Today as I entered the chapel for our Ash Wednesday service, I felt apprehensive. I am not ready for Lent. I felt the need to go to Ash Wednesday to help push me into the season of fasting from things and bringing new spiritual disciplines into my life. But, it wasn’t helpful; in fact I ended up in tears after the service was over.
But over the last several years, I have been stuck in Good Friday. I felt alone and distanced from my friends and family. I felt like Jesus, first in the garden, pleading with God to take this trial away from me and then like Jesus on the cross going through the pain (both physically, emotionally and spiritually) and separate from my family and friends even though they were there to witness the whole event. I may not have quoted Jesus exactly, but I am pretty sure I asked God why He left me and why must I go through this.
So for many years I was in this place – still seeing glimpses of God – kind of like Moses seeing God’s back, but still wondering where He was and where He went.
In recent weeks things have begun to clear – I am starting to feel better, but I am still doubting that this is real. I feel the Thomas doubting the resurrection of Jesus. He needed to see the scars in His hands and in His feet in order to believe that He was real. As for me, I need to see the change and for others to acknowledge and see the change in order to know that my experience is real. I feel like I finally moved from Good Friday into the Easter season. God has finally reappeared again in my life, but I am still angry. I don’t want to move into the season of penitence. I want to enjoy being with friends and family and enjoying preparing feast foods and eating feast foods. And I am going to.
This year my “church seasons” are not going to line up with the actual “church seasons”. I am going to start my journey into Easter and celebrate for as long as I need to. Then I will move into Ascension, Pentecost, and then into ordinary time. Maybe I will do Advent and Christmas in July and Lent and Easter in the fall, but regardless Lent is not a helpful place for me to be right now. So Happy Easter!!