I needed Advent this year. I needed the time of mourning, the time of lament, the time of honoring loss. I needed to let the ashes lie and not cover them up with worthless glitter. I needed to lean into the waiting. I gained a lot this year, and I am grateful. But I lost a lot too. There has been a lot of leaving. A tribe lost, a waiting extended, and last Sunday was our last as members of a church we have walked with for 8 years.
My word for the year was here, and I was told recently, “It is ironic your word is here, because all of your heres have disappeared on you.”
I’ve spent the last weeks praying for a silver bullet. A celestial intervention. I needed God to do something already.
This year I taught the Greek tragedy Medea for the first time. At the end, right when Medea is about to be put to death, a chariot pulled by fire breathing dragons swoops down and picks her up. The gods intervene on her behalf and she does not have to deal with this world. Lately, I think that is what I have been praying for. Will you please come get me out of this mess?
But I don’t worship the Greek gods. Instead God has gently, and in a hundred private ways, let me know that He is still Emmanuel. God with us.
I don’t know why all the losses came for me this year at the end. I don’t know why God won’t just come down and fix it already. There are moments, I think I will always have, where I certainly wish He would. But I am learning that God is never quite where you expect to find Him, but that He is always Emmanuel.
And I am grateful.
I needed to lean into Advent, and now I am ready to celebrate all 12 days of the miracle that is God, as a baby, just to be with us.