“God is in the resurrection business.”

This is a phrase Mark and I love to say, and for good reason!

Throughout our lives, we have seen God restore relationships between family members, provide healing from addiction and past hurts, and turn lives around completely. In our work with couples, we have seen relationships restored when all hope seemed lost. We experienced such a renewal ourselves after our own marriage nearly collapsed.

We truly believe that God can bring new life and hope out of any situation!

Easter will be here soon and for those who follow Jesus, this holiday is a cornerstone of our faith because it’s the story of the greatest sacrifice Jesus could have ever made on our behalf, the power of God seen through the resurrection of Jesus, and the opportunity we now have to live in freedom and hope.

(You can read more of what I’ve shared in the past about Easter here and here.)

Easter is personally significant to Mark and me. It was on Easter morning in 2012 that Mark experienced a resurrection of his faith and re-engaged in our marriage. That moment set us on a path to healing and rebuilding that brought us to the “Mark and Jill 2.0” we are today.

Resurrections don’t just happen at Easter, though. God is engaged and active in our everyday lives, year-round. However, making room for God’s resurrection power requires surrender on our part.

LISTEN: What Does Surrender Look Like? | Episode 161

Is there an area where you’re longing for renewal? Let’s take a look at what surrender and resurrection might look like in some areas of life that many of us can relate to: 

1) Resurrection in Your Spiritual Life

When we hold tightly to our own plans and desires, we become blinded and limited in our faith. Surrender, on the other hand, creates room for trust to grow. It softens our hearts to receive new direction and purpose, especially when we’re facing a hard situation.

Surrender is a key factor in spiritual renewal (note: I didn’t say it’s an easy factor!). Jesus Himself had to struggle through the surrender process. Before He was taken away to be crucified, in a place called the Garden of Gethsemane, He repeatedly prayed for God to “take this cup from me.” Yet in the end, Jesus prayed, “Yet not as I will, but as You will” (Mark 13:32-42).

Surrender frees us to let God be God.

Surrender brings peace.

2) Resurrection in Your Marriage 

Mark’s personal resurrection began the renewal process for our marriage. However, both of us needed to take a hard look at the ways we were at fault for the disconnection in our relationship. Unrealistic expectations, poor communication, slow fades, and criticism were habits and patterns we needed to put to death in order for the new version of Mark and Jill to be born.

God’s Word was key for my part in God’s resurrection of our marriage. As I was reading Romans 12:9-21 about love in action, the word that came to mind was “unhumanable.” I know, it’s not a real word, but this reminded me that the kind of love God calls us to is only possible with His support and His power.

If you’re longing for a resurrection in your marriage, look in the mirror first. You can’t control your spouse, but you can work on your own heart and listen to what God is asking you to do.

What attitudes and actions is God inviting you to change in order to bring new life to your marriage?

3) Resurrection in Your Parenting

There’s nothing quite like the joy and burden that children can bring. Every age and season comes with its unique challenges. If you need fresh life in parenting, first consider if there are things you need to let die.

Are you holding on to who you wish your child was, rather than embracing who God made them to be?

Do you live in fear and seek control over too many things?

Resurrection in parenting could mean gentle words instead of harsh criticism, grace instead of unrealistic expectations, patience instead of anger.

In many ways, parenting is more about us than our kids. Take a renewed perspective of parenting as a vehicle for God to grow holiness in you as the parent – and see what happens! Ultimately, whether you’re parenting a newborn or a teenager, aching for a prodigal adult child, or grieving past parenting mistakes—remember that God’s power is working in every situation, and nothing is beyond His redeeming grace.

4) Resurrection in Your Identity

Perhaps you hear about Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross and you think, “Sure, but that doesn’t apply to me. I’m not good enough. I’ve made too many terrible choices. Jesus would never love me.”

Many of us struggle to accept the gift of love Jesus offers. We can get caught up in our own negative view of our self-worth instead of focusing on who He is. Without even realizing it, our identity can be formed by the wrong things: achievement, appearance, income, productivity, the opinions of others.

We push and strive for security, always needing reassurance that we are doing enough. As Mark often says in reflection about his midlife crisis, “No matter what we pursue, the biggest challenge is that we always have to bring ourselves along.”

Remember, no human mess is too big for God. Likewise, no human accomplishment is big enough either. We don’t need to earn our place with Him. He readily offers forgiveness even when we cannot forgive ourselves. 1 John 1:9 states, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

This Easter, ask God for a renewed sense of who you are in Him, so that you can live freely—loved, forgiven, and secure.

God cares about bringing new life! He really is in the resurrection business!

When we choose to surrender, we open the door for the power of resurrection to begin working. It doesn’t happen overnight, but God is all about bringing new life from hopeless places—at Easter, and every day.

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