HE IS RISEN! A day to celebrate, a day that serves as a poignant reminder of something more significant than our own stories. Truly, the story below is about what GOD did in my life, not anything I accomplished. I asked, waited, and endured a rough season last year. And it's strange to say I am THANKFUL for it. There is hope for all who believe in him, and my story below is a testament to what Jesus can do.

In 2022-2023, I underwent a pretty severe depression. I've always struggled with anxiety and found ways to cope, but this was different. And I could blame it on many things I won't mention here, but it was something I wouldn't wish upon anyone. There was no hope, and I felt as if no prayers were being answered, and definitely no joy in my life.

What I will say if you are currently struggling is that it does matter, it will end, and there is help out there if you seek it. I am so thankful for my church community, medical professionals, family, friends, MY WIFE, and most importantly Jesus. I am living proof that there is hope for those who are fighting. After what seemed to be unanswered prayers for nearly a year, I started to feel joy again. It took patience, discipline, and a whole lot of love from people who cared about me. So what does this have to do with Easter?

Jesus died for your sins and loves you so much that he took on that burden. Really this day is all about what Jesus did on the cross. When Jesus cried, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46) He took on the sins of all who called upon him and asked for forgiveness. Past, present, and future. I've read this verse hundreds of times. What I didn't think about until I read the commentary in my Bible, it's not really Jesus questioning God, but it was temporary separation from the Father that was causing the most anguish. The physical agony was terrible, but that separation was worse. And he did this so we would never have to experience eternal separation from Him. I can't imagine an eternity without anything that is good after going through only a year of depression. But I firmly believe he rose from the dead and fulfilled every prophecy that was written about him. After knowing this and actually feeling that love, I haven't been the same.

Easter isn't the same experience for me anymore. Experiencing the love of Jesus is life-changing. Just one touch from him can heal all (Luke 8:43-48). There is a reason for the trials of this life; now I can finally say I'm thankful for one of the worst seasons of my life. This is an open invitation to experience what I have felt, just in the past couple of MONTHS. The invitation is open to anyone and everyone; there are no boundaries; the grace is never-ending. He died for all, and he performed a miracle in my life. I will never be the same. Call on him, be patient, and he will answer. And I've found inviting Him into my life to help me fight the daily battles, every day, is something I've been missing. Praise God for Jesus and His life, burial, and resurrection. HE IS RISEN.

Brad Hansen
Creative Director, Designer, & Illustrator

More by Brad Hansen

View profile