I wrote a blog post last week and then didn’t publish it. Everything felt too raw and uncertain. To be honest everything still feels a little raw and uncertain, but I’ve found that when I speak things out into the open they tend to get less scary and I tend to feel less alone. I’ve done that over the past couple of weeks. I’ve spoken things out into the open with people who know me deeply and who I can trust and be honest with. I’ve also taken time to pay extra attention to good things going on around me. I’ve asked myself again and again, “what’s saving my life right now?”
I’m preparing a blog series that I will release during advent, the four weeks leading up to the celebration of Christmas. I’ll be studying scripture alongside weekly themes of hope, peace, love, and joy.
But I’ll be honest, right now, I’m really struggling to understand hope and peace and love and joy.
I’m reeling from the anti-Semitic and racist murders that happened a couple of weeks ago.
I’m reeling from death and dying in our community.
I’m struggling because I’m at home here in Charlottesville, but also in Texas; and I can’t be in both places at once.
I’ve been frustrated and disappointed as I’ve seen, again, the difference in medical care that I have access to versus what my friends who are new to this country have access to.
I’ve been devastated by the reality of violence and disasters around the world.
I could go on.
I’m hoping that through prayer and scripture study over the next few weeks I will be better able to grasp onto the light of Christ.
I’m finding this year that Advent is an uncomfortable season of waiting. Growing up, I wrapped Advent into my anticipation of presents and time with family and good food. I didn’t realize until a few weeks ago that Advent is perhaps better understood as a time of tense waiting. Observing Advent for me this year means sitting in the tension of the reality that Christ has in fact come into the world, which we of course celebrate on Christmas…but with the simultaneous understanding that Christ will come again. The Kingdom of God is now, but it is also still yet to come. It’s not until Christ comes again that all of the painful things I listed above (and more) will be set completely right.
As I look forward to this Advent I’m searching and slowly discovering what it means and looks like to wait expectantly for the coming of Christ.
What I wrote last week fit into the series I turn to when I need some grace and room to breathe and think. As I considered “What’s saving my life right now?” I came up with this list…and it continues to grow…
Phone calls and texts with my best friends.
Snuggles from my puppy, Britt.
Time to sit on the porch and write.
Phone calls with family.
A fall drive with Nick to look at the leaves.
Beautiful crisp fall weather.
A partner in ministry who checks in on me and listens as I unpack some of the struggles I’m carrying.
A fellow church member stopping me in the hall to let me know he is praying for me.
Spiritual Direction where I can fall apart and find that God meets me in my mess.
The TV show, Parenthood.
Fajita seasoning from Texas.
As I continue to dive into what it means to wait on the coming of Christ these things help anchor me. They help me catch glimpses of beauty and they lead me to thankfulness. They are little specs of light guiding me on my way. I’ll dig deeper into this Advent study in the coming days, and hope you’ll check back in on each Tuesday of Advent to be part of the conversation. I’d love to hear how you are waiting expectantly for the coming Christ.
For now, is anything saving your life? Where do you find specks of light when the world seems dark?