Well, we made it. Lent has finally come to an end. The Lenten sacrifice is over, and Christ has risen. The question is, have you?
St. Paul said, “We were indeed buried with him through baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised form the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might live in newness of life” (Romans 6:4). The purpose of Lent is not to give something up as a sacrifice to endure for the forty days leading to Easter. We sacrifice, we suffer, so that we may grow. If we only focus on doing without a comfort, such as chocolate or soda, and return to the abuse of those comforts as soon as Lent is over, we have missed the point. Our success during Lent does not lie in the temporary suffering that we achieve through our own power, it lies in what we allow God to achieve through our suffering.
This Lent, my growth did not come from giving something up, although I did do some of that; it came from my deep desire to learn to trust God. It has been many years since I have truly trusted in God’s will for me. Because of this lack of trust, I feared hoping. I have been so afraid of disappointment that I have often refrained for praying for my desires. However, over the past six weeks, I have allowed myself, forced myself, to risk asking God to fulfill my dreams. I began with little things. About two weeks in, I cried out in desperation, and he answered. It wasn’t the answer that I had expected, but it was better than I imagined. And through that came healing.
I read a while back that it takes twelve weeks to make a habit. I have found that to be accurate. Even if I perfectly trusted God every day over the past six weeks, which I didn’t, I’m only halfway there. If you made strides in your spiritual journey, you’re only halfway there. If you can stay on track, you’re Lenten growth will not be lost. Relying on God will become a habit, and we will finally be able to trust—to have hope without fear.
There is nothing wrong with celebrating Easter by partaking in what you have done without during Lent. However, as we enter the Easter season, let’s make a conscious effort to remember the growth this Lent has brought about. Every ending brings forth a new beginning. Sometimes endings are incredibly painful. Nonetheless, no matter how difficult beginning again is, there is always hope. We just need to trust that God can bring forth beauty from our suffering.
Lisa R. Perron
I have a heart for adoption. Three of my five children are adopted. Because of that, our family looks different than most. In this blog, I want to give you a glimpse of my God-sized, God-designed family and share all of the lessons I've learned along the way.