Advent

Giving Myself Permission to Experience the Miracle

“My Mamma always told me that miracles happen every day.  Some people don’t think so, but they do.”  Forrest Gump, a great philosopher on a bus bench, rambles out these platitudes seemingly unaware of the depth at which he is encompassing the meaning of life.

Some people don’t think so.  But they do.  Miracles — they happen every day.

In this season of Advent we are all waiting.  Can you feel it in your bones?  You can’t shake this feeling.  It is under the surface, behind the decorating and the activities and even beyond the religious goings on.  There is the yearning, an unsettled rumble that wants an answer, and all the shopping and giving and singing and decking just won’t fill this place of longing. And we are not alone in our groaning.

For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body. For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it. {Romans 8:19-24}

We wait.  We groan.  We suffer.  We hope. We long for this freedom from our slavery to corruption and in this season the corruption competes with the captivation of the holy.  Contrasting desires pull at us sometimes til we feel drawn and quartered.  We feel the tug of the traditions and the need to get tasks completed — mail off the Christmas letter, decorate the tree, get to the functions, buy the gifts, wrap the gifts, deliver the gifts — all the while we feel less and less of the heart of Christmas beating away within us.  I am there.  I have been in this turnstile, watching for an opening so I can exit.  I want to decorate.  I love giving gifts.  Yet I know there is more to this season — more that He has for me in this season that means “Coming.”  There is more to Emmanuel, God with us, than I am admitting in my living and loving.

Miracles happen every day.  There are Advent miracles all around me.  I don’t want to be the one who doesn’t think so.  I want to stop and take off my shoes and stand on that holy ground and breathe deep of Him who Comes and will Come.  This is the season of His coming.  We groan for it as in childbirth.

So, this Advent I am giving myself permission to step back and slow.  I don’t want to zoom past the miracle.

This Advent I am giving myself permission to let go of expectations.  I don’t want my results, I submit to His.  I don’t want a Christmas, I desire Christ.  I don’t want presents, I yearn for His presence. 

This Advent, I am giving myself permission to experience the miracle:  God humbled as a baby for me.  Jesus, Creator and Sinless, taking every sin for me.  God coming into darkness and bitterness and making waters sweet and living.  I am opening to miracles — and those are tender places.  To open to the miracle, means becoming vulnerable. It means saying “no” where my flesh and my culture would say, “yes.”  It means, yes, Lord, I will slow, I will wait, I will sit in discomfort and find You to be the only good and worthy element of life.  It means allowing the hunger and thirst that I may be filled. 

This Advent, I am giving myself permission to experience the groaning and longing and to know that it is holy.  I am fixing my eyes upward and knowing that “He who testifies to these things says, ‘Yes, I am coming quickly.’ Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.” 

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8 Comments

  • Reply
    Morag Renfro
    December 5, 2013 at 10:57 AM

    Amen, Come Lord Jesus, Amen.

  • Reply
    Patty Muich
    December 5, 2013 at 11:28 AM

    Hi Patty 🙂
    I think a lot of people are agreeing with you this year. There will still be the mad rush at the stores but some will be sitting at home experiencing the miracles… I loved your post. I am not even decorating this year. I am just going to be thankful for the many blessings and the miracles God gave me!
    Love, Patty 😉

  • Reply
    Karin Deaver
    December 5, 2013 at 12:03 PM

    I don't want to miss that miracle either. It is so easy to get misdirected by good intentions and the hectic nature of this holiday. Reclaiming it as a Holy Day takes such intentionality. Thank you for telling your story, for putting words to your longings so that we can be drawn into the patient vigil as well. Blessings.

  • Reply
    HeartsHomeward
    December 5, 2013 at 2:26 PM

    Thank you for that echo. It is the cry of my heart these days. Not only that He would come to earth — as I know that is happening in His perfect time — but that He would enter into our lives in such a deep and meaningful way and make us more and more like Him and more and more connected to Him. Thank you for stopping by, Morag 🙂

  • Reply
    HeartsHomeward
    December 5, 2013 at 2:27 PM

    I love your brave, upstream decision to not decorate! If it weren't for my boys being here, I think I would decorate way less and focus on just decorating my heart instead. Thank you so much for coming by and commenting, Patty.

  • Reply
    HeartsHomeward
    December 5, 2013 at 2:28 PM

    Thanks, Karin! "The patient vigil" – I love that phrase! I thank you so much for coming by and reading and sharing.

  • Reply
    Lisa notes
    December 5, 2013 at 3:20 PM

    "This Advent I am giving myself permission to let go of expectations."
    This one in particular resonates with me because I'm trying to do less instead of "what we always do" so that I will be more present and in a better mood when I am. 🙂

  • Reply
    HeartsHomeward
    December 5, 2013 at 3:56 PM

    I agree, Lisa. I love that you are making that wise choice!

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