Growing and Learning Through Lent

By Bailey Brawner

For about two years now, I’ve been writing letters to my husband. No, I’m not married, but when I am, I want something to share with him, whoever he may be. So I write these letters, expressing my love for him and the things going on in my life, and then I seal them and store them together until the day I can share them with him.

So this evening, I wrote one of these letters about a recent experience I had at a retreat over the weekend. I thought this was a big part due to lent, and to the promise I made to myself and to God over the course of forty days. I’m going to share a piece of it with you today.

I just finished a retreat for young adults this weekend at Glacier Bible Camp. I was given the opportunity to reflect on and challenge what I believe. More than ever, I know that I need to love everyone. With so much judgment, and so many derogatory comments and ways to hide behind communication, people are being targeted for being themselves. That’s something I’m not going to sit down and watch happen. Especially, as Christians, we are called to love. Yet, we see ourselves and others ignoring or showing hatred towards groups of people who see the world differently.

For lent this year, I told myself that I would stop letting what others think about me affect my actions or the way I see myself. This is (slowly) giving me the opportunity to publically stand for what I believe in. Living with the belief that only God can judge me is the way I hope to spend my life.

This has been a huge breaking point for me. I’m so great at using Facebook or social media to portray what I think. I stand behind articles written by others to use as my own opinion. My lent promise has been an integral part of my journey closer to Christ. The crazy thing is that it’s only a few days into it! I hope, and am confident in the fact that my relationship with God and my relationship with myself will flourish and progress more and more.

I have decided on a zero tolerance for hatred. After watching people hate those who are different, it has inspired me to take a look at my life and help others look at theirs.

God,

I thank you for the ways you speak to me.

Even though you can be quiet, you speak through the silence and yell loud and clear.

You know my heart better than I know it myself.

Help us all to love the way you love.

In your loving and wonderful name,

Amen

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