I had the honor of being invited to speak at a Women’s Advent Tea and as I was preparing for their theme, which was Abundance of Peace, I fell into a reflection that a priest, Fr. Mark Toups gave regarding the first Sunday of Advent. I won’t plagiarize and give his entire reflection, but I will share the one aspect that hit me the most in my own words. He had a take on the Holy Family’s journey that was enlightening and inspirational.
When we consider Advent and this period of ‘waiting’ we often can get caught up in the aspect of waiting for that one day, Christmas day, when Christ was born. We wait on or for the Lord. I have done a past blog offering this concept! And now my eyes have opened and I have a new understanding.
Often, we find ourselves in reflection on how to make this a peaceful advent, or how do we push aside our worries and concerns to usher in Joy rather than Sadness? We forget to contemplate the actual true story of what Mary and Joseph lived.
Mary upon the presentation of the Angel of the Lord gave her resounding yes! And yet, she still had to find a way to make it back to her betrothed, Joseph, and tell him she was now pregnant. Imagine, she was a young woman, now with child, and though she knew the Lord was with her, she still had to anticipate the reaction of a man she barely knew who may not know the Lord the way she trusted. She waited with the Lord.
Joseph upon hearing the news had to take a moment and contemplate his actions. Once again, put yourself in his shoes. In this moment, he is a man who found out his virgin bride was pregnant. Until the angel appeared to him, he would have had his definite concerns and troubles fall upon his shoulders. That’s when the Lord sent him the message he needed to receive without hesitation. Joseph then waited with the Lord.
At 8 ½ months pregnant they are told they need to go to Bethlehem where taxes are high, cost of living is beyond their means, and the journey to get to this place would be long and difficult. Together, Joseph and Mary set upon their way with trust in their hearts because they knew the Lord would provide and give them exactly what they needed. They waited with the Lord.
It has been a rough year for me. The loss of my brother in May, and now the loss of my best childhood friend. Not to mention some of my own medical concerns. But I will choose to wait with the Lord. I know the Lord has a plan and I trust in this plan to be what is best for me. In heading toward the celebration of our Lord’s entry into our world, my hope will be in the longing of what the next year brings.
Life happens, and sometimes it can harm and hurt, but it can never take away your purpose.
I enjoy writing to my theme of JUST SHOW UP because it is one that has resonated within me over the decades. It has always been with the intent to share how God SHOWS UP in our lives, even in the mundane. Advent is the quintessential Just Show Up moment as we welcome in the presence of Christ into our lives. With all that has transpired this past year I am focused solely on the reason for the season – because more than anything I need Christ in my life.
Recently I was asked a question about my faith and how I can continue with hope. My response? I have a world of past experiences that God has consistently and faithfully shown up in every circumstance, bringing a greater good from it all. There is no doubt – He will SHOW up again.
No matter where you are in life at this moment, remember God is always with you. Wait with him and offer up your circumstance (good or bad) to this Advent Season and allow God to Show Up during it all and be sure to pay attention because sometimes He might not come as you expect. There might be a shining star trying to catch your attention.