December 8, 2016

Be near me Lord Jesus, I ask Thee to stay

I read this little nugget tonight and I've been letting it sinking in. Much like a warm cup of cocoa going down smooth and soft, touching something deep inside, these words spoke to me...

From the devotional Savor, by Shauna Niequist - The Advent Alternative

"Advent is about waiting, anticipating, yearning.  Advent is the question, the pleading, and Christmas is the answer to that question, the response to the howl.  There are moments in this season when I don't feel a lot like Christmas, but I do feel like Advent.

Advent gives us another option beyond false Christmas cheer or Scrooge.  Advent says the baby is coming, but he isn't here yet, that hope is on its way, but the yearning is still very real.  Advent allows us to tell the truth about what we're grieving, without giving up on the gorgeous and extravagant promise of Christmas, the baby on his way.

Consider Advent a less flashy but still very beautiful way of being present this season.  Give up your false and failing attempts at merriment, and thank God for a season that understands longing and loneliness and long nights.  Let yourself fall open to Advent, to anticipation, to the belief that what is empty will be filled, what is broken will be repaired, and what is lost can always be found, no matter how many times it's been lost."

This year has left me with gaping holes and for months I've been trying to fill them up and fix everything that has been broken. Late at night when I'm alone and my only friend seems to be Netflix, I sit here with my vodka and drink until I don't feel the holes anymore.  I welcome the buzz and the numbness it brings to the pain my heart feels and the thoughts my mind wants to think.  Fasting from alcohol in addition to sugar and bread this advent, I am more aware of what I've been numbing out to.  I'm present with the empty places and it's wretched.  It's wretched and I also feel very alive, and strangely at rest.

Hope is on the way.  The baby is on the way.  Jesus is coming.  God will be with us.  All that is broken will be mended and made new.  And all that is empty will be filled.

My heart is full of longing.  I'm yearning tonight.  I'm grieving and lonely and waiting for things. 

Are you?

Be near us Jesus and please stay close by....

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