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Already, But Not Yet

And so it begins.

Advent.

A season of waiting—of preparing our hearts for the marvelous gift of Emmanuel, our Hope.

We wait, patiently, for our Light in the darkness.

But y’all, I have to admit, I am not a patient person and I do not like to wait or to be kept waiting. If I did not already know how the story ended—with beautiful baby Jesus—I don’t think I would be as pro-Advent as I am. It is easier to wait when you know God’s promise has already been fulfilled and there’s not really a question of when and how.

God always keeps His promises and God is always with us. Emmanuel.

But if that is so, why am I anxious with every other part of my life? Why was waiting for my future husband such a laborious, heart-wrenching attempt at trusting in God’s wisdom? Why now, months from our wedding, am I anxious for our future family, begging for the blessing of children and terrified of what happens if they are not God’s will for us? Why can’t I just sit still in my present season of life and soak in the abundant blessings I’ve already been given?

I know God is good and I trust that He will provide, but the waiting can be rough.

But maybe that’s why we celebrate Advent. In addition to the preparing for Jesus’ birth, this season is a reminder of the goodness of our Lord and that His promises are always fulfilled—even if they don’t look exactly how we had planned.

I don’t think Mary’s birth story went exactly as she had thought it would. (I could do without the manger and animals, but that’s just a personal preference, I suppose.) And yet, she trusted. And through that trust came Christ.

What would happen if I could mirror that radical trust? How might my life change if I lived perpetually in a state of knowing God’s love for me and anticipated excitedly, rather than anxiously, the goodness that will flow from that love—if my life proclaimed Emmanuel?

This season is a reminder of the goodness of our Lord and that His promises are always fulfilled—even if they don't look exactly how we had planned. Click To Tweet

Pray Padre Pio’s prayer of trust and confidence with me today.

Sarah Stanley is a small town Ohio girl who is mildly obsessed with all things Ignatian and is very passionate about faith, social justice, and the intersection of the two. She recently earned her Master of Divinity and now serves as the Director of Christian Service at a high school in New England. When she’s not working, she enjoys contagious laughter, travel, clever puns, and finding the good in all things. You can find out more about her here.

2 Comments

  • Reply
    Adrienne
    December 2, 2018 at 10:48 am

    I have been not so consistent about reading these devotions every day lately but it always seems that when I do, they speak directly to me! I am in a similar place as you- engaged to be married in two months and anxious as well— feeling all of those same things you mentioned! Thank you for using your beautiful gift of writing for such a GOOD mission!

  • Reply
    Dawn
    December 2, 2018 at 1:20 pm

    To my sisters in Christ,
    First off, thank you for sharing a practical example of how we should trust in God in our daily anticipations of life. Although this reflection encourages us to change our thoughts and perceptions, there could have been a mention of the importance of the transforming power of the sacraments and the Word of God because our desire to change is not enough (we need God). Specifically, in the sacrament of reconciliation when we confess the sin of fear and anxiety, we receive sanctifying grace which heals and strengthens us to ultimately overcome the sin. In addition, the word of God in this topic of fear should be committed to memory and replacing the negative thoughts that lead us to this sin. May the Lords blessing be upon you and the Power of his love transform the world around you. Peace of Christ

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