Holly's Hope is all Our Hope
On Easter Sunday I shared how believing in Jesus’ resurrection acknowledges that the power of death is something we experience while we live. I suggested that Jesus didn’t die just for us to live after we die. He died for us to live while we live. To experience the power of the resurrection when we die, we have to experience the power of death while we live. I suggested that, in a sense, there are two deaths. This first death is dying to self. Jesus died so we can die to a self, controlled by sin that leads to death. When we die to self we are raised to new life and experience a kind of first resurrection. To experience the power of the resurrection when we die, we have to experience the power of death while we live.
On Easter Sunday I shared how anyone who has experienced that first death is able to deal with the second death, laying a loved one into the grave, in a profoundly different way. On Easter Sunday I shared Holly's story. Holly, a staff member at Central for two decades, has had more to battle in two decades than most of us will ever battle in a life time. A few months ago, Holly sensed that she was entering a new season and needed to step away from church staff. Little did she know that this new season would lead her to being diagnosed with stage four cancer.
Despite her pain, Holly's experience of this first death and resurrection has given this second death a positive dimension. She knows that her pain here is temporary. Whereas death was once a curse for Holly, Jesus rising from death, and her being raised to new life while she lives, has made facing this second death almost surreal. It hurts for sure. Praying with Holly this Monday there was much pain in my heart. My wife and I have had the privilege of being in a small group with Holly. She is an inspirational woman who will be missed. Yet, the pain we shared was not a pain without hope. From the blackness of the grave and the ruins of life explode a magnificent experience of hope that Holly will soon experience as a reality. Holly frequently ends her prayers with the words, "See you later!" Yes, she will...
The message of Easter is not built on Jesus rising from the dead but Jesus rising from the dead to save us from the experience of death while we live and when we die. Holly knows this and is actively leaning into this promise. She thanks each and every one of you for your support and covets your continued prayers. Her wish is that the little time she has left will give glory to God.
To that end, on May 16, at 18:30 at Central, Holly will be sharing her journey. All are invited to an inspirational evening where Holly shares her journey and the lessons she's learned. More details can be found here: www.centralwesleyan.org/ittakeshope
So many of you have asked me how you can help, especially with the bucket list items. I shared that with the family and so they have created a special page that enables people to support that end, should they feel so led. You can find details here: www.youcaring.com/hollyleblanc-808293
As a church family we will continue to support Holly however we can. We are committed to praying for her, especially that God uses the remaining time she has left with her family and that Holly's hope inspires life in every person she encounters.
Thank you for praying,