A friend’s invitation to her Mardi Gras birthday party reminded me that this Wednesday is the beginning of Lent, and it got me thinking about what I’ve fasted from in the past and what I’ll fast from this year.
Last year, I gave up worrying about my singleness for Lent. I know that seems rather out of the norm, but I figured if the purpose of this season is to prepare our hearts for Easter, the thing that occupied most of my thought and social life was my singleness, and therefore, something that would “cost” to give up and free me to focus on Christ.
Yes, my singleness drove me to prayer, and obviously I am passionate about praying for marriages as evidenced by my involvement with fast.pray., but the amount of time I spent praying aka complaining about my status did not show that I was trusting God to provide or accepting His love and plan for me.
So, I stopped the dating sites, made a conscious effort to plan my social calendar around building into the lives of others and just having fun- not choosing what to do based on the probability of whether or not I would meet someone. It wasn’t that I would have turned down a date if one came along during this time (one did not), but I took a break from all the planning, scheming, and angst.
Every time I started to worry or be anxious about my lack of dates, I would consciously remind myself that this was my spiritual act of worship (Romans 12:1-2), and that I wasn’t going to worry about any of that until after Easter.
My walk with the Lord became precious as I began to listen to what He had to say about other areas of my life other than my singleness. It was though I had been reading the Bible solely through the lens of a single woman desiring a husband and not through that of a Child of Christ seeking to deepen her relationship with Him.
After Easter, I did renew my effort to join the dating scene, but there was an improvement in my spirit through my fast, and I had a deeper relationship with the Lord as a result.
I know we have a mini-Lent every Monday as we fast and pray together, but I would encourage you to pray about doing a longer fast this Lent, one that would focus on an area of your heart where you feel the Lord leading you to change.
I will be honest and admit that I am not sure what I am going to give up this year for Lent (still have until Wednesday for the Lord to reveal this to me!), but I will be using this time of year to re-focus myself on the work Christ did on the cross and the Power of His Resurrection.
…”that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings…” Philippians 3:10
In Him, Emily
P.S. I know Valentine’s Day is also this week- grab a bunch of friends, good food, and celebrate, knowing you are God’s Chosen one and dearly loved (Colossians 3:12) Amy, Anna, and I are praying for you!