A Weird Lent

Standard

This has been a weird season of Lent for me. I get that being Southern Baptist doesn’t traditionally call for a Lenten fast/ sacrifice of some sort, but I have followed that ritual through most of my adulthood. I have always joked my Catholic/ Episcopalian roots run deep. My mother and I are the only 2 Southern Baptists in our family. (That’s a whole other long post in and of itself). This has also always been a season of where being the grand daughter of my maternal grandmother and my family heritage on that side of the family has been a sense of pride. Wouldn’t it seem appropriate that coming from a long line of devout Irish Catholics would be seen as a badge of honor during St. Patrick’s Day and Lent?

In years past I have given up Coke, Dr.Pepper, chocolate, desserts or some sort of food. One year I either ran or worked out 5 days a week through this season. I have also participated in the 40 bags in 40 days decluttering challenge. This year I did none of that. I prayed about what Lent should like for me on a personal level. I prayed the Lord would show me what this season of the year should be in preparation for Resurrection Sunday. This year the Lord told me I wasn’t to give up anything, but I was to seek His face.

I didn’t get it. The Lord reminded me that my family has just walked through a season of hurt and loss. At the same time, the Lord was breaking things in my own life. I’ve had to lay down a good bit at His feet over the past 9 months. I came to a point where I reached the end of me. The only place I could look was up. So that sounds a bit dramatic, but true. Sometimes the Lord brings you to the end yourself, so you only look to Him. It doesn’t mean that you are involved in some immoral lifestyle or that you lose all of your possessions or even your physical health. In my case, it was a laying down of pride. It’s a laying down of the need for the appearance of perfection. It’s a laying down of saying “I’ve got this.” It’s been a letting go of being “The Major’s Daughter.” It’s a season of the Lord showing me who I am in Him and letting go of the expectations of everyone else.

In my case, the Lord brought me to a place where I have had to lay some pretty large goals/ dreams at His feet. I’ve had to say “Thy will be done.” There are two major goals/dreams I have and they will only work out IF the Lord is the one leading them and opens those doors for me. I have no clue as to what the Lord is going to do with what I’ve laid His feet. I will admit that I lack patience. In my current season, it’s the Fruit of the Spirit I most need. Its the Fruit of the Spirit I have always struggled with the most. When you’re a Type A planner and like things to fall into a neat and orderly schedule of events, this kind of season is difficult. I shared in my last post that I feel like I am in a Chrysalis, waiting to break free my cocoon. I can feel my wings fluttering and am ready to break free from my shell. I also know the cocoon won’t break free until it’s the Lord’s timing and I have to be patient. Yep, there’s that pesky little word again. Patient.

What have I been doing during this season of Lent? I have been in the Word and seeking Him with all that I have. The Lord brought me to a new Bible study group on Wednesday nights this past fall. We walked through “One in a Million” and are currently walking through “Discerning the Voice of God” both by Priscilla Shirer. Y’all the Lord has stepped all over my toes in both of these studies. Courage, patience and obedience seem to be reoccurring themes in the scripture readings. I shared in my last post that I am wearing a bracelet that says “I Must.” It’s a daily reminder that delayed obedience is disobedience and the Lord has been convicting me during this season of Lent.

As we walk into the last couple days of Lent, is there something you need to lay at the feet of the Lord? Is there something you need to surrender before Resurrection Sunday? Is there an “I Must?” I encourage you to seek the Lord with everything in you. Easter may not be your deadline, but it may your starting line. As always I encourage you to pray. If needed seek out one who is wiser than you and allow them to come alongside you in whatever your journey may entail. I have an open door policy, so please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Happy Easter Y’all!

Advertisements

The Chrysalis

Standard

There are times in life when things seem to be going pretty steady. It doesn’t mean life is trouble free or the stressors are non-existent, but for the most part things are trucking right along. There is something to be said for these times in life because you know what to expect. Then, there are other times when you know you are waiting for change to happen. It’s not always something you can explain, but it’s just something you can feel.

I know change is coming. I have no clue as to what is coming, but I know something is about change. It’s a weird feeling. There are changes I would like to see made, but don’t necessarily know what it will look like. When you’re a Type A planner like me, it’s almost anxiety producing to know the Lord is getting ready to move, but hasn’t clued you in yet.

The Lord has been working in my life for about 2 years now. I’ve had to take several hard steps and have had hard conversations. I’ve had to be honest with myself about certain aspects of my life. For the past couple of years I have loved the analogy of the glow stick. In order for a glow stick to work it has to be broken. It’s the broken part of our lives the Lord used to minister to others.

The image I’ve had in my head the past couple of weeks is that of a caterpillar in the middle of the transition to a butterfly. While my time as a caterpillar hasn’t been bad and I’ve enjoyed many things in that time, I feel like the past two years I have been wrapped in a chrysalis. The Lord has been doing a work on the inside where no one else has been able to see it. He has put several people in life to speak truth to and over me. He has been making changes in my heart. At some point, the next chapter of my life will be me spreading my wings and soaring through whatever it is the Lord has for me.

I have now had several conversations with different people in my life and they are all telling me the same thing. It’s times like this I know the Lord is speaking to me. I know what I am hearing when I read The Word and pray, but the Lord always seems to use others to get me to where I need to be.

Last week, I attended a Christian Women in Media (CWIMA) regional dinner. This is an organization I have been a part of for almost 3 years. I have joked I am the rookie in the group because I only have a blog and have yet to complete my book. I started my book well over 2 years ago and then my laptop ate everything I had completed. Not even my techy husband could retrieve it. I got so frustrated that I didn’t write for a while after that. Eventually I wrote 2 chapters and then I froze. See the Lord has made it very clear as to what chapter 3 should be and it terrifies me. I have avoided any thoughts of chapter 3 for a good long time.

We ┬áhave walked through a lot of life in the past 9 months. I did’t do much writing during that season. My blog went silent and I didn’t even journal during that season. I am now at a place where I feel like I can take a deep breath and cobwebs are starting to clear. This leads back to the CWIMA dinner. I had 3 conversations about my book. Two of the ladies I know well and the 3rd, I met for the first time that night. As the conversation unfolded my book came up and I admitted to being stuck on chapter 3. She handed me a bracelet that says “I Must.” Yep. The Lord hit me square between the eyes with the phrase on the bracelet. “I Must,” not “I can,” not “I will get there eventually.”

“I Must.” It’s about obedience at this point. It’s no longer a matter of, “I’d really like to write a book,” or “This could be fun.” It’s about walking in obedience to the Lord. I have loved writing and the dream of writing a book has been in place since college. Back then I thought I knew what the book would be about, but I had no idea where the Lord would eventually take that dream. Here I am. Two chapters completed. Now, to write chapter 3. Only those closest to me know the topic of my book. Once it’s closer to completion, I will share more information with my blog readers.

In the meantime y’all have permission to ask me if I am writing. I will wear and look my “I Must” bracelet on a daily basis until the book is complete. If you are facing what seems to be a daunting task and the Lord has called you to it, go for it. He will lead you. It will be scary as all get out. You may falter a little, but in the end you are walking in obedience to what He has called you to do.

What is your “I Must?” What is the one thing you know the Lord is asking you to do that you keep avoiding or putting off? My Wednesday night Bible study has started going through “Discerning the Voice of God” by Priscilla Shirer. A line that jumped out at me during the homework for the first week was “Delayed obedience is disobedience.” Y’all we can be walking in obedience in every area, but one and we are still living in disobedience. Do not put off that difficult task one more day. Start today. Let “I Must” become your battle cry until you have completed whatever the task. Find someone or a couple of people to hold your feet to the fire until it is completed. I am here with open ears and ready to cheer you on in whatever your “I Must” may be. Walk forward in obedience from this day forward. The Lord will walk ahead of you and hold your hand through it!