Monday, April 4, 2011

Tough Lenten Lessons

A few of you have been asking me, "why haven't you posted lately?" And honestly, I haven't been sure how to answer. I know I've been avoiding something. Avoiding myself. Avoiding God. Avoiding the pain and emotions that have been welling up within me these days. And blogging, well, that's where I go when I want to share what God is teaching me. Since it hasn't been fun stuff lately, I've even wanted to avoid blogging!

But this morning, something broke and I finally had a good chat with the Lord. I'll try to articulate some of what I've been learning.

First, I must explain that our church is participating in a 35 day fast during this season of Lent to focus on the Holiness of God. Since I am 6 months pregnant, I decided not to do a food fast, but gave up something else I love: TV. During those precious naptime hours when I am tempted to watch a girly show or HGTV for that 1 hour window of afternoon time, instead, I have been trying to spend that time with the Lord, in prayer, Scripture, or a Christian book.

The first couple of weeks were great! I was on a spiritual high and having some rich prayer and reading times. But then, the loneliness, boredom and quietness set in. I got tired of picking up my Bible. I got tired of praying. I was ready to numb my mind and emotions and just veg out on the couch for an hour. It became uncomfortable.

I've been missing TV like crazy because I realize that it's my way of escape, a way to temporarily check out from this world. And now, I'm just faced with my sin in the quiet. So instead of continually running to God, I've found ways to replace my TV addiction with something else that will help me "check out."

A juicy issue of People magazine. A fun iPad app. Mommy blog surfing. All of these things I've turned to in hopes of numbing myself. When softly, gently, I hear God calling. Waiting. Standing at the door, knocking.

Only this morning, I finally turned to Him and apologized. I realized I had missed Him. I missed running to my One True Source of Strength. None of those other things help me deal with the painful emotions that well up inside me. None of them make me feel any better afterwards. But He is my source of strength and joy. In His Word, my soul is delighted.

The fast isn't over and I'm sure I will mess up and turn to other "idols" to comfort me. But He has gently reminded me that there is no one, nothing, that satisfies like He does.

From Psalm 23:

1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
3 He restores my soul.

1 comment:

  1. Totally agree :) From one individual prone to hiding to another ...i love you!!! :) Thanks for your honesty and just writing about what (i believe) everyone in the world does at some point in some way!!! In fact, I found myself hiding again today ! HA! Hopefully tomorrow, even tonight, will be different!!! Together, with you...Holly