Preparing for Change

Preparing for Change



Juliet Caceres, Psy.D.

Lent is a time of preparation. During the 40 days of Lent, we identify with the time Jesus entered the wilderness. Lent is a time of dying to the self because new beginnings require a letting go of the old in order to embrace the new, much like a seed that must die to give birth to new growth.

For our women in recovery it often means a letting go of hurtful behaviors, a distorted or false self, or an old way of being in order that the new and true self can emerge – and this healthy, meaningful and hopeful self can be embraced. Turning from the things that do not allow that process to happen is what lent is about, and 40 days reflects the reality that true and deep change is a process.

Meditating on this time of lent, I looked at my olive wood cross, carved with a dove in the center. The words heard from heaven when the Holy Spirit descended on Jesus were: “This is my beloved son, in Him I am well pleased.” These words resonated in my mind. In that moment, it was clear to me that this declaration from the Father is what sustained Jesus in the wilderness, where he was led immediately afterwards. “This is my beloved son” affirmed Jesus’ identity as son, and still more beautiful was God’s declaration of his love towards him: “My beloved son – the one I love.”

From this perspective Lent is a time we turn away from all the things that keep us from knowing we belong to God and that he loves us. We repent of turning to other things and people for our identity and love.

After he was baptized Jesus was impelled by God to enter the wilderness. But he did not send him unprepared. He affirmed that he belonged to God – His son- and that he was loved and valued. The only way we are enabled to surrender old patterns is to truly understand the love of God, who we are in him.



Juliet Caceres, PsyD., is the Clinical Director of Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center.

Timberline Knolls is a residential treatment center located on 43 beautiful acres just outside Chicago, offering specialized Christian-based programming and a nurturing environment of recovery for women and girls ages 12 and older struggling to overcome eating disorders, substance abuse, mood disorders, trauma and co-occurring disorders. By serving with uncompromising care, relentless compassion and an unconditional joyful spirit, we help our residents help themselves in their recovery.  For more information, visitwww.timberlineknolls.comor call 877-257-9612.