i can't even find the words.
she says boldly, as though a steel resolve in her voice will make her bravery stronger and she says, i don't pray for safety because what happens if this is God's plan for me?
it's advent and we are waiting...
waiting for the darkness to lift.
i light the first candle of this season in the evening, my girls taking turns to turn out the bright bulbs overhead and they wait for the strike of the match and for that one, solitary glow to cut through the black and we all hush.
bad things happen to good people, but what really does that mean? did Jesus nestle Himself in the womb of a virgin to save good people?
i think of the moment that match bursts into the smallest of lights and i think of that moment when He enters in, breaks through the black and the heaviness lifts...
in sin we are conceived...
in sin we live...
in sin we are condemned until that moment that we become His...
i think of her voice, trying so hard to sound strong, not thinking she is worth being kept safe,
and bad things happen to all people
but it was never part of His original plan.
And yet, if we let Him, He can use the painful things to cut through the dark and shine Light where there was none before.
we can pray for vengeance - He does say it is His.
we can pray for protection - He calls us to hide under His Wings.
we can pray for reconciliation - we are to live at peace with everyone, as much as we are able.
but what happens if above everything else, the prayer that leaves these lips is one that asks for His Will?
my belly is swelling so tight and so large. this little girl inside of me is stretching and pushing and i feel the weight of her in my bones.
i think of mary and her simple prayer,
behold, i am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me
according to your word...
i woke up from a nightmare in the dark of the morning a day or so ago, my heart racing and the terror settling close. and it was just a dream, but it could become very real and i laid under my warm covers and pressed myself up close against the warmth of my husband.
and i prayed.
at first i prayed for safety, for what i had seen to not come true.
i found myself begging over and over again for Him to stop it from happening to me, to us.
and my breathing became more ragged, my panic rising until i could barely lay still.
until i realized the only thing i could pray was for a willingness to bend to His Will for our lives, for His strength to be made perfect in my very present weakness and for each of our lives to be split open so that His Glory could shine through our imperfections.
it was then that i could rest,
when i took my eyes off of myself and my fear and the very last thing i would ever want to happen, and lifted them up to Him and to His will...
i could breathe again.
and this advent season, these long, dark days that lead up to the brightest of celebrations, it is for more than preparing homes and trees and cookies and presents...
it's for becoming present to His Coming and letting our lives be our gifts to Him...