Growing up Catholic, the Lenten season, which started on Ash Wednesday, the 40 days before Easter Sunday, signified the days before Jesus’ death on the cross as a sacrifice of His love for us and His subsequent resurrection from the grave so that we could have a new life, today and eternally.
For some of us, it was a time of fasting, restricting or sacrificing something significant in our lives. Limited in my belief and so immature in my understanding, I would usually give up candy, soda, or something that gave me great comfort—I found it painful on so many levels. As I grew older, drinking alcohol was set aside for the 40 days. As I said, I gave up what comforted me.
Although I do not practice the Catholic faith anymore, Lent still means a time of reflection, sacrifice, and new beginnings.
It’s a time of gratitude for Jesus’ resurrection and the promise of abundant life (John 10:10) and on our never-ending need for God’s grace. It’s another chance to make a fresh start toward total health and spiritual renewal.
This season, I am practicing the difficult discipline of not reaching for that instant comfort when I am uncomfortable–anxious, overwhelmed or fearful. As a recovering alcoholic, it’s not about drinking bottles of wine to quell my anxiety—it’s about the food I use to get the same effect.
Knowing why I do what I do and not wanting to do it and doing it anyway –you know, what Paul said (Romans 7:15-20).
Every spring and fall, I take time to check my progress in maintaining healthy numbers, begin a time of fasting off certain foods and activities that distract me from a closer relationship with God and others and myself. I bring other women into the journey of Right Size, Right Life. We spend five weeks together uncovering those areas that keep us from experiencing the abundant life.
I have discovered that until we get our thoughts aligned with God’s will, our minds renewed with the Word, and then knowing how to live it all out, we will struggle to achieve health–in our bodies and spirit.
And health is an inside job—more than what you eat or your workouts.
It’s a season of new life and hope.
Take Back Your Life!
“Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.” (3 John 1:2 New King James Version)