Sometimes your journey through Lent is harder than usual. You look forward to Easter throughout those barren, soul-searching 40 days, but the closer you get, the less you feel like it will actually be a day of rejoicing. Because now you feel your humanity more keenly. You know how broken you really and truly are. Sometimes it's easier to be broken when everyone else is coming to terms with their own brokenness.
Redemption. New life. Rebirth. This is cause for celebration. But you don't feel it. You feel lost in brokenness. You understand that being born the first time was hard enough. Being born a second time? Sometimes, that's the hardest part. And going back to revisit that rebirth can be really painful.
What they don't tell you is that it's ok to cry all the cries that result. That it's ok to drain yourself, to weep until your tear wells run dry. Because you've been walking along with a weary, down-laden head these 40 days. Your soul has been seeking sustenance and finding emptiness. You have not been enough. You've finally reached the end of your strength in the desert, and that looks like collapse. And so you do. Sometimes you have to grow completely weary and head heavy before you are able to rest. And once you rest, it's much easier to lift up your head. You have to, you know, to see. To really see.
Mary's head was down when she was approached outside the tomb. She thought it was the kindly gardener who spoke to her. But one word from his lips and she felt understood, rested, refreshed. "Mary." And she lifted up her head and saw.
Your inner voice has to be stilled for you to hear that you are understood, loved, and enough. That's why you cry all the tears and exhaust yourself. You have to come to the end of yourself because you are stubborn, wanting to do it all alone. Only at the end can you hear, lift up your head, and see. Only then can rejoicing be a part of your Easter.
But it's ok if your rejoicing starts with a fresh batch of tears.