Wonder in the Waiting

I don't know about you, but I LOVE waiting.

That's a lie.

I HATE waiting. Loathe it entirely. I'm the person that when the light turns green, I honk three seconds later if you don't move. I know.....obnoxious.

But if we are honest (and that's how we operate here in this space), there are probably no people that would say that they enjoy waiting. Especially in this glorious age of Amazon Prime and drone delivery, we have grown unaccustomed to waiting for anything.

The problem is that the rules of time and space don't always play nicely with this new hatred for delayed gratification. A pizza still takes time to cook, I still don't have a flying car to get to work, babies still take 9 months to gestate, etc. There are so many things out of our control, that truth be told, may never change.

This is why I approach the Advent season with a bit of dread and frustration. We are celebrating a season of waiting? Lighting candles and singing songs about WAITING!?

It sounds ridiculous. I don't want that.

I want Baby Jesus, presents, cookies, and fun. I want the promise and sweetness of a new baby. I want sparkly angels, fluffy sheep, shepherds in bathrobes, twinkle lights, and peace on Earth.

I don't want to talk about the gritty, real, looooooong awaited Messiah that no one wanted and ultimately killed. I don't want to talk about why He was born. I don't want to think about poor, sweet teenage Mary having to give birth in a dirty, nasty stable with just her new, carpenter husband and a bunch of animals and their poop. And forget about talking about Simeon's prophecy and all that mess.

Well, I should say, I used to not want that.

Two years ago, I picked up an Advent book by one of my favorite author's, Ann Voskamp. I love her lyrical way of writing and I couldn't wait to read her writing about sweet baby Jesus and those super duper Wise Men in their crowns.

Imagine my dismay when I opened the book and the first day's reading was about Genesis and Adam &Eve. Ew. What?

Day 2....The Fall and the Serpent. Ummmmmmm....where's the star? Where is the Innkeeper?? Where is the feel good story that I love at Christmas?

I made it to Day 5 and I gave up. I couldn't handle it. This was NOT Christmas.

Except, maybe it was.

Fast forward to December 2014. During 2014, I found my creativity. Where I had lost it, I'm not sure, but you can go back and read more about that. I started journaling and even art journaling a bit. I had begun learning about God's narrative and how mine fits into it

I decided to give the shunned Advent book another go.

At the same time, my church began an Advent series on the women in Jesus' genealogy. I was stoked. Especially when I found out we were going to talk about Rahab, the Harlot. She's my favorite. I mean, she's a harlot that we get to talk about in church. What's not to like??

I started reading the book and listening to the sermons in a whole different light. I started seeing how Jesus was never God's Plan B. God didn't watch Adam and Eve choose to disobey and think "Oh darn. What ever will I do now??" Jesus was always the plan. This was a whole new line of thinking for me. This Jesus who was present with the Father at the beginning of time. This Jesus who didn't just show up on the scene in Israel 2,000 years ago.

I started art journaling these daily readings. I started pouring over the characters and their stories.....all the while looking to see where Jesus was going to show up. Waiting, expectantly, for how the story was ultimately leading to Him. In this process, I was reintroduced to Rahab, learned about Tamar (that is NOT a PG story!!!), fell in love with the story of Ruth and Boaz again, and countless other stories I thought I knew.

I actually never made it beyond Ruth and Boaz last year. All of the sudden it was January and I never had gotten to Baby Jesus. But, maybe I had. In the waiting, I was also seeking. I turned my waiting into learning. And what a difference it made.

This year, I find myself in a rough season. I feel in limbo about a lot of things. I want to have moved on from some old garbage. I long to be in a new season. I am struggling to even care about the Baby Jesus and the manger. Life seems too hard. Too futile. Too short for some and too long for others. I have seen things this year that I can't unsee. I have been hurt in ways I don't want to repeat.

But if I really step back, this year has also been the year that I found my tribe. The year that I truly started becoming an artist. The year that I finally learned some things that I have been wanting to learn.

And if I stop and look, I can see where Jesus showed up in my story just like He did in the ones long ago. And just like my pizza is worth waiting to cook, I should wait for a flying car because I can barely drive one on the ground, and that nine months of pregnancy are some of the greatest joys a woman can have, this waiting for my becoming who I was meant to be is worth the wait.

Where are you now? I don't think it is a stretch to say you are probably waiting on something.

What are you doing in the waiting?

Can we turn our waiting into wonder by looking for the beauty in it? Can we find joy even in the hard places? Can we rest in this waiting and learn from it?

I probably will never like waiting. Ever. So if you are ahead of me at a red light, just wave nicely when I honk at you to go. But, maybe, just maybe, I will learn what to do in the waiting time.

peace, love, and Baby Jesus,
chrissy


Comments

  1. The waiting...it's the hardest part. Tom Petty

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