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my ultimate lenten test

March 24, 2010

The week before Holy Week is usually the ultimate Lenten test, when everything I’ve learned since Ash Wednesday is challenged.  It is also when I am at my weakest point mentally, emotionally and physically, having been worn down by weeks of self-denial, discipline and fasting.  Since this has been the most grueling Lent in recent memory, I braced myself for whatever trials lay ahead.  But no amount of preparation could have blocked me from the emotional blows I received Monday and Tuesday.

I was floored by Monday’s shocking developments.  Although yesterday’s news confirmed what I had already suspected, it was still painful to hear.  I felt like I was being hit while I was down.

Today I’m nursing my wounded heart and struggling to find answers to questions that have begun to dominate my thoughts.  I am anxious for Easter – I just want my Lenten trials to be over – but a part of me is struggling to hold onto the hope of Easter, to the joy after the pain and laughter after sorrow.  All I see is betrayal, disappointments and rejection.  Will there be something to celebrate at Easter?  Oh, I know we will celebrate the Resurrection, but will there be anything to celebrate in my life?  Will there be joy after my Lenten pain?  Laughter after my Lenten sorrow?  Resurrection after myLenten death-to-self?  Even if I cling to hope that there will be something to celebrate, will I even have the energy to do so?  I’ve been run ragged with all the obstacles and hurdles of the past thirty-some-odd days.  What if I have nothing left for Easter?

Sigh… Don’t worry, reader.  I only said part of me was struggling with all of the above.  The other part of me is allowing these questions to be asked because they are legitimate concerns that need to be expressed and recognized.  All the while, this other part is clinging to hope.  I don’t know how God will bring about the joy, laughter and resurrection in my life, but I believe with most of my heart that He will.  It may not be dramatic (I don’t think I can handle anymore drama after this week), but it will be dynamic.  Of that I am certain.  (Reference: see last year’s Lenten post, Dramatic vs. Dynamic.)

I just hope I have enough stamina to make it through this daunting test.  As there are several more days left in the final stretch to Holy Week, I’m sure more emotional scrapes and bruises are coming my way.  God give me strength! This too shall pass…

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