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.
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.