What Do I Deserve in Lent?

At my therapy session this morning, we talked about how important it was that I finally made the phone call to my doctor two weeks ago. I’m now getting physical therapy, which will hopefully help my back. (So far, nothing — but these things take time.) I shared that making that phone call was the hardest part of the whole process. Keeping the appointment, reaching out to the physical therapist, starting my daily exercises, keeping up with them — all this has been easy. The hard part was that initial phone call.

And I think I know why it was so hard. I mean, part of it is that I have this anxiety about making phone calls. But that wasn’t all of it. A bigger part was the sense that I don’t deserve to get the help I needed. That I don’t deserve to feel better. That I don’t deserve anything good.

I have a visceral reaction to the word deserve. I don’t feel like I deserve anything. Certainly I have received an amazing number of blessings, and I’m grateful for them, but I don’t deserve any of them. And when I am faced with a choice on whether I should ask for something, or accept something, or even buy something, so often the question comes up in my head: Do I deserve this? And the answer I receive is always no.

But two weeks ago, I made that phone call. I didn’t really settle whether I deserved it or not — I just pushed the question down and made the phone call, because I’d told my therapist I would. (I would hate to disappoint him. That kind of motivation works on me, for good or for ill.) I did it, and honestly, I’m glad I did. But that lingering feeling is still there that I don’t deserve it.

Well, Lent begins tomorrow, and I always like to have something to journal about during Lent. I decided that I would pay attention to moments in my day when I deal with the question of whether I deserve something or not. Pay attention to them, and write about what I did in that moment — did I accept that inner judgment of No, I don’t deserve it? Did I stand up against that voice and say, “Yes, I do deserve it?” Did I just ignore the question? What did I do?

I’ve got a feeling I’m going to be surprised how often that comes up in my days.

I want to make sure that I’m as free as possible to write whatever I need to, so it’ll be journaling, not blogging. However, I think it might be helpful to blog some edited “highlights.” Not sure if I’ll be blogging every day or not, but I’ll share some of what I come up with so you can follow along at home.

I’m hopeful that this will be a productive and insightful use of Lent this year.

Photo by Dayne Topkin on Unsplash

One thought on “What Do I Deserve in Lent?

  1. Pondering on deserving. As a child of God, I feel that I am deserving. It’s a gift and I am thankful. Thanks for the inspiration.


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