Advent. A season of expectantly waiting. This is not a long, drawn out, or even theological post. My desire is simply to share my heart. Are you in a season of waiting? One that maybe isn't expectant. You're long past that point. Maybe you have started expecting, and it's not expecting wonder, but maybe more heartache, more loneliness, more noes. I'm there. I'm not bitter. I'm not mad. I'm just not expecting. Not expecting good. Not expecting favor. I'm afraid to open myself up to hurt if or when my heart's desire is not fulfilled; maybe never fulfilled. Then I imagine all the people waiting expectantly for their Messiah, for my Messiah, for Jesus. How painful and lonely that must have felt. No joy to the world. No hope for mankind. I can't fathom a world without my Savior. Then, my season of waiting seems so very small, in time and in impact. The Messiah has already come! He came to save us. Am I turning my waiting, my un-expectant waiting, into something very dangerous for my spirit? Am I expecting my waiting to result in a personal messiah? As if I'm looking to be ransomed out of my circumstances instead of already redeemed in the thick of it all.
Boston's first Christmas I remember being so overwhelmed with gratitude that my heavenly Father would send his only son to be born in a manger to save my son. Tears poured down my face as I told Jarrod that it would have been enough for me if Jesus had only died for Boston, but he didn't. He came for the world. Months earlier, I had worried and fretted over bringing my baby home from the hospital to a perfectly decorated space full of warm clothes and clean bedding. Everything had to be just right, but Jesus came when nothing was just right. The love I have for my son, and for all of my babies who I never got to hold runs deep- a primal, fierce, protective love. Every parent knows how enormous this love is. I couldn't' send my only son to suffer and die with all of that emotion. It's breathtaking. What love the Father must have for me? For us? He must weep with me in my waiting. He waited too. Expectantly. Advent.
My waiting could be over if I could just carry one health baby to term. It could be done. Finished. Tidied up. I could close the chapters of miscarriage, loss, and pain. I could stop wincing at every baby bump I see in the grocery store. It could all be over. That's what I have been expectantly waiting, an end. As much as I would like to put this thorn in my side in the past, if we are ever blessed with another precious baby I don't think I could go on living my life with the book closed. It was sort of easy to do after Boston was born. Then, my loss was a fluke. I could move on and let it be. I can't see it that way anymore. After this past year of grieving, the majority of it healthily and joyfully, I see my loss and pain not as a fluke, but as a fire. It's refining me. It's showing me how to give grace in ways I couldn't have understood before. It's breaking my heart. It's testing my will. It's leaving me in the waiting.
Are you in the waiting? Are you afraid to expect? You aren't alone. Christmas is a season where we are reminded of things of past, things we've dreamed of that haven't come to pass, and things we're afraid might never come to pass. It's a time of vulnerability. I'm learning that it's ok to feel stuck in the waiting. That feeling is valid. I'm not the first to feel stuck. You aren't either. We just can't stay here. Choose joy with me. Choose to expect blessings and favor. Choose to be redeemed in the thick of it all. Choose Jesus, our Messiah, during Advent. Let your waiting be a fire. Let it change you.
How can I pray for you in your waiting? Leave a comment below.