I remember the excitement, the joy of celebrating something new.
It was the first time I received the "imposition of ashes".
I came straight home to take pictures of myself.
Ash Wednesday 2008
Last year I felt transformed by my experience.
But somehow, some way along this year, something began to shift in me.
I felt a lost connection, disorientation set in, a sort of aloneness emerged.
This year I probably would not have made it to service if I didn't have to go.
I was exhausted, feeling like another cold is beginning to weigh my body down.
But then the preacher got up to speak,
And I heard his words... his topic... the message:
"Grow Your Way Out"
From relationships to finances to stress to work to my parents...
And I've actually been looking for a handout, praying for somebody, anybody, everybody...
Tonight I became conscious of the fact that I haven't prayed or meditated in months.
With haste I've been attempting to handle all of my problems.
And then wonder why nothing is changing or improving.
Why I'm tired and overwhelmed.
I realized that the perfect man, millions in the bank, a prime job or the sweetest parents wouldn't make my life complete if I didn't have a divine relationship.
And it's because of that relationship that I know I am where I am supposed to be at this precise moment.
I am going through all of these things so that my relationship to Him can become closer, stronger, sharper than ever.
I've been in my "wilderness", wandering confused, looking here, there and everywhere and unable to grasp my lessons.
I've yet to stop, silence the voices in my head and physically still myself.
I've yet to seek Him instead of relying on my own methods.
Otherwise I'd know that ... God provides, preserves and through it all He is perfecting me.
Oh I can't wait to look back this time next year and rejoice over my triumph.
Like gold, I go through the fire...
My impurities (fear, anger, resentment, aggression, insecurity, greed, gluttony) are seared.
Like gold, I am malleable, able to transform yet sturdy when combined with alloys (love, nurturing, positivity, creativity) I am refined and yet I'm purified.
Like gold, I am valuable... precious.
Ash Wednesday 2009