You can sometimes lose your religion trying to get to church. Kids don’t want to get out of bed, dogs need to go out and that shirt you were planning on wearing just got splattered with coffee. If you do make it in the car, you soon realize half the gang hasn’t had breakfast. Do you have time to go to the donut shop? Always, or at least we did last week.

My daughter noticed something peculiar as I was trying to round up three dollars and change from my purse.

“Mom, listen.”

I stood still for a moment, waiting to hear my stomach growl. My blank stare only irritated her all the more.

“Listen!” She whispered with the intensity of a shout.

Finally, I heard. Christmas music. I couldn’t help but smile. Christmas music in March being piped over the speakers.

It was my first smile of the morning, and I found myself oddly lighter by the time I left the store and found my way through the crowded church parking lot. Once inside, something else struck me sideways… someone else, rather.

Directly in front of me was a little beauty in her Easter finest. Being held by her daddy, her sweet face looked at me with tired eyes. No matter how sleepy she became, she clutched her white Patton purse and kept her straw bonnet upon her head. As she rested her chin on her daddy’s broad shoulder, I could hardly escape her stare. Most everyone dressed casually; after all, Easter was a week away. Yet, she was in full bloom.

No offense to the pastor, but the girl captured my attention. After the service, I introduced myself to the older woman who sat next to her.

“I am her great-grandmother.” She smiled with pride over her little angel.

I crouched down to eye level with the young lady. “You, my dear, look so very beautiful.”

She beamed.

“I can tell you love that purse and hat very much.”

Her brown eyes hesitated for a moment. She shyly nodded and said, “It’s my first time here, and I wanted to look good for Jesus. Nana bought me a new outfit.”

I looked at her purse once again. Not a smudge on it. Not even a mark on her shoes.

My heart floated on the way home. I started the morning in chaos, drifted into smiling at Christmas music at the donut store, and fell in love with Easter this year through a little child.

Such is my life. Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am no exception. God loves us so much that “he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). My life was eternal chaos until Jesus came for my soul. This is the celebration of Christmas. This is the reality of me.

In the span of a morning, I went from Christmastime thinking upon Jesus’ birth to looking at the pureness of a child, reflecting upon Jesus’ death and resurrection. As with this girl gripping her lovely white purse, I saw a mirror of God’s glory and transformation of those who accept Him.

Upon the cross, Jesus became the worst sinner of all, taking our sin so we could be redeemed and purified by His light and love. The span of His life from birth to death was for our victory. And in His resurrection, we are victoriously reborn.

“And he took all of our sins and lifted them in his body to the cross, for as we are dead to sin, we shall live in his righteousness, for by his scars you have been healed” (1 Peter 2:24).

The young girl’s white outfit reminds me of the clothes of righteousness.

“And He was transfigured before them; and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light” (Matthew 17:2).

Transfigured. Yes, I am eternally changed only because I bask in the grace of my Savior.

May we never lose our passion in being renewed and beautiful for Christ. And as we celebrate Christ this Easter, may we receive more than just a good sermon. May we receive life. Love. Hope. Peace. And joy… even in the midst of chaos.

Happy Easter, dear readers.

SGLY, dear reader.

(Smile, God Loves You.)

Tiffany Kaye Chartier is a Christian author and opinion columnist. Submit feedback and connect for more soul lifts on Facebook: Tiffany Kaye Chartier, Instagram: @tiffanysgly, and Twitter: @tiffanychartier.