Lent 2019 proved to be one of the most trying, difficult Lenten seasons of my adult life.
Fresh off a dating break-up, I was working through big feelings and loneliness. On top of that, I happened to see for the first time (since my divorce) my former husband at a prayer meeting with my mom. I felt equal parts triggered and angry.
Seeing how strong a reaction I had, I knew there was more to process with Jesus. I asked the Lord what He was trying to teach me or reveal through this situation. As clear as a bell, I heard in my heart, "Well, there is still more that needs to die inside of you." Ouch. Awkward silence.
Lent 2019 was a season where I learned about more things that had to die inside of me. I began to realize what things I had to let go of: resentment, past hurts, fear of suffering, and control over my future.
The Gospel (Luke 14:25-33) today reminds me of what I learned in my Lenten journey: more about myself and Who God is.
The words of Jesus to His disciples remind me that in order to follow Jesus with greater abandonment: I need to let go of certain things and ideas. I need to not put other people or relationships on a pedestal instead of Jesus. I have to evaluate which are the various idols in my life and how they affect my relationship to God. I need to be aware of where I avoid the cross in my daily life. I need to take personal responsibility for that which needs to still die inside of me.
Perhaps a similar question will challenge you as it did me: what are the things inside of me that still need to die so I can more freely and fully follow Jesus?
Following Jesus with our whole heart and mind has a cost. However, the benefit of drawing closer to Jesus always outweighs the cost.