, however I never tire of it. Thank you for being so transparent.
    It’s lovely to see the person you are today.
    Change is a constant.
    Be in joy.

  19. Thank you Pamela for sharing your story.” For God so loved the world..” were there ever any more joyful, hopeful, or outstanding words ever written??!!! He is risen, and all believers with Him. Praise be to God.

  20. Pamela, your story is beautiful. My heart aches for your early days. Your testimony will change lives❤️❤️❤️✝️✝️

  21. What a beautiful testimony! Thank you for sharing so openly and freely. Peace, grace, joy and love to you…

  22. Pam, I read your blog faithfully but usually don’t take the time to post a comment. As a caregiver to two family members I’m just too pooped out. But I had to stop today and thank you for your beautiful testimony. Your faith shines through!

  23. Wishing you a blessed Easter, Pamela! Thank you for being so open & sharing your story & your journey in faith. You are inspiring! 🙏

  24. Yes, and AMEN! I have read your testimony before, but had forgotten that we basically grew up in the same home situation, Like your mother, mine could never love me well because she was never well-loved herself while growing up in the Great Depression. Now that she’s in her late 90’s and has been hospitalized for the past four weeks, my role as her caregiver has become more than full-time and there have been some really hard days. Yet going through this ordeal during Lent, the promise of the Easter story has taken on new meaning for me. As my pastor said this morning, every day should be a day of resurrection; a day when our hope is restored and all things are made new again as we turn our eyes to the crosses that we bear daily. Here’s hoping you and your family were blessed in a special way this Easter! May you continue to make your faith the source of your joy, and to share that joy with us so generously.

  25. Pamela, thank you for sharing your life story and your faith. Your life is a trophy of God’s grace. He is risen, indeed! You and I will most likely never meet each other in this life, but we will be together in heaven for eternity. Can’t wait to meet you there on the other side! Praise God for the gift of his Son. Thank you for spreading the joy that comes from within.

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