My husband and I each took on an individual lenten discipline this year, and, in addition, one that we shared. All three were challenging, and we’re doing pretty well with keeping them.
Of course, as always seems to be the case in my life, nothing is ever what it seems. My real challenges this Lent have had nothing to do with what I chose to do to mark the season.
My real challenges have been the unexpected things presented to me in real life that have demanded exhausting discipline and restraint and endurance.
I’ve had to do the work of ministering to those dealing with illness and death while grieving the death of a friend and seething about the fact that he was murdered by people he trusted.
I’ve worked not to just run headlong toward every shiny thing and every shiny person. Shiny things are interesting but shiny people – yikes! Magnetic, fascinating, tempting…
I’ve fought the ongoing battle against my disillusionment with the doctrine, discipline, and even worship of the church I’m vowed to – wrestling with the question of how to be a priest and an occupier.
I’ve fantasized about telling my therapist that I quit because she’s making me work so damn hard and I’m tired of being self aware.
I’ve debated whether it’s okay to be happy with what I’m doing with my life right now or whether I need to be doing more, better, more… more what? I don’t know.
And I continue to fight depression and to a lesser extent anxiety, sometimes with more success than others.
This is hard. These things are my real Lent, my real desert experience. Easter feels pretty far away.