I have to admit, this Advent season has felt a little different for me than most. Usually I’m over-the-top in Advent: countdowns & Christmas activities & ALL THE CHRISTMAS THINGS! I’m the type of person who usually has my Christmas shopping done in September and my cards in the mail by the first of December.
This year, I’m about 8 months pregnant and Advent has been much quieter (and less organized). Nights that aren’t spent at the church for activities have been spent cuddled up watching Christmas movies (let me tell you, I’ve seen Wiggles Go Santa Go more times than I ever thought humanly possible) and turning in early. I finished up my Christmas shopping last week and my cards? Well let’s say you may be receiving one after Christmas Day 😉
While the pregnancy exhaustion combined with the busy of this season in ministry has made Advent look different, being pregnant has also caused me to think a lot differently about the Advent season too.
Mostly about Mary.
How tired and overwhelmed she must have felt when Joseph announced they had to travel to Bethlehem.
How filled with anxiety and excitement she must have felt everytime she felt the Saviour kick inside her womb.
How long those months must have felt – from the time Gabriel appeared to her saying “You will have a baby named Jesus” to that night in Bethlehem when she gave birth.
This year, Advent has been a reminder to me that waiting is hard. Waiting for a baby to make an appearance feels like the longest 40 weeks ever. Waiting means that life looks different – for a season.
But, I’ve also been reminded that God is in the waiting too.
Because even though there are books that I’ve forgotten to read and activities I’ve forgotten to do with Levi – I still catch glimpses of him grasping the magnitude of the Christmas story (as much as a two-year old can, anyways).
Because even though there are days I feel more tired than humanly possible, God still shows up in worship services and events and Christmas programs – when my efforts don’t feel like enough.
And because even though these 10 months feel long, the kicks in my belly at night remind me that God is growing someone beautiful.
God is in my waiting – and He was in the waiting with Mary too.
As she waited for the Messiah to be born, she still caught glimpses of God’s plan and goodness.
When Joseph said, “I’m with you. God spoke to me too.”
When John leaped in Elizabeth’s womb as she met Mary, and proclaimed a blessing over her.
When the Holy Spirit filled Mary as she spoke the words of the Magnificat – proclaiming God’s goodness.
When after a long journey, her and Joseph found a place to lay their heads.
God was there – even in the waiting.
And He’s with you too.
I don’t know what you’re waiting for – maybe it’s not a baby to be born. Maybe you’re waiting for God to answer the longings of your heart, bring you through a difficult season or show you what in the world He is doing. Good news – even as you wait, He’s still with you. We catch glimpses of Him working, even in the waiting.
That’s what we can learn this Advent season.
And whether now or much later – Advent reminds us that God always keeps His promises. He sent the Messiah – Jesus – to save us – and He redeems everything, even our waiting.