Lenten Lessons

Although I have observed Lent off and on for many, many years, it’s different for me now in a profound way.

Some of you may know that Dominic was killed the Saturday before Palm Sunday and buried the Monday after Resurrection Sunday, 2014.

Each year since then I’ve felt like I had to endure two sets of “anniversaries” because his death date and burial date are not only days of the month but also marked by moveable church celebrations.

It has been very, very hard.

As the sun rises earlier each morning in spring, the weather turns brighter and the flowers bloom, my heart grows heavier and heavier. I want to crawl in a hole and wait for the time to slide by-as if not noticing will make a difference.

But I can’t.

Life must be lived, not only endured.

So I am choosing this year to try to guide my heart gently through this hard season with purposeful action that forces me to engage with God’s Word, with God’s people and with God Himself.

I think that leaning into Lent-giving up some things, grabbing onto others-is a good way to do that.

I’m not certain what I’ll give up-as one gal commented on my wall, “I’ve already given up a child, I don’t have anything else to give”.  I will probably try to find a less-than-profitable habit to lay aside for these 40 days.

I do know what I am grabbing onto.  I am going to write 40 notes in 40 days (the idea came from this link:  Love Notes)

I am also going to be more faithful to write in my paper journal instead of only on my blog.

My goal is that I will emerge from these days free of some bad habits and bound my some new, better ones.  

Will you join me?


Author: Melanie

I am a shepherd, wife and mother of four amazing children, three that walk the earth with me and one who lives with Jesus. This is a record of my grief journey and a look into the life I didn't choose. If you are interested in joining a community of bereaved parents leaning on the promises of God in Christ, please like the public Facebook page, "Heartache and Hope: Life After Losing a Child" and join the conversation.

13 thoughts on “Lenten Lessons”

  1. Your words express my feelings since the loss of my 14 year old grandddaughter Isabel to suicide. Her fatal injury occurred on Tuesday, March 15, 2 016. She was hospitalized and officially died on March 16. On Friday, March 18, she became an organ donor, and afterward taken to the coroner. On March 21 she was released to the funeral home to await cremation, which took place on March 25. Easter was March 27. A vigil was held April 2 and the funeral service was April 9,2016. Our grief and shock were too intense to focus on Lent or Easter that year. Then last Easter, the meaning of the Lenten season and Easter became a very moving and personal time for me. I am doing some bible study this year and love the idea of the 40 notes you also suggest. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am so very sorry for your pain and your loss, Barbara. Yes, Easter and Lent are very personal now. A handle of hope I cling to as I face the memory of losing my son. May the Lord give you everything you need for this season of remembering and may He overwhelm your heart with His grace, mercy and love. ❤


  2. Yes, yes, yes to what everyone has commented here. I’m so glad I found you. I wished I had found you earlier in my grief walk, but I believe God allowed all the twists and turns in my life to lead me here. You have been such a blessing in my grief journey. You articulate exactly what’s in my heart and mind. I have decided to give up TV for lent and to spend that time to read God’s word and to listen for God’s voice in the quietness. The TV is always on and I rarely sit down to watch. But I like having the background noise. I will listen for God’s voice in the stillness. Blessings to you and everyone on this blog.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m thankful the blog helps you in this journey. I am so very sorry for your loss and your pain. TV can be a comfort when our hearts and minds just don’t want to be alone with our thoughts and feelings. It’s hard to do, but learning to allow silence and solitude to make space to hear from God is truly healing. I join you in praying that the Lord will meet you there and honor your desire to hear from Him. Blessings, dear one.


  3. I tend to have the same thought as the person who wrote, “I already gave up a child”. I feel I have nothing else to give. It is hard for me as a parent of two adult children still on this earth with me to not forget their achievements. So maybe for my season of Lent I will not “give up” something but make an effort to notice my children’s achievements in college and life more than focusing on what their brother is missing out on. Your in my thoughts and prayers always. Good luck on your 40 notes in 40 days. I am going to go read about that now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, yes! I understand both the “not giving up anything” and the struggle to give full attention to my living children. Maybe you could adapt the 40 notes to sending 40 affirmations to your kids for this season? Not always notes-maybe a meme or a text message that tells them something you observe about their character and admire about how they are facing their own grief? Cheering you on, dear mama. Thank you so very much for the prayers!!


      1. You are AWESOME that is a great idea….I am so glad we found each other. I don’t know if I help you at all but you have helped me more than you will ever know over this past, long, hard year of firsts.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You DO help. As does every single person who takes time to comment or to write a blog or to follow mine. It helps to know my sharing speaks courage to other hearts. It’s the only thing that feels redemptive this side of losing Dominic. ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I am planning on trying one intentional act of kindness each day- a donation, an email, an attempt to help right some injustice in some small way, .something. I have similar feelings about spring as my son died on March 14th, and prior to his death I loved this time of year. I feel such heaviness in my heart already as if the body knows….Strength and hope wished for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, Jane! Trying to take back what the enemy has stolen is only something we can do if we purpose to do it. I’m thankful you are also trying to do this. It is hard. Our hearts melt like wax as lengthening days and blooming flowers scream, “it’s coming, it’s coming!” Praying for you dear sister. May the Lord fill your heart with strength and hope even in this most difficult time of year.


  5. Your thoughts here are so tangible. Thanks for sharing from your heart. I think the words “leaning into lent” will stay with me as well as your testimony of losing Dominic. The sacrifice of a daily pleasure or habit is supposed to remind us of the much greater sacrifice of God’s son. Though filled with pain, perhaps yours is the most vivid reminder possible on this earth…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for the encouraging words. Yes, I will never think of Christ’s death in the same way again. I will never wonder what Mary felt, what grief she bore as her Son was taken from her. That part is, like Joni Tada (a Christian writer and speaker) says, “A bruising of a blessing”. I’m trying to hear from the Holy Spirit and not let my sorrow drown out His voice. Blessings to you.


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