Today is March first, 2017. It is the start of Lent, a 40 day period for Christians to focus on the sacrifice and love of Jesus through our faith that God became flesh, dwelled among us, was crucified for our sins, and was resurrected with victory over death. This prepares our hearts for Easter. Many of us practice self-denial in some form during lent in order to strengthen our acknowledgement that we need Jesus.
I stink at self-denial during lent because I continually miss the point. I get so wrap up in making sure I don’t cheat on whatever commitment I have made for a particular lent season that my connection to Jesus takes a back burner.And because my focus is on perfection, I always fail. People may think that failure could be good in that it would highlight my need for Jesus. But nope, I am too busy on how much of a loser I believe I am that I cannot receive the grace and love God offers messed up humans.
My need to be perfect hinders my relationships with others and Jesus because my focus is all on me and not on connection. It hinders me from writing because of the same thing. The focus is on my performance rather than communicating what the Holy Spirit would have me put into the world.
Oh Jesus, how I need you, your forgiveness, and grace!
This lent season, starting today, I am gonna lay down my need for perfection at the cross of Jesus by publishing a blog post for everyday for 40 days. This means giving up my obsession of trying to come up with the perfect words, worrying on how my posts will be received, and not be afraid of failure…or of success. It’s means trusting Jesus and not on my own performance. It means confessing my sins of caring more about how other people view me than how God views me. It means turning to Jesus when I feel anxious or weary instead of giving up and retreating into myself.
Publishing 40 posts in 40 days means I cannot get caught up on spelling and grammatical errors. Formatting also can.t be a concern of mine. I also won’t have an image with every title. It literally takes 4 to 6 hours for me to write a post due to my limitations to my hands and because of my speech impediment. Doing the other stuff doubles that time!!
The beautiful thing is that in Indiana March is Disability Awareness Month. Yes!! I can do 40 posts about thoughts on disability issues! How perfect! I feel like God has coordinated the first day of Lent with the beginning of disability awareness month just for me. (I really don’t think this, but God is so good, I leave room for Him doing things like that)
Thought #1: Having a Disability Awareness Month
I desire to be seen and heard as a human being. I want that for other people with disabilities. Because I acknowledge that we human beings don’t interact with others who are different from us, I enjoy Disability Awareness Month. Other people with disabilities feel differently. They don’t believe awareness is necessary. We are people, and we deserve the same rights and respect. Why do we need discussion and education about such things. People with disabilities may experience life differently but it is not like we are from another planet.
I get that, and sometimes I get angry, too, that so many Americans still don’t understand or respect those of us within the disability community. Yet, I continue to bring awareness to different communities because giving people thought for food gives me great joy. I also have to admit exposure to Black History Month, though not always done in the best of ways, did broaden my perspectives. This, in turn, has led me into some amazing friendships that I will have for a lifetime. (I also admit I find it sad that I needed exposure to Black History Month in the first place.) Does it make a difference? I don’t know, but I believe I bring glory to Jesus whenever I speak or write the Truth about the dignity of people.
What about you? Do you think writing and speaking about disability awareness are helpful?
The thought of giving my bondage of perfectionism to Jesus freaks me out. Perfectionism might be hindering my life, but it protects me in a sick way. I am so focus on my own performance that I don’t have to take the risk of putting myself out there. I just do so when I think it is likely I will get the outcome I want. This may limit my potential of getting hurt but it also limits my joy.
What are you holding on to that is hindering you? What would happen if you let go of it for a period of time?
I pray we won’t pick those barriers back up when our time is up!
Let’s keep being brave.