The Lenten Learning Curve (and for some reason, I want to keep typing Leaning instead of Learning…hmmmmm) has felt like a roller coaster this year. So many ups and downs, I have just barely been able to hold on. But I don’t want to go through Lent, or any part of life, with my squeezed tightly shut and my hands white knuckling the lap bar. There is no joy in that, only prayers for the end of the experience.
I have never considered myself adventuresome or courageous and I have been befuddled when others tell me how much they appreciate those qualities in me. For example, they marvel at how “comfortable” I am with getting up before a crowd and sharing my heart. I crave those opportunities. I feel fully me when I’m preaching or teaching. I can’t imagine not doing that.
That being said, there has been a vicisious battle with fear this season of Lent. I have wrestled a deeply subconscious battle up to where I could identify it and why it had such a strangle hold on me. I have been confronted with my reticence and reluctance to move forward towards publication in my writing. I have had to deal with relational issues resulting in painful confrontations. Part of me would love to press rewind and pick a different path, but I know that the lessons would just come from a different direction and who knows how severe the learning would be then?
So while the lessons have not been easy, they have proved to be immensely beneficial, life-giving, and even freeing. And while I’m not ready to throw my arms in the air and scream wahoo, I’m at least willing to admit that I’m thankful for the lessons learned.
Yesterday I faced the largest of those lessons. I went and registered for the last time. The deputy who worked on my paperwork was nearly as excited for me as I was. A couple times he mentioned that he didn’t get to do this (finish someone’s paperwork) very often…um, never. He asked if I was going to have a party. Several people have offered to throw one for me. Not only is the dark cloud lifted, but the fear that somehow it never would happen is gone too! And the still small voice in the back of my heart whispers, “Will you trust Me now?”
In an endeavor to be more trusting, I took a couple steps. I applied for a scholarship to the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference. And I got it! My reaction when I opened the email was such a mix of laughter and tears. Then I decided that I would apply to different publishing companies to be a reviewer of books on my blog. And I was accepted by one company. I can barely describe how encouraged and excited I am.
So I’m learning and leaning. Trusting more. Maybe I haven’t gotten to a full-fledged “Yes!”, but I’m at a very decent, “Okay!” with God. It’s not perfect but it’s progress. And that’s good for me. Not bad for a recovering perfectionist. Not bad at all.