During this season of Lent, I'm consciously trying to observe and understand the act of dying to myself. I've been looking at what I need to let go of and sacrifice to God. What comes up again and again for me is learning to let go of needing to know how it will work out. I need to let go of control, and I need to rest and find contentment while God works the rest out.
There are times where I can feel lost and that I don't know who I am. I want to know how God is using me or is going to use me. It's a feeling of restlessness and searching. It is also a deep struggle for control over my own life when I know that in reality I do not have the control.
One of the dangers is that when I feel like I'm being tossed around by the waves, I can find myself looking to others to define me. Does a job well done at work, does the love of another, does having well behaved children or a clean house make me worthy? And if they don't, than who am I?
I found myself in prayer again, asking God to show me who I am. I want Him to be the anchor of my soul and the source of my identity and security. It was on my heart while I got ready for work, and as I drove, and it's been on my mind for days. It's the desire to let Him have control but also wanting to know who I am in all of this. It's the struggle of living in this world but learning to have my mind on the kingdom.
Today was different though. His answer resonated deep in my soul: "You Are Mine."
Three little words, with no explanation of what that looks like. But it was all I needed. Me, in my gifts and in my imperfections, I am completely His. It is the understanding that I learn to rest in that knowledge and trust He is already working. He is shining His light and love into my darkness. He has fearfully and wonderfully made me, and His Holy Spirit is at work within me.
All I need to know is that I am His and nothing can change that. I can let go of the fear and find everything I've needed because He has promised that in His presence "is fullness of joy."
I am excited to continue this journey of Lent over the next 35 days. I am looking expectantly to what God is working in me during this season. I want to continue to walk in this place of recognizing how far I fall short of the glory of God but seeing the redemptive grace found in Jesus. Henri Nouwen says:
"Lent is a time of returning to God. It is a time to confess how we keep looking for joy, peace and satisfaction in the many people and things surrounding us without really finding what we desire. Only God can give us what we want. So we must be reconciled with God. . . The season of Lent, helps us in a special way to cry out for God's mercy."
My prayer for you is that God will also be showing you His mercy and love during this season, and that you never forget you are completely His.