Monday, April 21, 2014

How Lent Has Changed Me

It is the day after Easter I am asking myself, “Has this past Lenten season changed me and my relationship with Jesus?” This has been a rather unusual Lenten season and Easter for me. A month ago, I had routine surgery and spent most of this year’s Lenten season laid up at home recuperating. Between preparation for my medical leave from work and the time off, nothing about these last couple months has been “normal” or routine.

While I am usually very busy and involved in church activity during Lent (being a church secretary and for the most part, a regular church-goer), this year, I spent much of my time doing nothing. Nothing that is but thinking about my faith journey…where I am in it, what my part in God’s plan is, what I need to do differently and where the Spirit is leading me now as I continue to strive to be a faithful disciple. I remembered how deeply moved I was when God opened my heart to understand and receive him and realized how flat my daily living seems now in comparison. I wondered why and when the heart had seemed to go out of my prayer and study time and Sunday morning worship.

For a long time I thought that it was because I was now a “mature” Christian and that’s just what happens after a while. My commitment to Christ is in many ways comparable to a marriage commitment and I thought that like the typical marriage, after a while the newness of the relationship wore off and as they say—the honeymoon was over. The romance quieted down to day to day commitment. Sure we celebrate a couple of special dates each year. What couple doesn’t? There’s His birthday, the day He expressed His undying love and commitment to me (on the cross), and let not forget the day He offered me more than the moon and the stars—He offered me heaven and eternal life! (Really, what girl could turn down that proposal?) Please don’t get me wrong—I’m not saying that a marriage is in trouble if the couple is in that “comfortable” stage. I’m saying that I expect more from a relationship when one of the two people in it is God!

Now before you start planning an intervention, let me assure you that my faith is not shaken—Jesus is the Son of God who came to earth fully man and fully God to teach us about the Father’s love and desire to be in relationship with us and then, to redeem his beloved children, died on the cross in our place for our sins and rose from the dead on Easter morning to invite us into everlasting communion with him.  To the very core of my being and with all my heart, I know this to be true. No my faith is not shaken, but God has been doing a little stirring of my faith with these questions. I know that he will not leave my faith unsettled for long and I will wait as long as it takes for him to show me the answers.

I wish I had an answer, some neatly defined conclusion to all this musing, but I don’t. I can tell you that it has led me here—God has something in mind for me—some new adventure …a new understanding and appreciation of his glory …a new unimaginable, unknowable step forward and deeper in my discipleship, and he’s about to help me see it and to help me move forward into it and that fills me with joy and hope and it makes me smile. Come Holy Spirit. Lead the way.

How has Lent changed you and your relationship with Jesus?

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