This post first shared as issue 24 of These Sacred Words
I’ve been holding a lot of hopes this year. A lot of expectations of what I had hoped 2020 would hold (a church, a baby, a home). At the same time I’ve been seeking to learn how to hope in a way that is true and brave and not fearful. Trying to not allow disappointment to make me hesitant to hope.
The Advent season somewhat intensified these feelings, as I felt the expectation of this time of year.
The waiting. The already but not yet. The anticipation.
The Christian life is to be one of eager anticipation and waiting for Christ’s return. But so often I wait and hope only for things of the world. For physical healing. For a tangible provision. For an answered prayer. For some comfort or change in my life stage or situation.
I long for these things, thinking I will find satisfaction in them, thinking once God grants me that prayer or that provision or that healing, all will be right. Forgetting that Christ’s life, death, and resurrection has been the full provision for my salvation, that his perfection has forever put an end to all brokenness, that in him I can be fully and forever satisfied.
This season has been good to remind me of those things – to reorient my perspective a bit.
But Advent is over now and I find myself still hoping. Still waiting. Still existing in this broken world and this broken body. Still trying to figure out how to hold these things in tension – brokenness and joy, disappointment and hope, the hard and the good.
The Advent season painted in full color the true hope we have in Jesus, but in some ways it provided a sharp, painful juxtaposition between the joy of the season and the pain of my current circumstances.
And so here I am, carrying even more expectations and hopes into 2021.
I feel like I’m living in an in-between (maybe kind of like this feeling of being in an airport terminal on a layover). Hoping in my future in Christ but also feeling the weight of my current brokenness. About to enter 2021 and trying desperately to take the hope of Advent into all of my seasons this year.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that I don’t have it all figured out (if you’ve followed along for any length of time you know this to be true), and I’m grateful that you’ve chosen to walk alongside me (whether by grabbing coffee with me or simply by reading this newsletter). Your friendship and support means more to me than I can say.
And I hope my words here allow you permission to exist in the tension between joy and grief, hope and disappointment. To fully feel the complexities of this season while clinging desperately to the One who has promised to always hold you fast.