Some of my sweetest moments in the last few years have been sitting as an exhausted mother at the end of the day in candle-light quietly shedding tears of relief to be able to sit in silence and wait. It transforms my heart every year.
I leave soon for an extended trip and yesterday we discovered some (unexpected) health complications. We are already under some pretty heavy stress as a family this week and I had completely other plans on how to spend my days. Now, all of a sudden, I am having to change all I was planning to do to get ready.
What's keeping me going, the beauty in it all, is Advent - this season of expectation and choosing quiet to slow down, to prepare, has been timely. Those moments have truly been precious. Maybe this unexpected situation is just giving me time to focus on the real preparation I needed...
It's funny because as much as I love the season of Advent, it also almost always seems to coincide with some pain bubbling to the surface in me, too.
I keep thinking of Mary's crisis, the intense discomfort of having to ride a donkey while in labour - and all because some crazy man decided to take a census and demand she and Joseph show up. It seems so unfair, so unjust. So unexpected.
Sometimes the birthing of hope is more painful than the reasons we need hope to begin with. I am praying during this season of needing hope and longing for it, that God will give us all the same strength and faith he gave Mary riding that bumpy trail to obey her King and birth her own salvation.
I know the end of our story is not written yet. As a lover of words I believe my choices today, and every day, help to pen the outcome. And we can see already that what seemed like tragedy, was ultimately worship.
There is hope.