By Brittany Daugherty
It's become quite clear I'm no good at this Lent thing. If my earlier description of face-planting on my bed from lack of coffee wasn't enough of a clue. But when you come from an environment of rigidity and religion into one of truth and freedom, it's difficult to invite restrictions again. Still, I see the value and I'm in this.
The two days I've been assigned to write so far have paralleled chapters in Small Surrenders about prayer. And each time I rolled my eyes. Griffin touches on the feeling of "fear of consolation in prayer." That is not where I find myself at all, I thought as I read it. Most of the time I bounce from one drop-off lane to another, barely eat a sensible anything, and then hope God knows my heart as I shamefully find that scrumptious side sleeping position in my mattress. How am I supposed to pen anything introspective here? If nothing else, I am afraid of my constant failure.
Ah, and it comes into focus. Both ideas are fueled by one thing. To quote one of my favorite authors, Brene Brown, "...shame is the fear of disconnection. We are psychologically, emotionally, cognitively, and spiritually hardwired for connection, love, and belonging. Shame is the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing that we are flawed and therefore unworthy of love and belonging."
And what is prayer but speaking our truest selves in the most significant relationship we will ever know? At our core we long for emotional intimacy, love, and a sense of a belonging. We're women, for Pete's sake, whoever Pete is. Prayer is our avenue to this with our Father.
So how's your journey going? Did you fail and give up, or want to? Does shame keep you locked from trying again? Do you fear that the joy you are experiencing won't last and is somehow a reflection that you aren't going deep enough? Take heart, friend. We are all in this lesson of grace together. I believe with my whole heart that God is not disappointed in you. Rather He misses you, pines for the time you will come back, loves you with a "perfect love casts out all fear" kind of love, and cannot wait to hear from you. He is perfect so we don't have to be.
So go ahead, scoot on into His arms and tell him all the things. Even if you're afraid.
References: Emilie Griffin, Small Surrenders; Brene Brown, Daring Greatly; The Holy Bible NASB, 1 John 4:18