Ever have a day where things don’t go quite as planned?
Today was one of those days.
By nature I am a very type A, planning, dead-line loving kind of girl. (That is probably why writing works so well. I got a book deadline and, as is typical for me, turned it in before it was due.) So, it makes complete sense that I was very planned for Sunday morning church. My husband was supposed to be the reader so I had my alarm set with plenty of time for all of us to get ready.
I got myself up and started getting ready thinking that my husband was doing the same. But, he was still in a deep slumber as were our (typically early rising) girls. With the clock ticking, I awoke everybody and rushed to get us out the door. We had service to do, right?
However, once everyone was to the car, my all day long sickness kicked in and there was no way we could leave.
I’m now 18 weeks pregnant, gaining the unique experience of a lived pregnancy in advent. Advent means “traveling toward,” and I’m finding huge lesson in this for me.
While Christians around the world travel closer in great expectation to the date we celebrate Jesus’ birth, we are also living that out in our day to day lives. We wonder if it is a boy or a girl. We dream about the unique gifts God will give this child. We anticipate transitioning in family size and how this child will change our lives.
And we pray this poorly named “morning sickness” will pass. :)
Once we arrived to church, my husband had missed the reading. I felt crushed. I had a plan in place to help in the sharing of God’s work and I failed. The loss of control stung.
As I sat in the church pew pondering the words “traveling towards” new revelation took place. You see, advent isn’t just about traveling towards the celebration of the birth of a baby in a stable. Advent also signifies traveling towards submission. Christ came in the form of a baby to enter into a lived relationship. His presence on earth and the Bible stories that speak of it are a powerful display of God’s nurturing love, His amazing teaching, and the Lord’s total control in the midst of life’s chaos.
When Christ walked earthly terrain, He had people to help in the advancing of the kingdom, but it didn’t fail if they did. God doesn’t need help doing His job. He is fully capable of accomplishing His purposes on His own in His own ways.
So I felt God saying relax. I love you and appreciate your heart. Don’t take more on than necessary. You will not find peace this Advent taking over my work or busying yourself till the day the world finds me in a lowly manger. You will find true peace when you live out the relationship I came to form with you. Rest in me and submit my child.
The pastor showed grace, my husband demonstrated mercy, and the church didn’t even notice. All was well and the tiny life within me kicked and danced through it all.
So, as we await the birth of this baby growing within me, his or her health influence has already deepened my understanding of this church year I’ve celebrated many times over. We are traveling towards a life-transforming relationship that allows us to let go of self and find peace.
“I AM” came for my heart and when I focus on that everything else falls into perspective.
Listen to who He is friends-
"The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel"— which means, "God with us." Matthew 1:23
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6
May peace, blessing, and relationship be yours this Advent season.