It's a new month, and it feels like a new season. The sun's been shining more, and snow has been nowhere in sight. I have tan lines and it's only March, and while that can't be good for our icecaps, I've been glad for the warmth.
Time moves fast. Too fast, I often feel. I find myself wanting to curl up in a ball and just make it all stop-- it's too much, too loud, too heavy, too broken, too big, too much, too much, too much. I'm shocked it's March already. Weren't we just ringing in this new year five seconds ago? Wasn't it just the Advent season, and now it's already Lent?
But here I am. In a new month, a new season.
And I'm trying to take better inventory of where my soul is these days.
I'm grateful that the first day of March was the first day of Lent, because goodness, do I need these next 47 days of intentionality, of stillness, of focus.
These seasons? They come right when my soul needs them to. I'm convinced God is good and He is for me, because this just feels like grace and kindness all wrapped up in warm sunshine and blooming trees and seeds buried in soil and reminders of hope.
My soul? It's been a little weary. A little fractured, a little disconnected, a little burdened. I've been chasing after all kinds of things that never amount to anything worthwhile, and I always find myself hurting worse at the end of the chase. I've been faced with the thought of loss, real loss, the forever kind of loss, for the first time ever in my life, and I weep at the mere idea of it even though it thankfully hasn't happened yet. I've been faced with other losses too, the kind that come from loved ones moving away and friendships fading and all sorts of growing up and growing apart. Daily life brings its own challenges too, like when your plate is too full and time is too short and you just can't get it all done or done well... it's overwhelming. So, my soul? It's been feeling heavy. It's been feeling pretty alone, but I've been putting on a brave face and keeping the walls up high so nobody sees.
But here I am. In a new month, a new season.
Realizing for all the words I read and all the words I write, rarely do I share the real stuff.
Realizing for all the smiles I put on and all the casual conversations I skate through, my heart is unstable and unsure and pretty restless.
Realizing for all the ways I feel proud of my growth in recent months, I'm still just as broken and just as sinful, and focusing on the good doesn't make the bad go away.
Realizing for all the productivity and to-do lists and titles and accomplishments, emptiness will still be all I feel if I'm not finding my foundational identity in Christ alone.
Realizing I don't have to fit one mold.
Realizing I can be a wild-hearted, fiercely independent, rebellious, deep-feeler, words-loving, solitude-craving human all on my own, and that it's okay if I haven't found a person who quite gets me yet.
Realizing also that this "I haven't found my people yet" feeling is really more of a "I haven't found my person yet" thing, and that it's scary to admit I actually want that.
Realizing sometimes the best things take the most hard work.
Realizing not every thought has to be shared out loud.
Realizing lowering and shifting my expectations is sometimes the healthiest thing I can do for my own heart and for the sake of my closest relationships.
Realizing perfection is not necessary for things to be good, for things to be beautiful, for things to matter.
Realizing what I do really does matter.
Realizing I really do matter.
Realizing it all matters.
So, here I am. In this new month. This new season.
Here I am, feeling like I've been digging up the soil of my soul for weeks, for months now. Feeling like, just as in my starter garden, shoots are starting to break through. Feeling like growth is actually happening, even though it's messy. Feeling like there is still so much more growth ahead.
Feeling like this Lenten season? I need it. I really, really need it.
Praying that this season would be one where I decrease and Christ increases.
Praying for softness in my own prone-to-be-so-hard heart. Praying that I would be known for fruits of the Spirit I know I struggle to bear. Praying I would seek Him first, that He would be my eyes, that my hands and feet would move to love and serve and share, that I would care for others well. Praying that I would be surprised by joy in this season. Praying that God would show me my true self, that He would show me my sin (although I recoil at the thought of that already), that it would be a season of refinement and redemption and whatever wrecking must take place for rebirth and new life to burst forth.
A new month. A new season.
Clear the clutter, Lord. Purify my heart. Draw me closer to the cross, closer to You, day by day.