There is no doubt that the events of the last year in my life have drawn me closer to God. I know this may sound strange, but when I returned from my mother’s funeral, I was on such a spiritual high. God had shown up for me each day I was there, giving me much needed closure, giving me strength to get through each day, giving me the words to write my mother’s eulogy and to speak it and giving me insights into my identity that I denied for years.
As I began to accept these revelations about myself, I continued to explore my faith and seek God’s wisdom on how to walk this new path of spiritual growth that He was lying out for me. Surprisingly for me, this path put me back in the Catholic Church. At first, I was very confused by all of this. I grew up Catholic and turned away from the church as a teen when I gave my life to Christ and joined a Protestant Church. But for some reason, God was wooing me back and His vehicle was the Catholic Church.
This period of wooing and exploration coincided with the season of Lent. So last year, for the first time in my life, I made several decisions that allowed me to really listen to God and approach Easter with a fully repentant and willing heart. My main Lenten decision was to attend mass and prayer time every Wednesday in the Catholic Church. Each week as I left the church, I noticed God giving me some word or insight to cling too. I also left with incredible peace—a quieting of my mind to the worries of life.
As I observed Lent from a sacrificial and willing perspective, I also came to enjoy a deeper relationship with Christ and a reverence for the Lord. Growing up in the Catholic Church, the liturgy and tradition seemed stale and impersonal to me. But as I attended these services with new eyes, I was able to appreciate the reverence that is demonstrated by the priest and the parishners.
Last year’s season of Lent was so amazing for me as it gave me time to really focus on Jesus without distraction. I still go the Catholic Church most weeks and definitely miss it when I don’t. I have met some very devout followers of Christ in the Catholic Church. It has changed my way of thinking about the Body of Christ. It has affirmed and strengthened my relation to my Spanish family as well.
Last week, when I attended the Ash Wednesday service at the local parish, I reflected on this next season of Lent and the reverence that I now have for the Lord. Last year, I was hesitant to have those ashes put on my forehead and a bit embarrassed to be seen. This year, I attended a ministry meeting at my church and didn’t even flinch when asked about it.
I know God has wired me differently than other people. (We all are.) I’m letting God point me in the direction that I should go. Do I question it at times? Yes, but thankfully not as much as I used too.
For this season of Lent, I challenge you to find reverence for the Lord in whatever way God has wired you to connect with Him. May He create in you a clean heart as you live out these next 40 days and beyond.