I've always hated Lent. It was foreign to me, being raised Protestant. I think I confused Lent with self-hatred in my early years as a Catholic. I think I'm finally "getting" it, and I don't hate it anymore. I had a very meditative and meaningful Lenten season.
Sometimes you choose your suffering, and sometimes it chooses you. This year, after months of trying, we conceived, but had a miscarriage in February. Mourning the loss of our first child coincided with Lent, and I was able to understand our Mother, Mary, and the stations of the cross so much more deeply this year.
Also for perhaps one of the first times, I was able to keep my Lenten fast pretty much all of Lent. In addition, I really *really* tried not to eat meat on Fridays and made it through Lent doing that with good consistency. That was a first. Today, being the first Friday of Easter, I'm actually noticing the meat in my meals and the "feasting" happening. It's true that when you fast well, the feast is so much more meaningful.
One of my Lenten resolutions was to read the Confessions of St. Augustine. I totally failed on that one. I read quickly, and I already own the book. It just didn't happen.
Where to go from here? I'm not sure. I don't really feel holier than when I started Lent. I didn't learn any great lessons. In fact, I'm so aware of my own failings. It gives me great comfort that even Jesus stumbled and fell under His cross. But, the tough things in life are still tough.
I took a long blogging break, and I think I may need to do so again. Social media in general is sometimes a source of self-pity for me. I just feel surrounded by moms. Sometimes moms who vent their frustration and lack of gratitude for their children...gifts I would gladly take off their hands. I know it's not easy to be a mom. Everyone needs their venting, maybe I just don't need to be part of that audience..., but the Catholic and married without children community seems pretty small. It seems like some people take for granted their families and children sometimes. To those of us who want kids and don't have them, it's kind of a slap in the face. I told so few people about the pregnancy that equally few know of the miscarriage. It's not uncommon to miscarry, but it seems no one talks about it, so people end up feeling alone. I was hoping to have good news to share, now I don't. Do I just call some old friends to share the *bad* news? I don't think so. I don't know if it's the introvert in me, self-pity or some self-preservation, but I just feel the need to withdraw.
Now that Easter is here, I'm ready for some resurrection in my life. I'm sick of this cross. That doesn't mean it's gone just because Lent is over. But, we keep putting one foot in front of the other, and try not to give into despair.
We are an Easter people, and Alleluia is our song.