As I reflected on Lent, several key words popped out several times throughout my Blessed is She On the Way Journal. These words/phrases helped define my Lenten Journey and helped me have the best Lent of my life so far.
Do not let my heart be drawn into worshipping other gods. (Deuteronomy 30:17) I defined the gods in my life as social media, as well as my profession (Speech Language Pathology). My goal for Lent was to cut back on social media; not cut it out completely, but reduce the use and use it to profess my faith. Even though I’m in the last phase of my career, I had been spending an awful lot of time on my professional blog, as well as making materials to sell on a teacher website. It was definitely an “out” after my mother’s passing (July, 2014), so it was time to put that aside and delve into reality. I drastically cut back on those things; I closed my laptop and addressed things in the house that needed to be addressed. When my laptop was open, it was used mostly for devotions or checking out Catholic-related sites.
Forgiveness. I was forgiven by a former coworker who acknowledged a letter I sent to her; she accepted my apology and expressed forgiveness. Will we ever be best friends? No, but I
think hope that we both will be there for each other should we
ever be in that situation.
Free Will. God gives us everything, but we have to decide to take it. We have no control over what someone else is doing; all we can do is pray and ask God to lead him back on the right path. I’m a bit of a control freak, so this is something I have a very hard time with. Around my calendar I have the phrases, Jesus I trust in You, as well as Lord, I give this to you. And I have prayed those prayers every single day since I wrote them around my calendar.
Humility. This word resounded all throughout Lent, and culminated by the washing of feet on Holy Thursday. I felt the humility of the people having their feet washed by the priest, as well as the humility of the priest.
God has a plan. WOW. Just how awesome this is hit home for me while we were at the beach for Spring Break. My husband & I walked onto the beach, looked up, and were amazed at the stars. It makes you realize just how small we are, but for each one of us, He has a plan. We just have to pray that he shows that plan to us, and that we have the awareness and the courage to follow that plan.
Fear. Fear of peer pressure, fear of not knowing the right words to say if I’m confronted about my faith, fear of being persecuted for my beliefs. A couple of weeks ago, we read about Susanna who was falsely accused but faced her fear and put it in God’s hands, and Daniel who faced the fear of being ridiculed for standing up for her. I pray for their courage during those moments when I’m afraid.
Silence. Having come from a family with 9 siblings, there was rarely a moment of silence in our house when I was growing up. Silence is a very difficult thing for me. I have to have some kind of noise in the background during my day. This Lent, I tried going to sleep without the tv being on. The only time I had it on was when my husband was out of town, so I think I did okay with this. I rarely had the tv on during Lent, saving my tv time for certain shows. (My husband would question the quality of one of the shows I watch, but that’s beside the point!)
I learned so much this Lent. As far as God’s plan for me, I’m still trying to listen and do His will. I’m still trying to listen to His word and live every day as He would have me. I’m no theologian; in fact, I think my Catholic education was greatly lacking. I have a lot on which to catch up.
Did you have the same words speaking to you during Lent? How different were the words you heard?