Saturday, March 16, 2019

A Writer Looks at Lent

by Emme Gannon @GannonEmme

As this posts we’re ten days into Lent—a penitential time in the Church year where Christians examine their lives and set aside time to reflect more fully on those sins and bad habits that often beset us. During Lent, believers prepare their hearts for Easter through prayer, repentance, and self-denial, so that we can more fully hear the voice of God. 

These acts of contrition do not and cannot earn us points with God for Jesus already paid the price for our sins when He gave His life for us on the cross and God raised Him from the dead to forever make intercession for us. The work was fully done for those of us who believe. We are His through grace, God’s unmerited favor.

So why Lent? Why do more when it has already been done for us by our Savior. We should be reflecting all the time, you say. Yes, that’s true. But do we? I can’t speak for others, but I know the human part of me feels very comfortable in my routines and successes. Stretching hurts and brings out all of my insecurities. No thank you, Lord. I’m happy where I’m at, you may say. But are we?

One of the many, many things I love about my husband was that he stretched me. Growing up without a father stamped me with insecurities and the need to earn approval. Jumping into new situations meant I was far out of my comfort zone. 

So God sent me an adventurous husband who lovingly coaxed me to discover my gifts and go for it. It was he who encouraged me to tag along with my writer friends to my first writer’s conference. We did three conferences that first year. I discovered something about myself that I knew but was afraid to admit. I love weaving words together to create stories. 

God used my husband to open the box. The Lord showed me what was inside. Because I was in a strange environment, I tread lightly and sought the Lord’s leading as I had no experience to guide me. I discovered many things about myself that became an anchor for my life. You see, we often departmentalize God, but when He grows us in one area, that knowledge floods every area of our lives. 

Lent is like that. God wants to unlock emotional doors that we have locked, walls that we have built, secrets that we have hidden away that we no longer remember, but that have become part of who we are. Secrets that need to be exposed so we can be free to be that person we were created to be. 

Whether we use Lent as a penitential time to examine our sinful nature so that we can yield all to God, or this is something we regularly do, I encourage you to take that step. It’s not so much what we do for God, but what we allow Him to do for us. 

Surrender opens up the door of our hearts a little wider so that His light and love can burn through the barriers we’ve set up to protect us. I assure you, by allowing the Lord to expose the dark places of our soul, He will speak to you in ways you can’t imagine. You will not only become more like Him, but discover you are more than who you are. 

A Writer Looks at Lent - @GannonEmme on @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

Emme Gannon is a wife, mother, and grandmother who loves to write stories that stir the heart. Her award-winning writing has appeared in Focus on the Family magazine, several anthologies, and numerous newsletters. She just completed her first novel.


  1. Love this statement, "It's not so much what we do for God, but what we allow Him to do for us." Amen and Amen. :-) He is waiting with open arms to help us with our writing and everything else in our life. We just need to ask and allow.

  2. Great message, Emme. This resonated with me, "You see, we often departmentalize God, but when He grows us in one area, that knowledge floods every area of our lives."

  3. Perfectly timed post, Emme. Love "These acts of contrition do not and cannot earn us points with God." Not growing up recognizing Lent, I've had a difficult time understanding the "giving up" of things by others and I thought they were trying to earn points with God or with others as they declared what they had given up. It has bothered me that these trite inconveniences should be spoken in the same breath as the sacrifice Jesus made for us. What indeed did He give up? How can denying oneself a cup of coffee of a dessert even compare? Thank you for shedding new light on the subject.

  4. I always learn and grow deeper when others share how God spoke to them at this time, in this place. Bless you all as we journey together toward a deeper relationship with our Lord and Savior Jesus.

  5. Well said Ms. Emme. There's never a bad time to look at ourselves with a 'critical eye' and resolve to do better at honoring His free gift of grace in our lives. God's blessings ma'am.