So, that fancy list I earnestly wrote at the beginning of Lent of just one thing I would do to observe Lent each day…I did it…for two days. After that, life happened and the list fell apart. I haven’t done more than two or three of the things on the list I wrote for the kids, either. Until now, that’s been my pattern; I’ve had big ideas and set out to change the world, and then let life get in the way. I’ve made excuses, used the fact that I have been abused, that yes I did something wrong but so did somebody else, or said that I was just unworthy of what I longed for. And it’s true, I have been abused, somebody else did do something wrong, and I have felt unworthy.
It’s time to get past all of that; the truth is that I haven’t done the things on my lists because I used the time for other things. And the truth is that I haven’t done a lot of things because I used the time for something else, or I made the wrong decision, or I was sulking and figured it was just too hard, or I lacked the confidence that I could do it. The Girl With the Grace Tattoo is a concept I have had for at least two years now, and I’ve worked on it slowly. I’ve been excited about writing my book, but I’ve also sabotaged myself with some terrible marketing, and a huge lack of confidence. I’ve complained that others get opportunities that I don’t, saying that they were just “more special” but I’m beginning to question that attitude.
It is true that some people have had far more advantages and opportunities than I have, but it’s also true that I haven’t taken full advantage of the ones I have been given. I’ve been burying the few talents that I’ve been given just like is described in the parable Jesus told because I compared myself to others and I was afraid. I need to start taking advantage of the opportunities I have been given, which is why I am using The Girl With the Grace Tattoo as my dissertation for my honors work, locking myself into finishing it well and in a timely manner.
While I haven’t been keeping up with the lists that I set out to do at the beginning of Lent, I’ve chosen to let those go because the truth is I think God has decided on a different focus for me for Lent. He wants to redeem the abuse I have suffered, redeem the wrong others have done to me; redeem the mess I have made of my own life. He wants to change the entire way that I think about life, he wants me to change what I do. And because of that, the theme of Easter is all through the Lenten season for me. It’s a death of old thoughts and attitudes and a resurrection to new life, one where I take responsibility for my life and the things I choose to do with it.