Monday, December 3, 2012

Anticipation and Advent

News just came through this morning of a royal baby on the way for William and Kate. Exciting news for sure but my gut reaction is a reminder that I still have some wounds from our losses that have not fully healed even after the birth of my sweet boy.

I expected that once we had a baby, pregnancy announcements wouldn't carry the same sting as they had done when we were experiencing miscarriage after miscarriage. And to some degree I was right. I feel genuine joy when people make their announcements but the idea that people can plan their families (to some degree) or that they can be surprised by a pregnancy still makes my heart heavy. I have no idea if we will ever be blessed with another pregnancy but if we begin trying again we will be back to charting and taking temperatures and medications just in case...I find it hard not to wish it was different, easy, simple.

And as I begin to go down that unhelpful thought road, I am reminded of the miracle that Levi is. I am reminded of the years of anticipation that preceded his birth and the lessons which were learned along the way. I see the intimacy within my marriage deepening as we walked the road to parenthood together even facing the twists and turns. And I am especially reminded that the anticipation made his birth even sweeter for us.

I love the advent season and I am excited that this time is such a sure reminder of the gift of anticipation. The waiting for Jesus to come and the opportunity for growth and love and relationship in the waiting are so clear in the stories of the Bible. The build up to Christmas can get crazy with gift buying and the stress of the season, but as believers we must remember that it is a time of anticipation. A time that prepares our hearts for celebrating the birth of Christ on December 25th and reminds us of the significance of that event in our lives. I am always thankful that our church publishes an advent devotional because having it helps to focus my eyes and settle my heart to the peace and real reason for this time.

The Bible shows that although Jesus' birth was predicted the details remained veiled. The hopeful anticipation of believers was a beautiful theme. Jeremy and I do not know what our family will look like when it is "complete," we do not know if our future children will be biological or adopted or a mixture of the two. We are yet to meet them that's all we know, but we trust firmly that God does have a plan and a perfect design for our family.

I love the line in the Christmas carol,'O Holy night' that talks of the "thrill of hope" because I identify so much with that concept. The details of the future are uncertain but we can anticipate God's plans coming to pass in our lives; His grace transforming our hearts; His truth giving us purpose and joy; the gifts of the Spirit working to make us more like Him; and abundant life making us reflections of Him to the world. This can really be a thrilling experience as we put our trust fully in the Lord and leap without fear into the life he has for us.

Lord, in this advent season please restore my hope in the plans you have for my life and family, and increase my anticipation for the life you have set before me and fill my heart with your peace in the waiting.

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