Storyteller. Grace Dweller.

I’m Jennifer — wife of an Iowa farmer, mom to two girls, new book author. I believe in you, because I believe in Jesus. You matter to Him, and you matter to me. more »

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Wednesday 16th April 2014

#TellHisStory: It’s Wednesday, but Sunday’s Comin’

Sometimes, life doesn’t make a lick of sense until you look back on it in the rear-view mirror. Because when you’re in the middle, it’s a muddle.

This was my muddle: I could never figure out why the tomb was empty. I mean, I knew what the Bible said, but that didn’t seem a plausible explanation.

I used to think it all ended in the cemetery.  Even Jesus.

I used to tiptoe into every tomorrow, thinking that were only tombstones in the fields, and that the best dreams got buried, and faith was pretend. And it all looked like a hollow wish upon a burned-out star. Someone would shovel clods of dirt over top of your burial vault, and that was it. End of story.

fading flowers

I wanted Easter to be true, and I wished and wished upon a star for Jesus to be real. I tried to pray to God, but he was so silent. At least the stars twinkled on the black-velvet sky when I lay on the cool grass of spring, out by the chicken shed.

I wore the lacy Easter dresses, and ate watery scrambled eggs and cinnamon rolls in the church basement after sunrise service, and I put my teenage lips to the trumpet to blare “Christ the Lord is Risen Today” from the balcony.

I had all the creeds memorized.

And no one knew how bad I ached for it to be real.

But Easter felt like a sham, a place where people’s best hopes faded into nothingness.

Maybe that’s how Jesus’ friends felt on that Friday, when every hope they held suddenly bled down the side of a hill.

How do you believe in a dead guy?

You wait for Sunday. That’s how.

You keep waiting for Sunday. Even when it’s hard. Especially when it’s hard. And sometimes, Sunday can feel years away.  Sometimes, you can pray your heart out, and hear only the silence, and every day feels like a Good Friday when all you get is bad news, bad reports, another missed chance, another (fill-in-your-own-pain-here).

Even if you believe God is real, you might not believe He’s good. Maybe all you see is your hope bleeding down the side of a hill.

But Sunday? It’s coming. It really is.
Can we hold out for Sunday, together?

iowa sunrise 5 Copy of iowa sunrise 6

I lived years of Good Fridays, holding out for Sunday, swimming in doubt.

But I wrote my way through my Good Fridays. And I’m not sure if I could really make sense of what I was writing. But I kept stringing letters together, like those letters might sew me together so what little faith I had didn’t fall out of me.

Looking back now, I think my heart was smarter than my brain. My heart wanted to believe, but my head hadn’t caught up yet. That’s how it looks in the rear-view mirror anyhow. 

A.W. Tozer once wrote that faith is like an eye. The eye sees everything in front of it, but never sees itself. I’ve begun to realize that I had faith after all, but couldn’t recognize it for what it was. My puny faith was groping for God, in a way that neither my eyes nor my mind could see.

My heart was gazing upon a saving God, even when my mind couldn’t make out the shape of Him. Somewhere along the line, my heart began to outsmart my head, and my mustard seed grew.

And all the while, I kept waiting for Sunday.

And behold,
it came.

And I don’t wish on stars anymore.

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  • Laura Risser Moss

    Yes. Waiting for Sunday here. Thanks for this.

    • You are so welcome, Laura. May your Easter be especially meaningful in 2014.

  • Thanks so much for hosting!

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  • A.W. Tozer once wrote that faith is like an eye. The eye sees everything in front of it, but never sees itself.. and I have come to see…”pens have eyes”… and we can write ourselves into a space of freedom. and isn’t an amazing thing to look back and see Him wooing us when we didn’t even know He was… yes…yes… Sunday is coming… He is risen…

    • I so agree. It is an amazing thing. And His grace? It still amazes me. Happy Easter, Ro.

  • bethherring62

    I love this and how true it will resonate in so many hearts!

    • Thank you, Beth. Always a joy to see your face here in the comment box. Love to you.

  • Love this. How often is my heart smarter than my brain and has to wait for my brain to catch up. Thanks for the encouragement to keep holding on for Sunday!

    • I’m so glad you “get” me. 🙂 xo

  • What a cool way to express waiting on the Lord. Getting through the valley trusting in Him and suddenly you wake up and the sun is shining again. Have experienced this recently with a long hard winter followed by a blessed Spring.

    • It was been a long hard winter, hasn’t it? May your spring be filled with new life and a refreshed, invigorated faith. God bless you, Laura.

  • Janet

    Such a wonderful description of mustard-seed faith. Been there, done that – except somewhere between memorizing the creeds and the doubt, I actually talked myself out of God – not only did Jesus go to the tomb, but Sunday never came. It took awhile, and a lot of valleys of trying by myself and for myself before that hole in my heart gaped. I’ll bet, like you, my Sunday-school belief from childhood was being specially shielded in a deep place – because it’s BACK! Lots of stories to be told – but end result? Hallelujah! He rose! I love when Sunday comes! and I love the way you tell this story. Have a joy-filled week! Janet

    • I am so happy that God has granted you a fresh and revived faith. May your Easter be especially meaningful, Janet. Christ is Risen …

  • I am grateful that our faith doesn’t have to be big. It can just be and He can do so much work with just that.

    • I used to resent my doubts, but then I realized how those doubts brought me to greater faith, because those doubts drew me deep into the Word of God. I can honestly say now, that my doubts were a gift — not a curse.

  • soulstops

    I finished reading your book last night …Thank you for encouraging us with your story and how God met you where you were and loved you to where you are and where you will be one day 🙂

    • It was my pleasure … and it was my offering. I hope it blessed you, Dolly, and your preapproved heart.

  • Jen

    Holding out for Sunday right along with you. I’m sharing this one around – the truth here is just that good. 🙂

    • Thank you for sharing, Jen. I appreciate you and your love for Gospel.

  • Oh boy, this got me. This is so good. I’m just waitin on Sunday with you. Hope you have a blessed, Easter!

    • May your Easter by so meaningful, friend. God bless you.

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  • Sarah

    Had me straight up in tears with this one, Jennifer. Your writing so often reflects my story. I love the way you share Truth by telling your true story. So blessed by these words tonight.

  • June

    A wonderful, real testimony, Jennifer. Blessings to you this Easter. He is Risen!

  • Beautiful post! I was in tears! May we remember – Sunday does come! May He give us eyes to see! Have a blessed Easter! So grateful to have connected with you!

  • KristenStrong

    Dang girl. I wanna write like you when I grow up. Incredibly beautiful truth here.

    I love you!

  • We wouldn’t long for Sunday, would we, if it wasn’t for the grief of Good Friday? The heartache, the suffering, the wrestle makes the resurrection hope so precious. “It is finished” was the cry before “He is Risen”. We rejoice in the hope of the resurrection because the precious Lamb of God gave Himself on the cross.

    Thank you, Jennifer, for your honest writing, sharing your wrestling, beautiful heart.

    Love to you as we wait.

  • Nancy Ruegg

    I’m thinking of a new, non believing friend who has come through the grief of Good Friday. However, Resurrection Sunday still alludes her because of doubts and questions. Your post gives me great hope for her! Her personal Sunday IS coming! Thank you, Jennifer.

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  • Name

    I’m new to the site and anxious for my first dispatch!

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Tonight, hear Jesus speak these words over you: "It is finished." In whatever difficult situation you found yourself in today, pause and remember this: Jesus has the final say. If you felt shamed or rejected today, remember: Jesus has the final say. Yo… ift.tt/2DusT48 pic.twitter.com/NluYYphMuk