year two, month three: redemption & resurrection

Christ is Risen!

Church of the Chora, Constantinople

Church of the Chora, Constantinople

Then

Pascha 2012 was, perhaps, not my brightest moment. I had recently moved to Austin and had only just started attending St. Elias, but between my new job and my temporary living situation I had a looong daily commute, and I wasn’t able to make it to a single service for Holy Week. Still I thought, I can be there for Pascha.

Of course it did not work out that way, mostly because I had failed to account for the reality of life in a much larger city. The streets downtown were packed as I drove to church, people pouring out of bars and onto the sidewalk, cars meandering in and out of lanes, and even a few horsedrawn carriages walking straight up Congress Street to really keep things interesting. When I did finally arrive at St. Elias, I found there wasn’t a single parking space within three blocks of the church. I was tired, I was overwhelmed, and I was beginning to doubt the sagacity of a move from country life to a thriving metropolis when I was clearly ill-equipped to handle the transition. I burst into tears, gave up, and went home.

Like I said: not my brightest moment.

Now

A lot has happened in the year since then. My moments of doubt have been replaced by a growing sense of comfort and confidence that this is where I need to be, downtown traffic and all, and I have found a wonderful home in my new church.

So this Lent and Holy Week that’s exactly where I was. As much as I was able to be, and grateful for the gift that is this particular season of my life, I was in church. It was wonderful.

Great and Holy Friday (St. Elias)

And I made it to Pascha. Last year’s had been a sad and lonely affair, a tearful time of prayer in my room as the clock turned over to midnight. This year I celebrated with my church family, receiving the light and proclaiming aloud with the multitude: Christ is Risen!

St. Elias

Let all partake of the feast of faith. Let all receive the riches of goodness. (St. John Chrysostom)

Now I really feel as though my year has come full circle. The negative has made way for the positive, the good experiences have redeemed the bad. My life is here now, truly and fully. I am home.

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