Something Better Than Tea

As many of you know, I gave up tea for Lent. I should add, that I was very skeptical of the purpose. Oh yes, I know that I said it would be a journey back to Jesus. I made it sound like I really trusted in God and what He could do for Lent. But honestly, I just wrote that to fill up space and make a good post. Yes, sometimes I do that. Really, back then I didn’t know why I was giving up tea. I mean, I knew that it was something that I loved and that it would be difficult, but what could something so earthly teach me about Jesus?

I guess God uses our words even if we don’t really mean them at the time. Even though I was just making up fluff, Lent was actually a journey of faith. It was a time of growing in Jesus. It was forty days of perseverance and learning. Most importantly, I got my faith back.

I drink tea every morning and every afternoon. It wakes me up at 7:00 AM and gives me a break between studies at 2:00 in the afternoon. I boil the kettle when I have late night studying or a Spanish lesson that I am stressed about. When I am sad or lonely, I drink a cup and instantly feel better. It’s like a drug and I’m addicted.

During Lent, I gave this “drug” up. At first, it was extremely difficult. I remember coming home from Spanish on Ash Wednesday, feeling so tired that I had to have a nap before I did any more school. There were a lot of tired mornings when I didn’t know if I would make it from A to B. Seasons of sorrow came, but I couldn’t drain them out with tea. Stress could not be blocked by liquid in a cup. I had to be filled by another source.

And so I found another method. A different addiction. When I was sad, stressed, or tired, I poured Jesus into my heard. I became addicted to Him. And my faith became real again.

It’s strange how it happened. I never could have imagined it. I decided, on a whim and because I was teaching it in Spanish, to give up tea for Lent. I took my little faith and prayed for the best. I laid down my cravings and asked God for more. And He gave me His best, He gave me more. Jesus filled me with faith again.

On Easter, I enjoyed four cups of tea. It was great to have my favourite drink back! It was funny because I realized that I easily could have gone another day or two, a week, a month, a year, or even forever without tea. In fact, I craved tea more on Ash Wednesday than on Easter morning. Tea is no longer a necessity. I still drink it, but I know that I don’t need it. But Jesus is a necessity and faith is needed more than anything else. And the journey back to Jesus was the best one I ever took. Something better than tea.

Never Give Up

It’s a Friday afternoon. The rain is pouring, my limbs are aching from skiing last night and dancing all day, and as usual, my heart is a bit sore, too. I desperately want to sit down with a nice cup of tea like I normally do when I’m down. But I can’t forget my promise for Lent. I can’t give it up now.

This week has been hard. I’ve had a few melt-downs, confessions, and realizations. These last two months have been difficult. There have been countless times where I’ve just wanted to give up. In fact, a few times I have given up. Because the stress and grief of life was just too much for me to bare and crying on my bed and trying to forget seemed a lot easier.

When something scares me, I tend to run away. I withdraw, slowly but surely. I didn’t mean to do that again. No, not this time. Not now that I’m “happy.” But the truth is that humans cannot be happy all of the time. It just isn’t possible. There is always a new wave to rock the boat. But that doesn’t mean you should give up on being happy or doing the things you need to do.

I don’t like to give up. Deep down, I hate it. Yes, I’ll admit that I withdraw easily when a challenge or grief overtakes me. But in the end, I’m a fighter. No matter what, I try my best. Anything less is just not right because Jesus didn’t give up on me. Even though I’m sinful beyond the shadow of a doubt, He forgives me when I ask. Although I’ve lied, yelled, mocked, neglected God, and just done things that I really shoudn’t have done, He let’s me back into His arms at night. And even when I give up on Him, He doesn’t give up on me. God is always willing to give a second chance to those who want it.  

So now, I won’t shy away. I’ll do what I need to do. I will work and work and work until I get the dances and Biology questions and parallel skiing. I’ll go to university like planned. I’m going to open my heart to the challenges of broken relationships and hold on to love. I’ll laugh and smile in the joy and let myself cry in the sorrow. I’ll keep my friends close and let them love me. I shall read my Bible and pray and never forget that Jesus loves me very much.

Never give up. On challenges and things you aren’t good at. Never give up. In the hard times when you’d like to run away or fall asleep forever. Never give up. On the future and dreams that you have. Never give up. On family and friendship. Never give up. On life and laughter and smiling with your teeth. Never give up. On faith. On God. On Love. Never give up.

Tea & Jesus

If you know me well, then you’ll also know that I LOVE tea! I drink it in the mornings before breakfast and for a break in the afternoon. Sometimes, I’ll even have another cup later if I’m offered one. I cannot resist tea. I drink it for comfort and pleasure. I love it, but on Wednesday I gave it up.

As you can probably guess, I gave it up for lent.

It is now day three and I am madly wishing for some tea. Really, you do not know how badly I want to fill the kettle with some water and set my tea cup out. I’ve woken up with a sore, dry throat every morning since Ash Wednesday, which I longed to cure with tea. In the afternoons, I missed my tea break in the middle of grueling studies. Today, I needed comforting, but I could not resolve myself with a simple cup. It was hard. A sacrifice, to be sure.

I know I’ve said this already, but faith has been harder than normal in these past few months. I’ve run and hid from God. I’ve gotten really mad, too. In it all, I realize how much I really need Him. No matter how hard I try, I can’t do it on my own.

So now, I bring my sacrifice to the altar. I know that the price for my sins has been paid already. I know that He loves me enough without all this fuss. Yet I need this and I’m giving up something that I want to follow Him. Maybe tea isn’t that deep. Perhaps there is more that I could give. But I think that somehow, this may be a journey of faith.

 A journey to find Jesus again. A journey partway home. A journey in which I learn to give more of my heart to the One who created it.

I have 37 days left! God, please be my pleasure and comfort in these days of lent and always.