I haven't been writing about my Lenten journey this time around, but since we're about halfway through I wanted to pop in to share a few thoughts...
A couple of years ago I started observing Lent again (I wrote about the reasons why in this post for CFMiami). When I started participating in Lent I decided to take a different approach. I wanted to do something that would really challenge me and help me lean on God. So I gave up yelling. No, I don't love yelling...I always feel horrible after I yell and I know it's a damaging habit, but I'm so used to it. Through those 40 days I realized how much of my yelling stemmed from a real anger issue and, even more deeply, from some past hurts that I hadn't dealt with. It was such a refining time for me and I was able to reconcile with old friends and let go of the bitterness that had plagued my heart for so long.
This year I kept wondering what I should give up in order to grow closer to my God. It wasn't until Ash Wednesday that it came to me. Worry.
I worry a lot. I worry more these days than I ever did in years past. Maybe it's because I'm getting older and life still seems so uncertain to me. Maybe it's because I have two little kids that rely completely on me (and Alex, of course). For whatever reason I have felt my anxiety rising and I don't like it one bit.
I know what the Bible says about worry. It's a waste of time. It shows a lack of faith in God, the Provider. And when I look back on my life I see that God has never failed us. So why is it so hard to trust and not be anxious? I guess the Spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.
I've really had enough of this worrying. I want to let it all go and let God do His thing. His timing is perfect. His ways are far above my ways. I'm trying to remind myself of that every minute of every hour of every day. Whenever I feel my heart rate increasing I stop and pray. God, You are in control and I gladly relinquish any control I try to force on the situation. Not my will but Your's be done. Ease my spirit. Help me to rest in Your embrace. Help me to put my complete trust in You. You will provide. You are good. You are trust-worthy.
So for this Lenten season I'll be focusing on letting go of worry and grabbing a hold of trusting God.
Blessed be the Lord!
For he has heard the voice of my pleas for mercy.
The Lord is my strength and my shield;
in him my heart trusts, and I am helped;
my heart exults,
and with my song I give thanks to him.
The Lord is the strength of his people;[b]
he is the saving refuge of his anointed.
Oh, save your people and bless your heritage!
Be their shepherd and carry them forever.