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Wednesday, April 2

ReLent, Part 1: Failing


I just have to say, I've really sucked at Lent this year. 

And I mean, really, really sucked. Miserably failed.

Two years ago, I observed Lent for the first time, and it transformed my life. Last year, I didn't do it, and I missed it. So this year, I noted the date weeks before and planned to spend some time meditating on what I would fast from this year. Then, I promptly forgot all about Lent until Ash Wednesday. 

I spent the first week of Lent trying to decide what to fast from. Ice Cream? Too easy for someone who's lactose intolerant. Coffee? I would die. Facebook? Need it for my job. Could I fast from stress? Busyness?  Worry? I wish. Then I'd actually have time to sit and think about what I actually should fast from. 

I finally decided on meat, "rich meats" to be exact. Several weeks ago, I started attending a Bible study on the book of Daniel. Beth Moore suggested fasting from "rich meats," like Daniel and his friends did. She defined "rich meats" as beef, pork, not including chicken and fish. 

This might be far too easy to really count as a sacrifice, I thought. 

I was so wrong. 

I quickly lost count of the times I messed up ... the corned beef on St. Patrick's Day, the pepperoni pizza, the Ruben sandwiches, the bacon ... so many times.

 I should be so much better than this. I can't believe I messed up again. Maybe I should just give up. But this is so simple! Surely if I just try harder, I can get it together ...

Another day, another failure. Frustration turned to anger. 

Finally, I collapsed on the couch, curled up in a miserable ball of failure, and cried.

I CAN'T DO THIS. 

It was sob and a prayer.

Yes. That's the point. 
It was a still small voice. Not audible, felt, more than heard. 
And suddenly, the light began to dawn. That's the point. In order for me to stop rushing and be still, I had to come to the end of myself. 

Now, I was ready to listen. 
But that didn't mean I'd like what I'd hear. 

ReLent, Part 2: Fighting, is coming soon. 
About the name, ReLent. The prefix "re" has the idea of re-doing, starting over, starting again. In some ways, I started my Lent over at this point. I started following the She Reads Truth Lent series, and its changed everything. 
"Relent" also means to give up, and give in. So far, that's been a recurring theme for me.
Have you ever observed Lent, or are you observing it now? (If not, you might be interested in the post I wrote two years ago, 4 Reasons To Observe Lent, Even If You're Not Catholic.)
I'd love to hear your experiences in the comments (Please tell me I'm not alone in failing at fasting... K thanks!).