I sat down to write my annual post about Lent but wanted to address an increasingly polarizing topic that I’ve been getting feedback on recently.
Faith can be hard to tackle as a blogger. I never want to isolate anyone or push my beliefs. I know some of you don’t really want to read about my spirituality and come just for the deals and outfits. On the other hand, there are some people who are deeply religious and disagree with things I wear or say.
I sometimes feel stuck between the pull of the two factions, just how I feel an internal pull between my wanting to share more about my faith journey and not isolating those who are at a different place on theirs.
To be honest, I’ve been pressured to be feel and believe things, too. Growing up Catholic, I was told these are the rules, this is what you believe, and this is why anyone who doesn’t agree is wrong. It honestly made me scared of God and I hated going to our church. It felt forced, cold and isolating.
I never want to make someone feel that way. I want my blog to serve all women and to make them feel safe. I want to help each of you look, feel and be your best selves.
At the same time, I want to be a spiritual resource and support for those of you who need it, because I understand how important that is.
In college, my friends were religious, but never ever pushed it on me. They were full of joy, positivity and drive – and I knew their faith drove it all. They attended different churches and always invited me along. “Not all churches are like what you experienced!” Eventually, I submitted. I went to non-denominational services. I went to bible studies. I went to small groups. After months of meeting all my hesitations with thoughtful anecdotes about her own faith experiences, my friend Tori finally convinced me to go back to Catholic mass with her. Moral of the story, I needed the support and guidance of my friends to know that my spiritual journey was MINE for me to take at my own pace… and that I could take the next step knowing they were there with me.
Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.Matthew 5:16
Matthew 5:16 has always been one of my favorite verses, and I think it sums up the way I view religion’s role in my blog. I strive to make my blog and social media outlets a source of positivity where my little light can shine. Even without overtly mentioning it, I can show my faith through my interactions with others, my outlook and my content. For those of you who need a spiritual support, whether you are starting out on your journey or are far along, please know I am here for you in DMs, emails and any other way you need me to be.
This brings me to my yearly post on what I am giving up for Lent.
One of my biggest issues with religion growing up, and even now, is that it becomes convenient. People pick and choose which teachings to follow and to use as justification for their actions, even sometimes for government policies. As I have reconnected with my faith, I have understood that I’m taking ALL of it on, and not picking out what’s convenient.
“Indifference to our neighbor and to God also represents a real temptation for us Christians. Each year during Lent we need to hear once more the voice of the prophets who cry out and trouble our conscience. God is not indifferent to our world; he so loves it that he gave his Son for our salvation.”Pope Francis, 2015 Lenten Message
This passage from Pope Francis’ Lenten Message three years ago really resonates with me. In this day and age, I think we are all guilty of indifference. As great as it would be to completely give it up this Lent, I don’t think such a noble goal is humanly possible. That being said, here are some of the things I want to rid myself of this Lenten season to help me become less indifferent:
Acting from a place of anything but love
Judging situations I know nothing about
Being uninformed about issues affecting our world
“That’s someone else’s problem”
Not putting in effort with long distance friendships
I love each and every one of you. If you are participating in Lent, know you have me cheering you on through these 40 days of bettering ourselves!