Pathways through Lent

Giving Up Everything

Psalm 116:1, 10–17 Exodus 12:1–14 1 Corinthians 11:23–26 John 13:1–17, 31b–35

It is said it takes three weeks to make a change in your life and break a habit. In my case, it took 45 years.

During a very difficult time for me some years ago, I was forced to consider my life. It was a time of soul-searching, repentance, reflection, and taking stock. I redirected my life, acknowledged my sins and weaknesses, and built on my personal strengths. Fittingly, this time coincided with Lent.

Did I give up anything for Lent that year? I gave up everything I had.

And I started fresh. It was only then that I understood that sacrifice and reflection will leave you feeling cleansed, allowing for a new personal beginning and rebirth.

I have been taught that Christ faced temptation, endured the harsh words of others, saved those who were discarded, and ultimately paid for his actions through crucifixion. Nothing I could face compares to His commitment and sacrifice, and I can only ask for His grace and His hand to steady me through the difficulties.

In the end it was grace, dignity, and forgiveness—for myself and for others— that helped me through my struggles and made me an honest, loving, happier, and contented soul. It made me a better person for my children and those I love and cherish.

And that is worth letting go and giving up everything.

–Brandon A. Montgomery

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