The whole house smelled like the sharp scent of Windex and furniture polish, mixed with something delicious baking in the oven, and the vacuum was always running. Mom gave us all a job to do, to get ready for their arrival. My grandparents.
As soon as I finished my chores, I would stand at the door and wait. I stood so close, my breath would appear on the cold glass. And I would draw smooth lines with my finger. And my heart would rise and fall with the passing of each car. Until finally, it came.
Their big cream colored Cadillac stopped in front of our house. And my heart leaped.
When you’re eight years old–you don’t wait for people to ring the doorbell. (Especially when you’ve been watching out the window for a half an hour.) And you don’t give them “courtesy time” get out the car. No. You run. You race down to greet them in your socks.
You nearly climb into their car before they can even climb out. And you cover them in hugs and kisses, and cling to them like a starfish, so they can barely walk.
Have you ever had that feeling of longing? Of waiting so long…it physically hurts?
(Click here to read about infertility and longing for a baby at Christmas.)
I’ve been thinking about expectation lately.
Maybe it’s because I’m expecting a baby a boy in less than four weeks. And I’m longing to meet him and touch his skin, and look into his face.
Or, maybe it’s because we just finished a very a ugly political season. And I’m watching rioting in the streets on my TV. And the world seems dark. And in need of a Savior.
Either way…I’m feeling this longing. This expectation. This need for Jesus. To be here.
So I’ve decided to celebrate Advent this year.
(Please on’t think I’m super spiritual…because I didn’t even know what “Advent” meant until a couple of weeks ago. I thought an Advent calendar was a paper calendar with chocolates inside.) (And it is, in many grocery stores.)
But I didn’t know Advent is so much more.
The word “Advent” actually means “coming.”
And I just found out that people celebrate the “season of Advent.”
The season of “coming.”
The season of “waiting for His coming.”
You know how the sky grows darkest before dawn? How it seems so black, and then slowly it turns blue, like that deep, glowing blue, that gradually turns pale blue…and then the dawn breaks through? The light pierces the dark?
That’s Advent. Like watching the dark sky, and waiting for those first gentle rays of light.
Because the world is dark. And we are all waiting, quietly, desperately for Him. For Jesus. To come.
In years past, I guess I have “tried” to celebrate Advent. I tried to print something off Pinterest and force my 18 month old daughter to do the readings with me each night, while she screamed and ripped up the papers. I tried to force my husband to do this “tradition” with us, that I read was supposed to be so meaningful.
But since everyone hated it. (Including me.) It only lasted about a day.
(Maybe someday, we will figure out some wonderful Advent tradition that works for our family… )
But for now, I’m realizing: I need it.
Instead of trying to drag the family to do something I want to be “meaningful,” maybe I’m the one who needs to find something meaningful in this season.
I’m thirsty for it. For Him to show me who He is.
I feel Him prompting me to “behold” Him. I don’t really know how, but I feel like you can’t “behold” someone, or something in a two-minute rush (like I usually do). It takes some time.
So, I’m trying to learn how to behold Him, And His coming. And I’m celebrating the season of Advent this year. The season of darkness before the light, the season of waiting, and expectation, and longing so bad, it hurts.
And I’m celebrating by myself. Because I realize: I need Him. And until I am able to “behold” Him—I can’t help anyone else to do the same.
So I bought a book on Amazon, called “The Greatest Gift” by Ann Voskamp. And It’s a book all about Advent. A book about “His coming.”
I know Christmas will come either way. All the Black Friday Ads are coming in the mail, and the hustle and bustle will start us all racing to December 25. We will do gift exchanges, and parties, and try to make our homes warm and beautiful, and full of light.
But what if the preparations don’t need to be done so much outwardly?
What if the real preparations happen inwardly?
Maybe I need the light inside me this year?
Because there is something about preparing a place. Inside. Like the Christmas carol says, “Let every heart prepare Him room.”
When we would prepare our house for our grandparents to come, it wasn’t just about work. It was about anticipation. We could all feel it in the air. It was in the expectation of standing at the window, and watching for them.
I feel that Jesus is calling me to prepare a place for Him. Maybe I’m not the only one who is desperate for His light to pierce through?
Maybe He is calling you to prepare a place for Him this Christmas, too.
Maybe you will stand at the cold glass door, and wait for Him. And watch for Him, to come.
And when He comes…
When He comes…you won’t wait for Him to ring the door bell. Or to get out of the car.
You will run out in your socks to greet Him. You will run wildly, like the father ran to meet His prodigal son while he was still coming up the road. You will cling to him like a starfish, so he can barely walk.
When you see His light appear, you will fall down and weep before Him. You will behold Him.
And He will hold you, and He will not let you go.
And this “beholding” is what Christmas is all about.
Emmanuel. God is with us.
His Word says,
“Arise, shine; For your light has come! And the glory of the LORD is risen upon you. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; But the LORD will arise over you, And His glory will be seen upon you.” Isaiah 60:1-2
If you feel the night is black right now, hold on. Christmas is coming.
Jesus is coming.
The night is long. But…
Your Light is coming.
Yes, He will be here soon.
For more encouragment about infertility, motherhood, or marriage follow Barren to Beautiful by entering your email address in the box on the right of this website. Or, “like” the Barren to Beautiful Facebook page, by clicking here. For more Christmas posts read “When All I Wanted For Christmas Was You,” or “Christmas Is For Desperate People.”