I love the Advent season! In the picture above, you will see my little glass Charlie Brown tree with bird ornaments. But the very top bird is a hummingbird…the bird the First Nation considers magic and a bird that opens the heart. I will soon be going up to my Georgia mountain cabin and be decking the halls with Georgia pine and there will be a big tree and lights and all the Christmas accoutrements! But for now, for Advent, I love the possibilities in my tiny glass tree.
We wait with expectation for Christmas. As children, we waited for Santa, made lists, behaved as well as we possibly could and Christmas Eve, set out cookies and milk and listened for reindeer on the roof. In the imagination of our childhood selves, we traveled into glorious fantasy and pure magic. As we gained more experience, we began to look at this time as a preparation for a spiritual re-birth while celebrating the birth of the Savior. Sadly, it has also became a time of frenetic activity and stress as we prepare for “The Day”.
With even more experience, I now look at this time of Advent as fraught with possibility. I recently heard a marvelous sermon that asked what we would want on our tombstone, while sharing inspiring, touching and just plain funny epitaphs. But the point was that we are creating our lives each day and creating our “movies”. We can actually choose to have an expectation of wonderful things happening. The sermon spoke of Mary and the Annunciation and how absolutely astonishing it must have been for her, as a woman, in that culture, at that time in history, to be told she would be the most blessed of women! We are “allowed” to expect amazing things in our lives.
So many of us feel “stuck” in relationships, in locations, in jobs we abhor. What Advent tells us is that there are options. There is so much more for which we can reach! Advent brings the expectation of salvation and glory.
A friend finally opened up to me today about the abusive marriage she is in. She feels completely trapped and stuck, yet she is mature and grounded enough to see the truth for what it is. As we spoke, we began to explore her options. Suddenly, we had a slew of options, ideas and ways of getting her “ducks in a row” to get out before it’s too late. I was able to share my own experiences of having been in a verbally abusive relationship in which I almost completely lost “me” (Cutting my hair off with cuticle scissors was a good indicator that I was “disappearing”).
Another cherished friend also suffered through years of an abusive marriage. This friend somehow got themself out and slowly but very surely is rebuilding a wonderful life for themself. I know this friend is going to fulfill all their potential as a magnificent writer and speaker! All the more so because of their own “travels through Hell”. My friend is now solidly on the road of freeing themself from all that currently binds them, is spreading their wings and we all will be better for my cherished friend’s insight and inspiration!
How grateful I am for that path I traveled so that now I am actually “qualified” to give help, support and advice because I traveled to Hell and came back stronger and more joyful than I ever believed possible!
I also had been through the Hell of 4 years of being stalked and knew the shame that this brought as well as the shame of being abused. I am SO grateful for these experiences! I am so grateful that God and angels were with me the whole way during these descents into Hell. It made me ready.
And that is what Advent is all about! Becoming ready. Ready for all things glorious. We are creating our “movies”. And these movies don’t have to be settling for mediocrity or anything less than the potential with which our Creator endowed us!
Hope abounds in this season. Let us not settle for anything less than the fulfillment of our deepest hearts’ desires! The birth of the Savior is proof that the most wonderful things can happen and we can hope for them, expecting that they will come to pass. We have options and need not stay stuck in any situation that is not serving us. We can “spread our wings and take the sky”. And that, beloved friends, is what I expect for each of us in this season of expectation.