The end of Lent has come and gone and it is time to reflect on what the last 40 days have truly been about. This journey started for me because I felt like God was telling me that there was an area of my life that I needed to submit to Him so that He could refine it. A verse that had a powerful impact on me at the start line was Luke 6 v 45 because it had never occurred to me that bad language could reflect a poor state of your heart. It pained me to know that my heart might not be as it should be.
I can honestly say God has drawn me closer through the journey of Lent, even during the moments when I have struggled with the challenge. What surprised me about the struggles of this challenge is that when they came along they appeared like the serpent with the apple. They were covered in the ripe red skin of a juicy apple and I took a bite without hesitation and this lack of hesitation came from my own pride and sinfulness. I remember towards the end of last week I swore, not once but two or three times. I remember feeling genuinely shocked. I had got to a place where I either didn’t get the urge to swear or I felt the word forming and held it back. Yet here I was slipping back into old habits without any warning. Or rather, there were warning signs but my ripe red pride glowed too bright for me to see them. This pride stemmed from the fact that I thought I could now do this challenge alone. Each week I learned something new and was challenged by God to dig deeper which was wonderful. However, after four weeks, rather than continuing to praise God for the great work He was doing in my life, I started to think that I was doing it. I was the one writing the blogs and making the vlogs. I was on the reading my bible. I was the one making a difference. And it happened so slowly that I didn’t see the slippery slope I was rolling down until the swear words slipped out and Grumpy Mummy appeared back in our house. I had become complacent to the challenge and I had taken my eyes off Jesus.
The time of Lent is to keep our eyes completely focused on Jesus and all that He has done for us so that we can draw closer to Him and deepen our relationship with Him, but more importantly, so that we come to understand why we need Him so much. Yet at the last hurdle I failed because I took my eyes off Him. Yet once again He was gracious enough to show me this, to take the scales from my eyes and reveal to me where I had gone wrong. Alleluia! He never leaves us and He never forsakes us. Did I deserve for God to so graciously come into my life and show me where I was going wrong? No, of course not, yet He does it for me and He does it for us all time and time again. So whereas my Lent challenge could have finished off course, with me feeling well and truly pleased with myself, it did in fact finish with new humility and my eyes being directed back to the cross. God showed me (yet again!) just how much I need Jesus every single second, of every single day. I will never be enough in myself but with Jesus I can be the person He wants me to be.
This warms my heart more than ever before because it takes me back to why God wanted me to do this challenge in the first place. As you know I write this blog with a desire to raise awareness for human rights and at the start of this journey I felt God saying that one of the reasons I needed to sort out my bad language was because I write and speak about issues that are close to Gods heart. If I am to do that effectively then my words need to be more Godly so that people will actually listen so He can use me in the race against injustice. This morning I was reminded of another verse which for me is a clear sign that I need to continue on this road of good language so that I can:
Thank you Lord for taking this time of Lent to teach me, shape me and refine me so that I can go out and do the work you have called me to.