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prayer of endings

March 23, 2010

Though I am 11 days shy of finishing out the 40 days of Lenten prayers, I wanted to share with you all that I will not be writing any more of them. I loved doing it but I feel that it has turned into something else than what I set out for it to be. In this posture of confession, I want to share with you why I have made this decision because I think transparency, even just as a small little voice piping up in the giant blog world, is incredibly essential.

You might recall a rather despondent entry from yours truly a few weeks ago, referencing the iconic children’s book, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. I hinted in that entry that something saddening had befallen me but that I was determined to keep going, keep dreaming, keep writing. Well, here’s the thing: that wasn’t the entire truth. The entire truth is only something I myself have begun working through the past few days.

Here it is:

I was a finalist for a writing position at an organization that is very beloved to me. I had been working towards this position for a very, very long time and had my heart set on it so deeply that I believed there could be no other path God had laid out for me. Many factors joined together, showing me that this job was so clearly my next step and in my confidence, I began preparations to celebrate. I even bought a bottle of champagne and began picking out what books I would bring with me to this new desk to inspire and guide me as I wrote. As Lent began and I came upon this idea to write prayers every day, I went into it with the idea that this would help stretch and grow me as a writer, which could additionally benefit the job I would be in before Lent was even up.

It was perfect.

Then the day came where I received a phone call from the organization, letting me know that although they thought I was very talented and had had a very tough decision to make, the other person had more experience than I and they had offered that person the position.

As I hung up the phone, I felt the last eight months of work, preparation and dreaming come crashing down around my ears and I felt stunned in a way that I have encountered only one other time in my life. It felt surreal for days and in some ways, I still feel dazed. I am working through my own issues with this but, during that process, have come to admit that writing my Lenten prayers has become something other than what it should be. Writing those prayers has become my own test of self-worth, of proving to myself and to some faceless other that I have what it takes to be a good writer, even though no one, especially the organization that hadn’t hired me, had told me I wasn’t a good writer.

Writing these prayers has become my way of making these small proclamations of “HA!” in the face of my own doubt and the unconsciously perceived doubt of others. And that is not at all what they should be. Because I feel that I need to step back and evaluate my own heart and motives in how I am processing life these days, I have decided to end this Lenten practice prematurely. I don’t think it is healthy to be giving myself outlets in which to escape or to dwell on something I can’t change. All I can do is learn and grow. And in this sacred season of death, looking towards resurrection, I need to pull back and let this pride and mental battle die before it can be redeemed.

Thank you for all the support you’ve shown me in this endeavor and I hope that these prayers, even the times when they were written out of a wrong motive, could show a glimpse of God’s love to people like me who so desperately need to see it.

Grace and peace, friends.

[photo credit here]

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Grandma permalink
    March 24, 2010 10:06 am

    Sweet Caroline…So glad the cleansing has begun. You are wise to have interpreted all of that and are using it to build a stonger and more focused self. Isn’t the Spirit amazing? How about this for our epitaphs: “End of construction…thank You for Your patience?”

  2. Voyager permalink
    March 28, 2010 6:51 pm

    Do you really think that your Lord and Savior would want you balking at the slightest failure in your life path? You can certainly excuse yourself from the pressure of your desires, but that does not mean that it is God’s plan for you. The whole business of Jesus’ temptations in the wilderness is proof enough of that. I don’t believe that you are doing yourself or the human race any sort of service by letting life’s adversity send you ‘back to bed’. Get out there and fight for the things you want!

  3. Caroline permalink*
    March 28, 2010 8:45 pm

    @ Grandma!

    The Holy Spirit is definitely here, as I am mucking through all of this. I’ve never experienced a season of doubt quite like this, but I am grateful that He is patient and loving, even when I question and wrestle and don’t understand.

    Love you!

  4. Caroline permalink*
    March 28, 2010 8:51 pm

    @ Voyager:

    I appreciate the encouragement and agree that “fighting for what you want” is necessary. But right now, I am in a season of not being sure what I want and trying to work through that, as well as some issues with fear. I don’t like to think I am letting adversity set me back nor do I believe that God desires for me to “balk.” I think He wants me to grow — and suffering is an important way of doing so. I think as I wrestle through this season, I am learning to live in the tension created by failure of life’s plans. God is teaching me to let go and to open my mind to try and see things outside of my own worldview and comfort zone.

    Thanks for reading and for the comment!

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