awakening: experiencing a fresh awakening to joy during Lent



I don’t know about you but I could use a fresh infusion of joy right now. Life has a way of grinding us down low to ground and leaching joy right out of our hearts. So how do we go about receiving a fresh awakening to joy in a season where we feel weak, weary or discouraged?

My faith points the Way to discovering all Hope and Joy in Jesus, because the best way to climb out of a pit of pain and despair is to recognise Christ’s constant presence with us, (yes, even, and especially, as we sit in dust and ashes, feeling low or lost) and His hand always reaching down to save us.

God never leaves us to our own devices. In fact, through Christ, He has paved the way to draw us joyfully back to His Father-heart, a way which this season of Lent makes clear and evident.

And we soon discover how the path to the cross is strewn with challenge and pain before the great release from the tomb and celebration of the resurrection Hope Christ gives us. In recognition of this, I’m praying for God to give you and me a fresh awakening to joy during our own times of sorrow and sadness, shame and pain.

My friend, I can’t pretend to know what you are going through, what keeps you awake at night or makes your heart quail, but I can offer a virtual hand to hold, a shoulder to lean on, a friend to confide in if you need one, and my prayers for you during this season of Lent.

May we learn to come alive again on the inside as we place our faith and trust in God. May we have a fresh awakening to His loving presence and begin to find joy creeping back into our hearts again. Each week during Lent I intend to offer a poetic response and a few words of hope and encouragement. I hope you will join me. Here’s the first offering about Ash Wednesday.

A fresh awakening



We kneel with last Palm Sunday’s

burnt palms arising as ashes, smudged

on foreheads; and we receive a fresh

awakening to Life Himself in our own

dying to self

These days of denying and fasting and focusing

on death will become precursor to rising

in newness of life—like grains of fallen wheat

our souls become broken, crushed, before

being made whole

And hearts honed in humility will soon

see an uplifting as we draw closer 

to accepting our own mini-Calvary

We’ll witness our dross nailed firm

to Christ’s cross

This season unveils the very reason

for his Incarnation—makes manifest

the Man of Sorrows made flesh and

tears at our own hearts of stone, now

weeping like his



8 thoughts on “awakening: experiencing a fresh awakening to joy during Lent

  1. Dear Joy,
    These are beautiful thoughts for this first day of Lent. I am still on the journey to embrace silent/centering prayer, and in doing so, Jesus has been asking me to lay down my own images of what prayer should look like. As humbling as that has been, I’ve been finding there is joy and an embracing here that I had not expected, and as you said, “a fresh awakening to His loving presence.” Thank you for your ever-present encouragement to seek to walk closer to our Lord. May He bless you with sweet communion during these days, my friend! xoxo

    • Dear Bettie, I love what you’ve shared about the way Jesus spoke to your heart over the issue of your perceptions of prayer. Those things can often become stumbling blocks for us, especially if we compare our seemingly lacklustre “performance” with another person’s seeming eloquence and awesome endurance in the task. Maybe we start to get it wrong just by seeing prayer as something on our tick list of activities, rather than viewing it from the perspective of relationship with God first and foremost. I’m not surprised you are discovering “joy and an embracing” by following our Lord’s own take on things. I’m still struggling to pray as I think I ought (I know…eat your own words, woman….) but I do sense God holding me and ever-present through every difficulty, including some horrible communication challenges today. Blessings, love and hugs to you, sweet friend! xoxo

  2. I’m praying with you “for God to give you and me a fresh awakening to joy during our own times of sorrow and sadness, shame and pain.” Amen! We need it so. I hope your husband is improving. Have a blessed and restful weekend in every way! Hugs!

    • Trudy, it’s good to have your sweet company and prayers on this journey of life and faith! My husband has just started to sit up a bit, so he can view more than bright white ceiling tiles. He’s able to see there are walls and windows, as well as other patients and staff to converse with. It’s a huge step forward for him, especially as he is able to feed himself most of his meals now. Pain is well controlled too. The next step will be sitting more upright, making it to the edge of the bed, beginning to mobilise with the physios and seeing if an upright posture causes him to have horrendous headaches or pass out like he did before. Tiny steps but oh so welcome after two weeks flat-tilted on his back! Thank you for asking. Love and hugs! xo ❤

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