"There was a moment when the Presence of God was felt as uneasy morning sickness. Don’t be surprised if your current unease is that exact same avenue of Presence." - Scott Erickson
There has been something extra sacred for me in the celebration of this advent season. It seems more hallowed somehow to enter into the waiting, the expectant hope, the joy that this season brings when I too, am carrying in my womb the joy of new life!
Admittedly, our friend Scott's words above stopped me in my tracks, and gave me a lot to ponder. Maybe it's because I'm just getting to the other side of the "morning sickness" (what a misnomer!) phase of pregnancy, but it's also undoubtedly because it's so often hard to believe that God is at work in the unease and discomforting moments of life. Either way, I'm learning to lean in to the unease. I find myself desiring to breathe my fiat into even the most uncomfortable and worrisome moments of daily life.
Our family's practice of gathering around the advent wreath every evening, lighting the candles and praying together as we prepare our hearts for the coming of the light of the world is a particular solace to me. I remember years when it felt like my kids would never sit still long enough to accomplish these simple prayers, years when I wondered if I'd always be the only one who knew all the words to "O Come, O Come Emmanuel". I remember countless worries about if we were doing enough, or if we were doing it right. But that seems long ago now, and I've recognized that His Presence was with us then, as it is now. Suddenly, I don't wonder or worry much anymore. My children's voices all ring out loud and clear, and they know every word. The older ones have no problem spontaneously leading the prayers, and the familiarity of the tradition brings with it a sense of calm that stills and settles even the smaller ones.
The Light is coming, and The Light is here.
We are waiting with joyful hope!
As many of you know, the year 2019 was one of incredible transition for the Hickman family. There were countless moments of great discomfort, some broken dreams, and a huge amount of waiting and wondering at what the future might hold. It has been a year of hopeful waiting on the Lord. And yet, it has not been devoid of light. It has been a year of comfort, and stillness, and healing. So many of you, dear readers, have been a part of that. By your prayers and support, we have known solace in the midst of the waiting. As this advent season draws to a close, and the days of Christmas celebration descend quickly upon us, we want to reiterate once again our gratitude to each of you for your accompaniment throughout this year. We have no doubt that the Light has been present to us in all of the waiting. And our prayer for each one of you is to be able recognize the presence of the Savior who is at work in the everyday, ordinary, and even the uneasy, and uncomfortable parts of our lives. May we all like Mary, be able to say with unshakeable trust “be it done unto me according to thy Word.”