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How to Walk Through a Desert Season

Infertility, waiting for a significant other, and/or waiting for our true vocation to emerge feels like a desert doesn’t it? A desert that often is a lot longer than the 40 days of Lent.

I often say that there are whole seasons of life that feel like a very long Lent. Infertility and waiting for my spouse were two of those seasons.  

They were seasons that tempted me to turn to all sorts of things that filled the emptiness and void, and then prompted me to turn away from what was distracting me from the path. They were seasons of boredom, silence, and uncertainty – not knowing what to do next or how God was leading me - that led me into deeper prayer. They were also seasons that turned me outward to service, alms-giving, and other initiatives that took the focus off me and my pain, and rather living the Gospel more fully. 

How do we walk through a desert time of our lives? Like Lent…

  1. We pray. We turn to God with our feelings - whatever they may be. We go deep into the silence trying to understand and contemplate how God is working in our lives and what to do next. We listen for God’s voice in our lives. We grow closer to Him.

  2. We fast. We fast from what is harmful to our fruitfulness for the Lord. We notice, turn away, and heal from behaviors, distractions, and things that we are using to fill the void and emptiness that will never suffice. 

  3. We give. We recognize that turning outward is necessary to not become too self-focused on our own needs and wants. Giving back and alms helps us turn our pain into purpose and reminds us of all that we do have.

Last but not least, we wait in hope for the time of new life...the flourishing fruitful garden of our lives that awaits!

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