You are walking along and you are in the forest, you are coming to a clearing and that clearing is a desert. You start to walk into it, not thinking anything of it. All of a sudden you see a girl. She is wearing a dress, but a dress that has been worn for a very long time and now looks like rags. Dirty rags. The dress has holes in it but the girl is not dirty and she’s covered enough. She is actually healthy and her skin is glowing. More than that, her face is glowing. She’s laughing and smiling and praising God and jumping up and down and singing songs of praise! There’s nothing but pure love and joy radiating from her face! She can't help but laugh and you can tell that just by looking at her: She. Is. Free. It doesn’t matter what she’s dressed in; she is full of life and love and freedom. She’s a breath of fresh air. You don’t know what caused this but you can just tell by looking at her, she is free. You are looking at her face now and you recognize her, its you! Like in a dream, you are looking at yourself but in a whole other light. You are free!
I just actually described a dream I had about two years ago. This dream was unreal and I couldn’t fathom it but I never forgot it. Every single time I think about that dream, the feeling of freedom comes back and I want it! I want it so bad. I remember how I looked and I looked so happy. The happiest I have ever seen anyone. Nothing extravagant was on me. I didn’t have anything. And yet I was so filled with love and joy that nothing else mattered. I think I saw a glimpse of what a perfected version of myself looked like so that here on earth I can strive for that. We can all strive for that for ourselves.
Right now, I don’t feel that way. I know that is not me. I do feel the weight of everyday stresses like traffic, and what I am going to make for dinner, and the burdens of my job. But why do those things bother me? They don’t have to, but they do.
I mentioned this yesterday when I brought up James but here it is again. “…but each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.” (James 1:14) I do desire to be gratified in certain ways. I desire passion, and laughter, to be loved and feel cared for, etc. Though, in it of themselves, they are not bad things but everything has an ordered and disordered version. For example: When I get consumed with a certain feeling, say of justice, if I let that go rampant, that justice can easily turn into mercy-less hate. It just has a label of "justice" slapped on it. True justice is full of mercy and love for the other. This desire can lure me into sin. And in my moments of weakness, I give in.
But in that story of my dream, I only wanted and longed for one thing: To be with and totally and completely consumed by Christ. He was all I wanted and fulfilled every single desire.
Lent is a journey sisters. You might not know what you’re giving up / taking on yet and that’s ok. It can be even something like changing your mindset and being positive. But take this to the Lord and ask him point blank what he wants you to incorporate into/out of our lives to be able to have this freedom to love him and not hold back. Don’t forget to listen to his answer.
Sisters, always, you are loved!