Saturday, March 20, 2021

A Writer Looks at Lent

by Emme Gannon @GannonEmme

As this posts we’re a little over four weeks 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 things I loved about my husband is 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 think you are. 


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. “It’s what we allow Him to do for us.” Thank you, Emme, for this timely call to surrender. It was God’s confirmation for me this morning. God bless you in your walk with Him.

    1. Jo, thank you for taking time to comment. Surrendering is not easy, but it's what we're made for. Remembering that the Lord is always working for our good, keeps me on track. Bless you also, Jo.

  2. Loved your post today, Emme. Your words inspire me! Thank you.

  3. Thank you so much for your comments, Diane. Blessings to you as we travel through the season of Lent. As we meditate on just what He accomplished for us by His death and resurrection, our worship on Easter is so much richer. A blessed Easter to you, Diane.