What is it about a “Lenty” Lent? I mean we’re working on this Lent Devotional for Women, we’ve already got our head down, we’re plowing through, just doing the best we can, trying to carry our own crosses, and then it seems like one more is added and it’s the one that breaks our back like a toppling Jenga tower. Wait. Did you catch that part about carrying our own crosses?
Let’s check the crosses we’ve got strapped across our heart. Maybe, those crosses we’re carrying weren’t meant for us? Maybe we picked them up along the way, thinking they were surely the path to holiness! The harder the better right?
Or maybe those extra crosses are old but maybe we’re so attached to them, the only way we’ll put them down is if we feel like we’re being crushed under the weight of another, bigger cross. Am I preaching to my very own little choir of one?
Girls, I could show you a mini-storage full of crosses I was not meant to carry. But for some dumb reason, in the name of being or becoming more spiritual, I’ve collected crosses of all sizes and shapes and dutifully keep them under lock and key.
We’ve been working on loving more and better in our Lent Devotional for Women. And then it seems like God steps in and says “Really?” You have to read that in the tone intended.
Pretend your child tells you he’s cleaning his room and you walk in to see him lying on his back in the middle of the room. He tells you he was just looking to see if the ceiling needed to be cleaned. And you’d respond, “Really?” Good, now you’ve got the tone. So, God steps into the middle of our Lent and says, “Really?”
I’ll be honest, when God shows up with His divine “Really?” when my “Lent of love” suddenly, and even daily gets put to the test; I whine and behave badly. I’m not a fraud or phony…I’m just severely human.
Please do not for one minute think that just because I might have some nice words and pretty pictures here on The Littlest Way does not mean I’m exempt from a regretful first response.
I’m a wife and momma first and most importantly–well, behind a child of God. Tell me all you wives and mommas, what is the fastest way to “get our dander up?” (I’m not really even sure what that means, my grandma used to say it.) One of the worst things you can do is mess with a woman’s husband or children. We can take a lot of stuff, but set your sights on our husband or children and I guarantee you, that is the beginning of the end! Calls to mind a momma bear doesn’t it?
And it seems like more often than not, God is calling us to stretch–love more and better through a situation or circumstance that involves our spouse or children. Let me make a quick distinction, although we are being called to love more and better, that doesn’t mean we pretend bad things, uncomfortable things, hurtful things don’t happen. Loving more and better and bigger doesn’t mean we won’t be called to step into situations and emotionally protect and defend our families.
It also doesn’t mean we give a big, fat stick to whoever would like to take a crack at us–figuratively speaking. We can be called strictly to love more and better in our prayers, thoughts, and words without ever being in the presence of hurtful people if we can avoid it. We step back and pray that God will make our hearts tender and forgiving, but wise and circumspect. We can also pray for a holy forgetfulness.
There are times where, for self-preservation: spiritually, physically, mentally, or emotionally, we have to step back, turn and walk away. This should never, ever be done in haste, anger, or spite. This decision should never be made without some serious prayer, reflection and maybe even some counseling sessions. Never make it with a Facebook consensus or group mentality. And there is always the obligation to pray for the person or people we have to walk away from.
Kind of a tough talk here today for our Lent Devotional for Women, but something that needs to be said. Too often we’re forced into unhealthy situations because it’s the “Christian thing to do” even though God never asked us to be someone’s punching bag or scapegoat and it comes at the expense of our very selves or those closest to us.