Today is Ash Wednesday, the official start to our Catholic Lenten Season. In our religion the next 40 days is an opportunity to strengthen your faith and grow in love for our savior through sacrifice, fasting, prayer and focus.
Being such an open Catholic I am often asked what I am giving up for Lent- which is followed by my standard answer: I prefer to take action and do something extra instead of feeling I am testing my ability to give up. For me the negativity surrounding the sacrifice, and failure during the moment you don’t follow, felt more like a game of trial and error than sacrifice. So in the past I have tried hard to do something during Lent. That thing could be more prayer, being more positive, not complaining, go to confession, or spend extra time at church. Last year I tried to really take a few faithful actions (such as returning to confession) and it was a great experience.
This year Lent is coming to Danny and I at such a unique time. We have a few opportunities and goals that have come our way which fall in the category of life changing- dare I even say achievement of some dreams- but they come with the trade off of some serious hard work. In other circumstances of life, we can’t get ride of that nagging feeling that something is just not quite right – or that our timing is so far off. Over the weekend we were kept up one night thinking of how to achieve it all… How to make sense of the puzzle pieces we have been given and we settled on the reality that it’s time to commit to these changes and go forward.
With each new phase in life there are ups and downs- trade offs between what you want and what you have to give up. Then add in the fact that you are sharing those decisions and mixture of good and bad with a partner and it can be even more overwhelming. When this happens there are two options – one: keep going, have faith, and be your partners positive support. Or two: give up, lose faith, blame the other person. The first option will leave you stronger, happier, life a little better ( cause even if you fail chances are you will have learned a lot) and your partnership stronger. The second option will leave you frustrated, angry, maybe even worse off, and resentful of your partner. So we chose option one.
Here is the hard part- that choice demands hard work, patience, love, support and teamwork. We both are going to have to choose happy even when beyond busy and overwhelmed. We will need to be strong and push past the challenges, accepting that our lives are going to change. To accomplish that we need something stronger than just us- we need God. So this Lenten season the Bessettes aren’t going to just add a good deed, instead we are going to challenge ourselves to a transformation.
We will be taking part in extra prayers, giving back to several communities, adding some faith practices to our world, and giving up some luxuries. It is our prayer that Lent will teach us the power of our faith and the strength that is found when you are really digging deep. In return we pray to find God’s next path for our life, patience for His timing, and the necessary strength to navigate this crazy time through our marriage.
This Lent we are praying for an experience like nothing we have witnessed before – and the motivation to scarifice knowing the great gifts we are asking of God has made us actually really excited about the journey. I invite anyone interested- Catholic or not- to contact us LINK to learn more about what gifts our faith has already given and what it promises to bring- it could be a life changing Lent for you too.
If nothing else- I think at a minimum the whole world could take a little advice from our Pope LINK and love each other just a little bit more. Maybe this Lent could bring a universal change.
Thank you of reading and remember to make it a great day!