Grieving on in Lent
What does it look like to enter Lent with a grieving heart? Challenging. 💜
Lent is a season of reflection and preparation – which is what I already feel like I am in and have been in for many, many months.
There is a bit more sorrow in lent, thinking specifically about the sacrifice Christ made for us all on the cross. But do I want to take on more sorrowful thoughts right now? No. Yet at the same time, I still want to reflect on and remember what Christ had done for us all!
So, back to the Lent and grief blending together bit:
As I thought about what God would really want from me in the next 40 days of reflection and preparation, I began to wonder what it might look like to give up some of the worries that have been consuming my mind of late. Thoughts like: when will I actually move to my new house in Missouri, what I am supposed to do with my career, my writings, my house in Arkansas. What will future relationships look like - or will there be any, etc? The thoughts pile up so easily.
Instead of letting the list of worries grow, I offered up this question to God and myself, “What if I tried to surrender these worries for a whole 40 days?” What if I didn't just "try" but actually surrendered these worries.
Is this possible? Giving up coffee would probably be easier.
It’s not like I can take all of these concerns and put them in a closet and hide them from my mind for 40 days; they will probably still creep in. But I could counter these with focusing on hope, rest, healing and health within my daily life and activities. Even with some challenges (like back pain currently and a heavy heart), I do believe there’s room and opportunity for all of these things to happen and for strength to grow.
I would be nice, in many ways, if I could give up grief altogether, but one: that wouldn’t be completely healthy, and two: it is part of me and my story here and now, so it travels with me in each new season.
I am still marinating on what God is saying to me in this process. And as I take steps to listen more intentionally and worry less, between now and Easter – a date which happens to fall on the 21st anniversary of my own mother’s passing – I hope God will reveal some additional truth and wisdom for the months to follow.
“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” - Matthew 11:28
I pray God will also reveal some good focus points for you this year as we shift our gaze to Easter 2020.
A friend also sent me this article that walks through grief and lent, offering such beautiful words and a challenge for Ash Wednesday too.
2/26/2020 07:40:27 am
Oh I remember that date so well. I miss her too. Your daily struggles are great, but you will come out from under this big cloud. Not as soon as you'd like, but it will come. Love you, Jenn
2/26/2020 10:18:34 am
thanks for sharing. you blew my mind!!! i'm thinking now... love you friend
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Hi! It's Jenn Brown, writing my story that is now slightly different as we enter a season of new grief. On September 30, 2019, my dear husband Josh passed away after battling brain cancer.