|Thanks to Sweet Little Ones for my Lenten printable!|
The good stuff first: it's been an overall good Lent with fasting from social media (minus the times I cheated...). I've kept in tune with liturgical living more than usual and have had simple decorations even when the first day of Spring presented itself. I've held off putting out the bird feeder, wind chimes, fresh flowers, and such things simply to make Easter even more celebratory. My days have been quieter and more contemplative for the most part.
I have gotten into a nasty habit of negativity. I'm sure I can think of lots of excuses (postpartum hormones? PCOS? lack of affirmation? long winter?), but no real reasons for it. The sad truth is I have simply focused more on the difficulties in this current season and vocation than the blessings of it. I sigh and eye roll and grumble way more than I want to admit. I shuffle around with a slave mentality instead of a servant-heart. Even my husband has noticed. (Or maybe if I'm being honest, I'm even moreso that way around him so he knows "how hard" my days are...). It's embarrassing and I'm ashamed of it.
Even God has gently corrected me a few times. I've learned from our book club last year to zero in when God speaks twice-- usually a verse or phrase or topic that comes up more than once in a personal way. In the span of a few hours, I had TWO Bible verses/themes repeated on the radio and in books I was reading: To "rejoice in the Lord always" and "when you seek Me with all your heart, I will be found by you." I knew God was reminding me He is the reason for joy and the only way we can have steadfast, constant joy. He was also encouraging me to seek Him in my days and to find Him in my family, but not halfheartedly.
I improved for awhile but soon fell back into my negative slump. Which is where you find me today, on the Monday of Holy Week. Feeling very unholy.
But you know what? Maybe it's not a bad thing to feel this way at the beginning of Holy Week. Maybe that's exactly where I need to be on this Monday before the Triduum. Because this is the starting place of remembering how much I need a Savior. This is the posture of repentance where I can receive mercy and grace. This is where I can focus on Christ on the Cross and learn better how to carry my own cross and to lay down my life in this season. And this is where I prepare for joy, true joy, the joy that comes from knowing that yes, I am unholy, but there is a Holy One who died for me and rose from the grave. My unholiness doesn't faze him. He is at work in me, always working on a resurrection for the dead, sinful places within me.
If you are feeling in a dark place this Monday, take heart! Enter into each moment of this week knowing that Christ too walked through darkness so that we would know redemption. Walk with Him carrying the cross and sit at His feet while He hangs there with love for you, just as you are. Know that He is stronger than any sin or struggle in your life. In the end, the Son will rise, the Light will shine forth, and that is reason for us to rejoice!