A Wholehearted Lent - Terrell Boston Smith

“...to say I’m going to engage wholeheartedly in my life requires believing without seeing.” 
-Dr. Brené Brown

 After overcoming the challenges of this week’s weather, our Lenten Series completed Brené Brown’s book Daring Greatly yesterday evening. Our conversations were inspiring and heartening. The book and our discussions set the pace for the Lenten season and created the space and time for self-examination, reflection, and preparation for the coming of Easter. Those moments of meditation and prayer that came along with our reading help me actualize that which I hope to be through my relationship with God, our neighbors, and nature.

Here’s a short summary of Brené’s thoughts that guided our studies (2):

When we spend our lives waiting until we’re perfect or bulletproof before we walk into the arena, we ultimately sacrifice relationships and opportunities that may not be recoverable, we squander our precious time, and we turn our backs on our gifts, those unique contributions that only we can make…Perfect and bulletproof are seductive, but they don’t exist in the human experience.

More simply, the book and her work more generally settle on the concept that we are enough as we are, we belong in the space that we have in this world, and we are a complete vessel of the unique Spirit that we are given as human beings and the treasured members of God’s family. We have everything that we need to engage our lives with all of our hearts.

That idea became the center of my mediation and prayer this season.  I’m a semi-Type A personality and desire to control all that is around me and happening about me. I want everything ordered in the perfect position and ideal flow. It was difficult to just accept Brené‘s premise that we can be wholehearted individuals as we are. Just being in my imperfections, short comings and mistakes and knowing that I am still whole had to become a part of my meditation, a part of my practice to become letting myself be me.

Our final discussions, however, added some perspective by invoking the role of faith. It’s a constant theme and echo in this season and the book. We were reminded of 1 Corinthians 13:12* and similar verses, how God’s grace and love encompasses us in all of our being and with all our imperfections. However, as Paul and Brené both note about much of life, the act of living, and living wholeheartedly, requires believing and living without always seeing fully.

 

*"For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known." (1 Cor 13:12)