Okay, can we get real for a second? It doesn’t feel like Christmas.
I’m really trying. I’m buying my gifts and listening to the carols and doing my best to show light and love to my fellow person. But? I feel a huge weight over the world these days. And tonight it’s pretty heavy. So I’m sitting here, asking God to show up on this earth, again.
Without even going near the evil that’s pervading our nation and world at every turn, and the darkness I feel every time I see another headline regarding violence and devastation, I’ve felt that darkness surrounding my own life and those of the ones I love lately. A lot. And I wanna be honest about it. Can I do that? Can I just be vulnerable with you guys real quick?
In the past few months, stuff has felt like it’s crumbling around me. I’ve had multiple family members either be hospitalized or die suddenly, one who was my age. Friends’ grandparents have passed away. I’ve been reminded of people in my life that are facing severe, life-threatening situations, both internal and external. Several of my friends (like, enough that it’s concerning) are mourning the endings or fracturing of relationships, and watching them hurt and grieve is heartbreaking. I’ve had to examine many relationships of my own recently and make some hard decisions, not without considerable pain. With my graduation imminent, the battle against fear about the future is now constant, and I’m plagued with doubts about my own talent and worth like never before in my life. I feel so lost.
This is not meant to be a complaint-filled, ‘my life is hard’ post. Much of my heaviness comes from the realization of what people around me are dealing with, often to a greater extent than I am. As someone highly sensitive and empathetic, I feel this deeply. It’s been a lot of looking up from my own burdens to see what people around me are carrying and thinking, what is all this? I don’t know how to respond to so much pain these days. That’s got me thinking about Advent.
I never understood the need for participation in the Advent season until recently. As a kid, I watched church leaders light candles in the weeks leading up to Christmas and assumed it was just some ploy to keep reminding everyone the reason for the season. But the more I’ve learned about it, the more I’ve realized how needed it is. The church and the world need that reminder of hope. We need that season of expectation. We need to learn how to carry that expectation and hope with us the rest of the year. We need to practice living in a state of Advent waiting until Christ returns.
As much as I would like to end on that clean note of sentimentality, I can’t right now. Unfortunately. Because Christ hasn’t returned, and right now I’m reminded that this world is still so, so broken. I feel the cracks all around me, and it hurts. I guess I’m writing this in case anyone else feels like that too. To you, broken and weary person, I empathize with your lack of holiday cheer, and I extend my own hand to you in comfort, for whatever it is that is weighing you down. I don’t know what to do either.
All we can do is thank God that He did step into all that brokenness. And we can ask Him to do it again. We can light our candles, look up, and say,
We need you.