This blog post was supposed to be published last Thursday (12/14/17), but for some reason it’s not on my site. So sorry if you see this post for the second time because I know it did send out as an email.
I’ve been reading through a one year devotion by Shauna Niequist, one of my favorite authors. One of the days I just read was about Advent how it’s for those who don’t have a place for shiny, happy Christmas seasons. Advent speaks of long, waiting, hoping for a Savior to arrive. Advent lets us feel those raw emotions of longing and being not there yet. I could have highlighted the whole devotional that day. I can relate to the concept of an Advent Christmas. Waiting for a Savior. Longing for hope.
This Christmas season has been different for me. Not only I am waiting and longing for my own home but I’m also longing for health. My eyes did not heal with this last round of antibiotics and I’m not waiting for a call to schedule an appointment with an eye specialist. Over a month of battling infections in my eyes has taken its toll on me both physically and mentally. My immune system is shot and I catch every bug that comes through our house (which currently is a head cold from Graham). I’m taking 400% of my daily vitamin C with no signs that it’s working. I’m completely and totally spent. I’m sad, a little depressed and slightly confused on why I can get better despite my best efforts.
So yes, I can relate to an advent season of longing and desire. Keeping my eyes open for a Savior, one who will bring restoration. And then I remember that this Savior is Immanuel. God with us. I am not alone. God is here in these moments. He hasn’t left my side. This knowledge that I am loved by my Creator and he is present in my longing and waiting gives me hope. It brings peace to my troubled heart. While I have not received an instant healing (believe me, I’ve asked), I have to trust that the journey is worthwhile even though I walk down unpleasant roads. God is with us. He is for us. We are not alone.
Last year I clung to a cheerful, happy Christmas to anchor my emotions. I wanted all things Christmas because I was desperate for joy in an unknown season of waiting for our house to sell, our plans on hold with uncertainty. This year, I cling to an advent season of longing and waiting. Watching and searching. Lots has happened in a year. Our home has sold, our new home continues to have progress. Things are moving forward and yet that doesn’t mean things are peachy or rosy or perfect. Life will always have it’s messes, it’s hang ups, it’s hills and valleys. When I’m in the valley, I know I am not alone and that God is for me and my Savior loves me.
So I keep pressing on. Believing. Praying. Hoping and dreaming. I keep taking the next step and moving forward in faith.
Prayers are greatly appreciated, for sure! I hope no matter what kind of Christmas season you find yourself in that God’s presence would be so close, so real to you. Despite all the holiday hustle and bustle, He is the reason for the Season. The hope of resurrection and restoration. Perfect peace. What a lovely Christmas gift!
““Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us.’””
Matthew 1:23 NLT