For a year, I woke up to these words at least once a week. My ex-boyfriend, who I endured the slight misadventure of sharing an apartment with, was a morning person… and well, I am not.
Every Saturday morning he would beg me to wake up and watch the sunrise with him. Me, being the extreme romantic that I am, would roll over, smash my pillow over my head, and tell him to shut up and go back to sleep.
When we split a few years back, nothing really changed in regards to my non-morning-person-ness. Don’t get me wrong, I think morning people are wonderful, but try as I might, I just have never had that streak within me. If my job allowed it, I would sleep in until 9 am every morning and stay awake until 3 am every night.
That being said, this time last year when my friends and I had the bright idea to wake up and have our own little sunrise Easter worship service at Lookout Mountain, I was a little bit less than excited. I knew that it would be an amazing morning adventure, but I wasn’t incredibly jazzed about the idea of waking up at 5 am.
The night before Easter, I set five alarms on my phone out of fear that my anti-morning brain would over sleep. As I fell asleep I remember laying in bed dreading my early morning wake up call and thinking about all of the times I told Mr. Wrong to leave me be or let me sleep.
Just four hours after falling asleep, I sat straight up in my bed in my dark apartment– an hour before my alarm. Instead of my usual slightly grumpy / pre-coffee morning attitude, I was stoked for the day and wasn’t able to fall back asleep.
I hopped out of bed, turned off my alarm, took a shower, made coffee, and got dressed. (And not just in sweats– I’m talking “did my hair, put on a nice sundress, and managed to get some makeup on” kind of dressed.) I walked the dog and if I remember correctly I even had some quiet time with God that morning… All things that I hardcore struggle to do before 9 am, even on my most alert mornings.
Around 5:30, I hopped in my car and headed off to my friends’ house to load up and head to the mountains.
Wide eyed and bushy tailed we arrived at Lookout Mountain that morning just in time to watch the sun start to peek out from behind the Earth. That morning, with five of my closest friends, I sat on the mountain side and worshiped my King to the harmony of an acoustic guitar and a harmonica.
In that moment, everything was beautiful.
I didn’t mind that it wasn’t even 6 am yet, that it was still relatively dark, or kind of chilly.
In fact, as I sat there and watched the sun crest over my city, I felt God whisper in the depths of my soul. I woke you up to watch this sunrise with Me. You are my beloved and I am redeeming you.
And that He did, and continues to do so every single day.
A year later, sunrises still aren’t my favorite times of the day, but they no longer bring up the bitterness of a time of personal brokenness for me.
After all, isn’t that part of the beauty of Easter? Our Father sent His Son to reconcile our relationships with Him and His Spirit to dwell within us and begin to heal the wounds in the depths of our souls.
He is a wonderful Father and Lover, a beautiful Redeemer. He is my King and today we celebrate His risen Son.
In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace, which He lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight, making known to us the mystery of His will, according to His purpose, which He set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in Him, things in heaven and things on Earth.”