Prior to writing this blog, the thought of giving up sugar for Lent baffled me on so many levels. Sweets and I have such a long-term relationship; Cookies are so comforting to me after a long day. Oreo cookie ice cream instantly un-stresses the worst situations going on around me. A handful of peanut M&Ms cures any horrible pity party I am having.
Three years ago, I tried to give up sugar for Lent. I talked about my unbelievable attempt with anyone who would listen. I truly felt like I was accomplishing a notable accomplishment. In retrospect, I was doing a lot of talking but not putting a lot of action behind my words.
Transformation from Victim to Survivor
The main problem with my attempt wasn’t really the sugar cravings, it was I justified in my head trading my non-sugar routine for an increased chips, crackers, and peanuts routine. In essence, I didn’t really give up anything, I just traded one desire for another. At the time, all the talking in my head convinced me that this made perfect sense.
Let’s face it; I’ve given up so many things during my transformation from victim to survivor; is it really important for me to give up one more thing? Is it really that important to give up the one thing that “helps” me get through the challenging parts of my day?
This year, in preparation for a real, 100%, no pretend, honest effort to give up sweets for Lent, I decided to do some reading on what Lent represents.
What I missed three years ago was the deep, spiritual significance of Lent. The purpose of Lent is to sacrifice like Jesus and prepare my heart for Easter.
Lent is a special time of reflection and faith. It is an opportunity for me to practice self-discipline and remember the sacrifices Jesus made.
Lent is not an exercise in trading one passion (sweets) for another; I now feel the nudge to believe that the purpose of my giving up sweets for Lent is so that my world is so significantly impacted that I look to Jesus ALL DAY LONG. If I turn to Jesus, even if it’s just to say Hi and I’m grateful for all that you have done for me, every time I crave something sweet, I know I am turning to Him so many more times than on a normal day. Lent becomes an opportunity for me to lean more on the Holy Spirit for the discipline to accomplish something. In doing so, I know I will be connected to prayer more often throughout the day; I hope for continuous dialog within my heart! My heart growing to become better positioned to accomplish the task and receive God’s wisdom and grace during the next 40 days.
After doing a little more reading about Lent, it occurred to me that my “giving up” something during Lent wasn’t focused correctly three years ago. I was focusing inward versus upward.
So, for me, this year Lent creates an opportunity for me to:
Thank you, God, for your unbelievable patience with me as I come to know you better,
Blessings to all,
Hi, I'm Sue
Welcome to my blog! I served twenty-one honorable years on active duty, living a double life of capability and accomplishment in the service while enduring brutality and abusiveness in my twenty-one year oppressive marriage. Today I'm happily married and have three children who are my inspiration and motivation.
My goal is to help combat the lies of abusers with the truth of God. I hope you find my words to be healing and helpful through your own life experiences.
Being separated from my abusive husband didn't make me a domestic violence survivor. It surely didn't release me from the grip of his brainwashing control and the innate power he had on me.
Read the full raw story in my new book, Rock Bottom and Faithless.