In the past, I haven’t really ever thought too hard about the waiting part of advent outside of waiting for presents and holiday events. Up until recently, December flew by in a blur of finals and traveling back home for the holiday. While finals were stressful, finishing them was always satisfying. December has always been a time of catharsis and rest for me, but this December and last have been different.
Last December I was waiting desperately for news of when I was going to get my visa information and when I would finally be able to leave the US. It was super stressful since I had no clue when I would be able to apply for my visa or when be leaving so I did not know when I would need to quit my job or pack my bags. I was so ready to go and there was nothing I could do to make any progress toward that goal. I was stressed and becoming more and more afraid that I would not even be able to go that school year. For the first time ever, the message from the angels spoke to me. “Be not afraid!” I was afraid but that emotion was making the wait any easier. Focusing on the holiday and time with my family was the best way to pass the time and make the time fly by.
This year the waiting has come in a different form. I have spent a large part of this month in a cycle of a day or two of energy and okay health followed by three to four days of deep fatigue and pain. I have spent much of this December waiting for my body to let me do the things I wanted and needed to do. Laying in bed for sometimes days at a time waiting and waiting for the pain to calm down or to finally have the energy to do more than keep yourself alive is hard. Not knowing if or when my body will get out of this cycle is daunting and scary. I want to do so much more than my body lets me do. It is times like this that really challenge my faith, but I know I will keep on keeping on because I will have more good days. Focusing on the moment when things are good and not letting fears of future bad interfere with the good times. When I am in pain it is hard to remember that I am doing what God needs me to do by resting. I hate having to take so many sabbaths but they are necessary for me to be able to do the work in the world that God is calling me to do. Waiting and hoping for chances to do more for the communities I have been working in is hard, but just like advent the wait is hopefully almost over and new good days are close.