“I broke Lent today,” my six-year-old said this as she walked up the stairs to get ready for bed.
“I’m sorry, what now?”
She went on, “We gave up watching TV during the week, but when our friends were over tonight, we watched a movie. I broke Lent, mommy.”
Oh, sweet girl.
But can’t we all relate? Can’t we all relate to broken resolutions that make us throw in the towel? To things dragging us so far down we really can’t see any way to get back up? To losing hope when we just can’t seem to get some relationship right?
I know I can. I have a really hard time changing my mind and err on the side of way too decisive…Do we need to decide where to eat, what activities to put the kids in, or which way to turn? On it, on it, and on it.
I don’t know what Enneagram # that makes me, but clearly deferring and letting other people lead are not a strength. :/
Wherever you fall on the decisive scale, course-correcting and beginning again, doesn’t come easily to any of us.
Moving or switching our kid’s schools, starting a new job or new hobby, or drifting away from friends and rebuilding your posse stretches us all.
Why Is Beginning Again Is So Hard?
For one, we doubt ourselves.
“I’m not the right person, good enough to apply, outgoing enough to say hello…”
Negative self-image also holds us back.
“I’m not naturally athletic, too out of shape to start exercising, not cool enough or pretty enough for that group…”
Social media just exclamates this point as we compare ourselves to everyone else’s perfectly filtered moments.
Shame also gets in the way.
“I can never go back after I said that, we’ll never talk again after that fight, I’ve skipped out so many times there’s no way I can start to volunteer now…”
Lies, lies, and lies we tell ourselves that keep us from growing, from showing up despite our imperfections
Because Growth Is Greater Than Perfection
“A saint is not perfect or sinless. A saint is a sinner who keeps on trying. It’s not the number of falls that matter, but the number of times we get back up that counts.”@focuscatholic on Twitter
The people we idolize, whether they’re saints gone before us, celebrities we see on our social media feeds, or friends or family who ALWAYS have their act together, have all fallen a time or two.
I need to remind myself often that I exaggerate what other people think of me.
“Everyone saw me fall, no one likes my post and they’ll never read anything I write again, there is NO WAY I can go to the store without makeup because people will judge….”
Honest truth? Nine times out of ten, no one sees or hears or cares since we are all so wrapped up in our own self-doubts. See above.
Until we expect hiccups and setbacks as we try new things, we’re never going to start.Until we embrace the imperfect path to holiness, we will never grow. Click To Tweet
There Is Always Tomorrow
When I followed up with my girl that night, I reminded her we don’t fast to set ourselves up to fail because, likely, we will. We fast to make space for God and every single day offers a chance to do so again and again and again.
When you wake up tomorrow, you can try to be kinder, you can try to love harder. You can try to not watch TV (or eat chocolate or scroll Facebook) even if you slipped today.
In the book of Mark, the first words of Jesus are an invitation to ‘metanoia’ – to repent, to change, to be converted.
Wherever your faith journey is at – on fire, on the struggle bus, or in progress – all of us are continually invited to deeper conversion.
God offers us the chance to begin again every day. He walks with us through the continual process of turning away from the things of the world and finding a deeper union with Him.
And for that, sweet girl?
There is always tomorrow. There is always a chance to begin again.
What keeps you from beginning again?