There is a moment in life where we question everything. Doubts begin to rise. Our faith begins to falter. We wonder did we get it wrong. How is it possible for life to keep going but to feel fixed in time, stuck in the same place with no advancing movement? Maybe you’ve felt it too.
Perhaps it is the season. Emotions run high, low, and everywhere in between. We are faced with yet another ending. The year has run its course again. We are left holding on a flimsy, hole-poked bag of “all we had to give.” Life demands more. It keeps asking. It does not relent. We may even feel we have nothing left to offer.
Somehow we awoke this morning. There’s breath in our lungs. Our eyes survey the fallout of living the everyday, ordinary mundane. We wonder, and then we wonder some more. To give up now would be premature. We might as well finish this race with every ounce of strength we can muster. To turn back to the beginning is futile. We’ve taken too many steps forward even when we though we were standing still. This season reminds us of our humanity.
It’s that season – the fluctuating, the vacillating, the stagnancy, the presents, the community, the connection, the feeling of failure and not getting enough done or checked off that old, crinkled January list. It just keeps coming around. But … we don’t have to approach the waiting and watching with fear. We don’t have to have it all together before we decide we will move ahead. We don’t have to give in to the way of the world. We don’t have to give in to the despair, the sorrow, or the frustrating sadness. We don’t have to try and fake it to make it.
We can overcome.
Hold on beloved. It’s that season. You know the one? It’s the one that brings good tidings, celebration, love, and light. It’s the one reminding us we are no longer lost. It’s the one reminding us just how much we were made to belong. It’s the one in which we remember we are loved most ardently. And it’s the one of peace in the storms that defies earthly understanding.
It is the abundant expectation of hope and goodness about to burst. You feel it now swelling in your heart. Maybe even the edges of your mouth begin to curl with the anticipation of joy for this holy season. You begin to remember.
“He is here. He’s coming. He will return.” Your soul quietly whispers these words again and again. They ring through your heart. “With-us God is here.” I’m not alone. You’re not alone. We’re not alone.
Are you holding on? Don’t you dare give up now. Lean in to the faith, rock solid, beneath your feet. You didn’t get it wrong. You didn’t fail. You didn’t miss the boat. There is redemption. We may not have moved in the direction we preplanned, but we’re still moving. There’s still hope.
We’ve just run up to the middle of our story. Keep reading; keep writing; keep editing; keep revising; and more than anything – keep sharing the hope of the story.
You’re holding on. I’m holding on. We’re all holding on. As our minds wander the hills and valleys of the last eleven months, remember there is grace for you. Remember the One who came and entered our human story with all its mess bent down in the dirt, became like the dirt, suffered and died like the dirt – this With us God.
Hope is rising now. Do you feel it beating softly in the center of your chest?
It’s here. It is that season. Enter in with all you are and with all you have. Just. Hold. On.
God thank you for the gift of Advent. I make my heart ready to receive the eternal gift of hope, love, and salvation. Teach my heart to know the depth and breadth of what it means to really know you. On this first day of Advent, Lord, come. Light the pathway that I may see You – the Bright and Morning Star.