Lent was a bust this year.

I tried giving up sweets, but it didn’t take (see my previous post for details). I tried spending more time with God using the Lectio 365 app but was inconsistent with that, as well. However, while lamenting about how I’d missed Lent this year, I realized something quite the opposite had happened.

On Ash Wednesday my husband and I flew to Alabama to visit our friends and my parents. Two days later my husband accepted a new job two and half hours from our home in the Milwaukee area. We returned home from AL February 21st and the next day we drove to Wausau to find a townhouse. On February 24th and 29th I keynoted two women’s events, and I got to teach 350 women two days later at the #MadeNewWomensConference.

Immediately after speaking on March 2nd, we went home, unpacked and repacked our cars, drove to Wausau, and moved into our townhouse. On March 5th, 12th, and 26th I drove back to our home in Milwaukee for various speaking engagements, family things, and to water my plants.

During those chaotic 40 days, I’d catch myself thinking about how I’d not followed through with my Lenten commitments. However, many times when I heard those condemning thoughts, the Lord would lovingly remind me that His love never fails (I Corinthians 13:8). I would hear a Spirit-inspired whisper assuring me nothing I could do or fail to do could separate me from His love (Romans 8:35-39), and that where sin and failure increased – so did God’s grace (Romans 5:20).

And I realized I hadn’t failed Lent, after all. Often times striving to “sacrifice” can feel manufactured and meaningless. However, experiencing God’s love and grace colliding with our real chaos and struggles helps us organically discover the point and purpose of Lent; experiencing the beauty of the finished work of Christ on our behalf.