Heeey there! I can’t believe I’m halfway through second semester of my first year of uni! Wowza, time sure does fly by! And what a perfect opportunity to tell you all about an event I’ve decided to take part in for the first time ever: Lent!
Maybe some of you have heard of Lent, but for those who haven’t, here’s a brief overview:
It is a time to fast from something that is taking your attention, time, energy, etc. away from your relationship with God. Jesus went into the desert for 40 days and spent that time fasting and in community with his Father, so Lent biblically reflects that time to give up something from your life and use that time and energy to focus on your relationship with God. It starts on Ash Wednesday, the day after Marti Gra, and goes for six weeks until Easter.
I’ve never taken part in Lent, because I didn’t really appreciate it for what it was worth. But this year I though, hey why not, I’ve got nothing to lose! There are some other practices that go along with Lent that follow the Catholic religion, like not eating meat on Fridays except for fish, but I decided not to partake in those practices. I just decided to give up something that I felt was taking a lot of time and energy away from spending time with the Lord!
I decided to give up two things, the first being sweets. I LOVE SWEETS. Holy smokes, I’m a chocoholic. At school they have a whole display of different cookies all day every day, and if I’m not conscious about it I will eat 5 a day! That’s horrible! So I said no to sweets because they aren’t good for me. The second thing I gave up was wearing makeup. I’m not one to feel like I need makeup on in order to go out in public every day, but I do spend time doing it in the morning. Lately I’ve been realizing I struggle with pride, so to humble myself before the Lord I decided to give up wearing makeup, so that I may come before Him every day in the natural way He created me. It also opens up about 15 extra minutes for me to spend praying and reading Scripture, so that’s been pretty cool!
But honestly, it’s been rough. It’s hard to go to church without makeup and looking my best or being around friends who all wear makeup and me being bare. There’s so much social pressure to wear makeup and look your best all the time, and your best looking is defined by how much makeup you wear and how you wear it. When I feel that I’m struggling with it though, I remember why I’m doing this, and instantly I feel a sense of peace in my heart. I want to humble myself before God daily, and giving up makeup has allowed me to be consciously aware of where I’m putting my value.
If you’ve never considered partaking in Lent, consider otherwise, because it’s a great experience. Reflect on your life and think about what you place your value in. Is it gossip? Is it social media? Exercise? Pride? Eating? It could be anything, but I believe it’s important to reflect on your life and see where your weaknesses are so you might be able to strengthen them with the guidance of God’s good hand.
“Fasting confirms our utter dependence upon God by finding in Him a source of sustenance beyond food.” – Dallas Willard