He has blessed it with His holy name, anointed it with His grace, perfumed it with His consolation, taken one last glance at you and your courage, and then sent it to you from heaven, a special greeting from God to you, an alms of the all-merciful love of God.
It is not easy to accept, the weight and the pain can mask the worth.
I hate how my cross affects others, how it means that my parents are not yet grandparents, how my mom has to watch me carry a cross that she can't help me fix. But He knew that part, too, when He allowed it to happen this way.
I never knew how hard it would be, and I also never knew how much the help would mean to me. I am so glad that having to carry my cross doesn't mean that I have to carry it alone.
I didn't know either, how much it would strip away to have to carry a cross for so long.
My God, my God, why have You forsaken me? I don't know why I didn't realize that embracing the cross would lead to that moment of being left behind even by God. But even Jesus felt that way. Why wouldn't I?
I know now (as I should have realized before), carrying a cross is a hard, lonely, bloody road. It will make you fall, whether through emotions you can't shake, or sins you commit in the midst of weakness. It leads to death.
The blessing, and the unbelievable gift is that death. It is the death of ourselves so that we may have new life in Him.
This Holy Week, realize that whatever cross you carry will be hard, it will be heavy, it will be impossible for you to get through it on your own. When God says He won't give you more than you can handle, it doesn't mean that you won't fall (because you will, multiple times). It means that He will help you back up afterwards and get you to the end. The end may see you stripped of so many things that you held dear, it may see you pierced by pain you never could have imagined. If you accept your cross, it will end in death.
But the messiness, the pain, the desolation, the falling are also triumphant. He walked the Way first. If we truly follow Him, we will not only join Him in death to ourselves, but also in new life with Him.
May you all have a very blessed holy week!