In the past Lent was always a bit pre-meditated for me. I approached it as somewhat of a challenge and looked forward to sacrificing something for a whole 40 days. Most times it was chocolate. It was hard for my very sweet tooth to be in such favor of the decision which is why I did it I’m sure. But I always was aware weeks before that Lent was coming and tried to figure out what to give up.
This year Lent sorta rolled around and caught me by surprise. About a week before it began I read this post by Ann Voskamp and seriously considered praying a prayer she wrote on Dangerous Faith as opposed to giving up something. Her post came after speaking at IF:Gathering — a ladies event that challenges to gather, equip, and unleash the next generation of woman to live out their purpose — that I was privileged to attend locally via Livestream. It was totally awesome and next year I purposed in my heart this Texan is gonna do everything she can to be to a part of it LIVE in Austin.
So, back to the prayer. In a short time I was in. I committed to praying Ann’s prayer entitled Be Courageous. Maybe giving up that chuck of time as I pray is my sacrifice for Lent? I don’t know, but so far this prayer was only skipped once and I’m continually drawn to its message.
I’ve been praying that I can be strong and courageous like Joshua.
I’ve been praying that I may not be fearless but faithful because God is greater than my fears.
I’ve been praying that I can lay down my comfort zones and walking to the land God is calling me believing He will always keep me safe.
Praying that I hunger for a life of hidden service and humility and take leaps of faith and believe God can.
And, praying to step up the stairs not stare up the steps and to not quit even when we don’t know what’s going on.
There. Wow. All that I’m praying. Every day. I haven’t felt a big difference but I’ve sensed a nudging to trust and move/risk and to keep my heart soft in the face of fear. If you’re like me, then that’s huge. Because people like me are prone to handle things on their own and figure it by themselves.
For me, most of this prayer is about relationships and what I can do to be more open and speak life into them and not words of death. I’m also reading Larry Crabb’s book, SoulTalk right now which is so timely because he explains how to listen and care for others. >I highly recommend it.<
So with SoulTalk in my mind and God’s spirit in my heart and Lent on the calendar, I’m yearning to risk speaking words that offer life and hope. To move beyond clichés and what Jolynn would say but instead tap into the Holy spirit living in me and wait with faith for God to move. Don’t you wish you spoke more out of God’s spirit too? — and not just what you think and out of fear of looking foolish? Oooh yeah.
IF:Gathering also designed this thing called IF:Table. (This video explains more about it) The table idea is for woman to gather together and have Christ centered conversations around a table and food. What an awesome idea, right? What female doesn’t love the idea of connection and community and food – haha! I love this concept and this Thursday night I’m a part of our very own first IF:Table. It feels kinda scary and like a huge leap of Faith on my part – like what I’ve been praying about. I feel like I’m leaping, yes, LEAPING into something and I have no idea how it’s going to go. I don’t even know everybody attending.
Did I mention that I’m hosting it. That’s a huge fear factor in its self. As a host I always feel pressure to keep the ball rolling and pressure to make it ‘fun’. As host though, I really, really, want to be open to how God will lead the conversation and make the night about Him and not me, my lousy table, my food or my unfinished front door. Umm… yeah.
I guess I’ll keep praying my prayer until then. I guess I’ll keep creeping along and moving in faith as I nervously risk opening up my heart to trust God and believe that where ever he leads me, I’ll be safe. The evening probably won’t be prefect but hopefully I can relax and enjoy the imprefections! Did I mention I’m excited too? I really am looking forward to the Table! I love meeting people especially in my new-ish community.
I’ve lived here almost 6 years and still feel new.
That’s my Lent story. There might be a part II down the road. I’m kinda spontaneous and unpredictable with my writing so you never know with me! If you want to hear how it goes comment and tell me!
How about you? Are you sacrificing something this season? Are you risking something to draw closer to Christ?