It’s my first Lent as a confirmed Catholic and I’ve done some reflecting on my journey with Christ so far in my life.
Sometimes, I get a little discouraged about my walk with Jesus. Sometimes I feel like I’m so far from being holy that it’s almost pointless. Almost. But this past week I’ve been getting much encouragement from people and I’m not sure that many of them even know that what they have said has meant that much to me. But it has. For instance, I was doing the readings at my parish’s Ash Wednesday mass and later my friend emailed me and told me that I was glowing and that she loved how she could see the Holy Spirit filling me and transforming me. It gave me so much encouragement because I had felt a little like I was stuck. Like I wasn’t going anywhere on the path Christ had me on. Sometimes it’s easier for others to see the changes within us that it is to see them in ourselves. Sometimes we can be too hard on ourselves and expect more of ourselves than even God does. God is much more gentle with us than we like to think at times.
So after all of these encouraging comments, I started to reflect on where I’ve been and where I am now and a little of where I might be heading. And I’ve seen how much I’ve truly grown and changed in just the last year. I look back on who I was when I began my Lenten journey last year (and was finishing the last part of my journey to confirmation) and I’m amazed at how God has transformed me. I see more growth than I saw in all the previous 4 years of my journey with Christ. Of course there was growth in those first 4 years and I wouldn’t be where I am without them, but my growth has been so much deeper now that I’m Catholic. I know that I still have to persevere. I’m nowhere near the finish, yet. But it’s encouraging to remind myself that growth is possible. I’ve done it before and I’m still growing. Sometimes it just takes other people to make us believe it’s true. So if you see something wonderful that the Spirit is doing in someone, tell them. It might give them some encouragement you didn’t even know they needed.
Peace and blessings!