I’m going to attempt to do a series for Advent Season. Not everyone celebrates, but hopefully it will be encouraging and challenging.
“The people in walk in darkness will see a great light. For those who live in a land of deep darkness, a light will shine” ~ Isaiah 9:2
“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it…And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.” ~ John 1:5, 14
Hope. A word with so much weight to it. It’s a waiting–a longing for something you’re not sure will come to pass. The anticipation causes us to pace anxiously. Are we about to get what we’ve been hoping for? Or will we be disappointed once again?
Something is coming. A reckoning. A hope that all things will be set right. But it doesn’t feel like it right now.
Yesterday, I sat on my partner’s front porch trying to write some words that offer hope in the midst of waiting. We’re all waiting for something…whether it’s something good or perhaps something bad. Either anticipating the inevitable with joy or dread.
Sometimes I feel that dread for no reason at all. Or for every reason. I’m anxious about things that could happen but most likely never will. I’m not sure if it’s a waiting for something to come or waiting for something to end.
For there to be a reckoning–for justice for the oppressed. For those who speak out against injustice to be heard. I guess maybe that’s what I’m waiting for this Advent season. And the anticipation for good things to happen and suffering to end. For there to be an end to the pain that I have known for so long at the hands of abusers.
The past haunts me much like Ebenezer Scrooge in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Except it’s more what happened to me than what I have done. It also feels like now more than ever that hope for things to end will come true. I have gotten out. I am free–but chained to past memories and family members who won’t let go.
I am looking for the ending so that there can be new beginnings. I still get texts from a father who abused me and a mother who manipulates things to go her way I still feel threatened even though I’m safe for the first time in my life.
This past Saturday I got a suit for my wedding–my wedding that most of my family will not come to or be invited to. And there’s a sense of loss and grief there.
And yet…it feels like having walked through the darkness and seeing a blinding light. A hope and anticipation that I didn’t know I could experience.
Something is coming. A longing for more than the grief and pain that abuse brings. A longing for a God who came to be with us in the midst of pain on earth and to give us a new earth to look forward to. A God who promised love and peace and light amidst the backdrop of human suffering. A God who tells me I belong even when my family thinks I’ve turned from God. A God who turns to me and says, “child of God” instead.
This Advent Season, there are new memories and traditions to be made. Hope is here, and I’m holding onto the good things that are to come.