Back in February, I prayed about how to participate in Lent this year. I didn't feel inclined in any particular direction, but I did desire to have a time in the morning and the evening to pay attention to my journey with God. I chose a couple of Lenten-oriented resources to help me.
It's only been in the last few days that I now see what God has been up to. He's been leading me to want to be free of lying to myself. I actually gave up lying to myself for Lent. Ha! That makes me laugh! I find it funny because it's never showed up on any list I’ve read recommending what to fast. What joy in such a surprising, beautiful, needed, and meaningful gift from God!
Some highlights from my Lenten journey of discovery:
- I noticed I have been tempted to "exaggerate" in my favor on a certain matter, and I observed how self-defeating that behavior had become.
- I realized that I had recently been provided with two tools that could help me be radically honest, and I felt compelled to start using them, seeking God's help every time I felt tempted to exaggerate.
- I looked at my motivations with God for both lying and "coming clean."
- I grieved as I realized how subtle the lies were and how powerful the traps had turned out to be.
- I recognized that this habit began a very long time ago.
- I felt sad that in lying to myself, I had created outward consequences that left me angry with myself, and consequently, I have turned that anger on other people. (This directly connects to what Carolann wrote in her blog piece from last week on Ephesians 4:25.)
- As a result of God’s leading, I've experienced redemption in this area: a new freedom, a deep peace and loads of hope. Easter has come, is coming and will continue to come in my heart! Praise God!
Call me crazy, but I don't think Lent is simply an added-on idea by a bunch of church leaders. I think it is an invitation from God that originated a long time ago and continues happening in the lives of His followers. We simply walk by faith into a season of repentance and discover what happens.
Here's to walking in Triune faith together! Happy Easter!