Thursday, 26 February 2015

Cans of worms

Well, here's an update. Last week I was bravely announcing that I had a Plan for Lent. 

I was going to work through a list of '40 Things to Give Up for Lent' that I found online, and I was going to journal and pray through each one, telling God what was on my mind when I considered each particular word, and then listen to what God might say back to me. I thought it would be a learning experience, a little soul-searching, a little offloading, then perhaps some word of affirmation and determination.... 

That was the plan. 

You're expecting me to confess that I haven't been doing it, aren't you? That I got to Day 3 and tripped up, or that it's all become a little bit too difficult and I'll finish some other time. 

That's not it. I've done it every day. Thirty-four pages of journal and quite a few hours, actually. That's not the problem.

The problem with my Lent plan is that it seems to be having quite an effect.

The routine of doing it I've found quite easy; it's the things that I'm realising that are making it difficult. I've found that thinking and writing about these words causes stuff in my head to spill out that I either a) thought I'd dealt with years ago or b) didn't realise was there at all. Cans of worms, long shut up tight, and I'm levering the lids off. There's quite a mess. 

My word for this year is 'PEACE', and I am anything but peaceful, and this Lent '40 things' thing isn't helping. How can an examination of my heart on topics such as 'fear of failure', 'comparison' and 'your comfort zone' cohabit comfortably with PEACE?

So, in this short update, I bring you the news that there is work to be done, indeed, and I haven't even got to 'negativity' (day 16) or 'distraction' (day 22) or - gulp - 'worry' (day 30). 

Lots to consider, lots to confess. I'm just struggling to know how to deal with the things that are coming up. Over and over again I'm writing, 'I'll just leave this with you, Jesus.' 

I can't think of any other way of dealing with it. It feels right; some of the bad stuff had leapt back on board over the past few months anyway, and so the opportunity to confront what's going on seemed both necessary and God-led. I suppose that I thought there would be a sense of closure as I skipped through the forty things. And there isn't. No heavenly box ticked, no huge sigh of relief. No feeling of 'Right, that's done with.'

So, I conclude this is closely linked to my word for last year, that I was reluctant to replace as I chose My One Word 2015. My word for last year was TRUST, and as the year went on it became more and more precious to me. I know now that it is really my word for last year, this year and all the years that come until I run out of years down here on earth. 

TRUST is pretty much all there is. 

So, I trust you, Jesus, with my struggle with comparing myself with other people. I trust you with my fear of getting things wrong. I trust you when I put a wary foot outside my comfort zone, and I trust you that you will be there as I think about all the other terrifying things on the list. You haven't ever let me down. 

I trust you, Jesus. That must be the path to peace. There isn't another way. 

Ok, I'm ready. Day 9. What's it to be? 

Oh. 'Guilt'. 


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