Advent Always

“We live in constant Advent, in waiting, in anticipation, in not yet. Every fiber of this earth knows something of death, and it groans, and we groan with it. And we wait with it for the second Christmas, when creation is restored and all things are made right. [….] we step back and remind ourselves that we want to be the sorta folks who get their hopes up. We want to feel the weight of this world in its entirety, in its beauty as well as its brokenness. We want to laugh from our bellies and weep from our souls. And we can do that because our hope and our peace and our happiness is not here—not in our babies, nor in each other, nor in our house, nor in good food, nor in travel, etc. These are all good things that, although marred with brokenness and death, serve as signposts that point us back to the King and his kingdom. We live in Advent for all its worth, waiting for the Christmas feast when all will be made right.”

I read these words about a week before Christmas and they stuck with me. The source was an Instagram photo caption, the context was that the husband was informing their viewers that the baby growing in his wife had ceased to grow. It was their third loss. I felt so heavy the whole day after hearing this news, but beyond the sadness there was a different kind of ache, ushered in by the husband’s words. “We want to be the sorta folks who get their hopes up.” I don’t know if I could still say that after losing my third child. It’s incredibly hard to believe that way when I see the state we’re all in, when I actually ponder the depth of this world’s brokenness.

On a small, small scale and certainly incomparable to losing 3 stillborn children, part of why these words resonated so deeply was what I’ve been pondering about hope as I anticipate Andrew’s arrival. I’m glad Andrew is getting here after Christmas because the post-Christmas blues haven’t hit as hard as they normally do. Waiting for Andrew has caused me to savor the beauty of waiting. I’m anxious some mornings, but I love this time. I love the anticipation and the building excitement. And I’m glad this waiting has lined up with the Advent season- an even more significant waiting.

The day I saw this photo and heard this sad news and read these words I was sad because I remembered that Andrew isn’t going to get to stay in Korea with me forever. He’ll be here for a week then he’ll leave. And this leaves another pound of weight to the heaviness. This leaves another pang of sadness.

But through this simple caption on a photo on social media, I was reminded of profound truth:

“Our hope and our peace and our happiness is not here.”

So instead, we will savor the time together and the good and the bad simultaneously point us back to the Kingdom to which weare headed.

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