Can you believe Advent season is HERE already?! I cannot, but I am so glad it is. I know that, for many who are trying to conceive this Christmas season, you’re less enthusiastic about the impending holiday. I remember those Christmases well. And while I am no longer waiting for babies, I am waiting for broken places in my heart, in my home, and in my family to be restored and made whole.
When you are walking the journey of infertility, Advent is just another season of waiting on top of the season of waiting you are already in. Often approached with more dread than joy. The mark of another year gone by, yet you have yet to kiss the face of your long-awaited baby.
And the parallels between the glorious waiting of Advent and the waiting of trying to conceive are really quite amazing.
Imagine back to the time of Jesus’ birth. His people had been waiting years, many of them died waiting, for their Messiah. The waiting dragged on and on and on, until the divine moment when the Divine Messiah was born into this world. Born as a babe. In filth. To an unwed mother. Nothing like the long-hoped-for Messiah they’d all imagine and awaited. The story of their Messiah’s coming was unexpected, filled with God-moments and infant surprises. The circumstances were unexpected. So unexpected that many did not even recognize the Messiah when they saw Him. This is not how they’d imagined the story would go. But so it went, and so it goes on. All the waiting was worth it.
And so it will be for you. This is not what you thought your story, or your children’s stories, would look like when you excitedly began preparing to start a family. Maybe your story has been filled with miscarriages, or failed fertility treatments, or fallen-through adoptions. Circumstances that are unexpected, and don’t feel like God-moments at all. And lots and lots of waiting.
But God works all things together for our good. And He almost always does it in ways we would never expect; in timing we could never predict. He can take moments and seasons of misery and bring from them God-moments. That is what He does for His children. He brings Himself into the pain and brokenness of our lives. And He changes. He redeems. He shakes up our normal and turns our worlds upside down.
Just as He did in that dirty, noisy stable in Bethlehem so long ago. He entered into the broken, dark world. The Greatest Gift was placed in our flawed, human hands. And He became Hope.
May He be your hope this season. Let the warmth of heaven fall on you this season. Draw close to His weightless, matchless Grace.
Bonnie told me at the breakfast table this morning, between the spilled Cheerios and the uneaten applesauce, that God is a way-maker.
He made a way through a tiny babe, in a filthy manger filled with people and animals who had no place else to go. And He has been making a way for humanity ever since. He is with you now, wherever you are- in hidden bedtime cries, or in your deep ache- God always wants to be with you. And Advent paves the way.
Life is waiting, and so much Life happens in the waiting. God moves and works and makes a way in the waiting. So let’s wait together with Glory, in Glory, for the marvelous, quiet, disguised, unexpected God-moments that are to come.
In the silence of a midwinter dusk, there is far off in the deeps of it somewhere a sound so faint that for all you can tell it may be only the sound of the silence itself. You hold your breath to listen. You walk up the steps to the front door. The empty windows at either side of it tell you nothing, or almost nothing. For a second you catch a whiff in the air of some fragrance that reminds you of a place you’ve never been and a time you have no words for. You are aware of the beating of your heart. The extraordinary thing that is about to happen is matched only by the extraordinary moment just before it happens. Advent is the name of that moment. -Frederick Buechner