Home / Stories / An Ending and a Beginning: Reflecting on Life and Death This Lent and Easter

An Ending and a Beginning: Reflecting on Life and Death This Lent and Easter

Blog Headers 2023-24 (19)

Editor’s Note: During her first season of Lent on mission, lay missioner Kim Wagner relates Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection to her reflections on the life of her mother.

I can still recall the day like it was yesterday — March 31st, 2020. Upon waking up in my bedroom in my Dad’s house, I felt the tension and uneasiness that I was carrying over the last few days diminish; I knew in my body and spirit that something had changed with my mom. I left my room, walked down the hall, and saw my Dad waiting for me downstairs. Reading the look in his eyes and on his face, I knew immediately that what my family had been anticipating over the last two weeks had happened — my mom had lost her yearslong battle with breast cancer and passed away early that morning. From that moment, I knew that my life would change forever, but I did not know yet in what ways it would change. 

Since I answered my call to go into the desert of Douglas, Arizona for mission through FMS, I have been reminded of our calling to join Jesus in the desert during the season of Lent in praying, fasting, and reflecting. Over this Lenten season, I have focused on reflecting on my life and these last four years without my mom. I recently realized one of the biggest lessons I have learned throughout these years was that the ending of my mom’s life here on Earth was also a beginning. Just as Jesus’ Death was the end of his time on Earth, it was also the beginning of hope in everlasting life with Him in Heaven. 

I realized that the ending of my mom’s life here was just the start of her time with God in Heaven — and we are all called to the same path through Jesus’ passion, death, and resurrection. 

I also realized that my life since her death has changed completely — but in all good ways. Although the life I knew with her here on Earth is over, my time in reflection this Lent has reminded me of our calling to new life through Jesus and has shown me that God has challenged me since my mom’s death to find a new version of life and what matters most to me. 

As part of my new life, I have prioritized living out my values. Although my mom is no longer here with me physically, I know she is still with me in spirit; I think of her every day as I work to live out the values she instilled in me and the lessons she taught me. Luckily, on mission, I can live out my values each day through meeting the needs of the people I am serving, loving and caring for the people around me, and being grateful for every single day and moment. 

Although Easter of this year will carry feelings of both grief and joy for me and my family, I am reminding myself that through Jesus’ death and resurrection, my mom has found new life in and with God — and we are all called to one day be with them — and that she is still with me in spirit and will be until the day I too am called home to God.

Question for Reflection: How is Jesus inviting you to reflect on his life, death, and resurrection during Lent?

Kim is originally from Kansas City, Missouri. She graduated with her bachelor's degree in social work in 2021 and has participated in domestic service programs since graduating. She is excited to accompany people on the margins of the international community along the U.S./Mexico Border. In her free time, Kim enjoys cooking, going for walks, reading, and spending time outdoors.