Tomorrow we begin the walk to the cross. Each intentional step we take is our chance to walk in the footsteps of Jesus. The invitation is always there signaling us to “come as you are.” The choice is up to us.

I can’t help but embrace these next forty days as my own personal invitation to the cross. A whispered hope of more to come. The gift of diving deep, knowing Jesus will always provide my next breath. Nothing about the journey is easy, but everything is full of grace.

My growing up years were filled with “a great pause” as Ash Wednesday began and the next forty days unfolded. Retrospection was encouraged as well as somberness. “Giving up something” became the norm, but the opportunity for introspection was lost. And somehow the invitation to “come as you are” was not received because pre-made expectations took over where the invitation was supposed to be.

Today I know that Jesus has a standing invitation for me. As He wrote my story, He engraved my name on the cover of my life and hand wrote each chapter because I’m His cherished daughter. Jesus will do the same for you.

Jesus lived His life spreading love, inviting the marginalized into grace, and extending a standing invitation to “come as you are”. There was no pretension, putting on airs, or lack of acceptance. Everyone was welcome and Jesus modeled this in how He lived and died.

The walk to the cross provides a way for each of us to enter the story. Jesus paved the way with love, grace, hope, and an unconditional call to join Him. His story continues to teach us today as we begin the season of Lent and walk to the cross once more.

There are some of you who do not pause during these forty days of Lent because when you grew up, your family approached this time differently. There is no right or wrong. For me, it was part of my family’s tradition. And even though my understanding of Lent has evolved over the years, I am blessed by the foundation of my youth.

I came across several thoughts about Lent recently and I am changed once again in how I look at the season. Growth is ours to hold and set free when we keep our minds open to God’s whispers.

One of the components we adhered to during Lent was fasting. As a child I fretted over giving up just the right thing to please God. More often than not it became sweets. It seemed like the right thing to do.

But giving up something for the sake of saying you followed the norm takes you away from the heart work that God calls you to during these forty days.

I love how God provides multiple opportunities to grow in our relationship with Him. Over the years, I have learned that the walk to the cross is my invitation to go deeper while opening my heart to embrace the gift of Jesus’ death and promise of new life. I pray I never stop learning.

Walking to the cross with Jesus this Lent is your invitation to come as you are and lean into the One who died so you may live. #TellHisStory Click To Tweet
Fasting is not just giving up, but leaning in for God to prune and re-shape our hearts.

Alisa Keeton, author of The Wellness Revelation, shares this about fasting:

We aren’t seeking more religion. We aren’t seeking to do acts for God to earn His favor. It is simply seeking Jesus and the freedom that comes from drawing close.

Emily Wierenga, author and founder of The Lulu Tree wrote on her blog,

Fasting is about emptying, hollowing — turning into a womb, a manger, a wilderness, a stone tomb, a sacred holding place for Jesus. The Man in Glory making home within us.

Making space for God in our lives is a privilege and a gift. Walking to the cross with Jesus this Lent is your invitation to come as you are and lean into the One who chose death so you may have life.

Blessings,

Photo by Soul devOcean on Unsplash

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