Blogging this year has opened my eyes to see and understand that life is a journey. I have had so many moments of peace and chaos. Of fear and bravery, of speaking with truth and wisdom in one moment, and then fighting to believe those same words are true in another moment. I have fought hard to ‘learn to hear the Father’s voice’ only to realise that this is a continual process of learning, of getting it right and getting it wrong. I have fought wanting to control and wanting to live in submission. The following letter is written from me to God, digesting through the continual tangle of thoughts in my mind. It is ultimately a reflection of Christmas, positioned strategically at the end of the year. The December season is something I have learnt to really love over the past few years. I love that it is a brilliant combination of rest and reflection of the year past, filled with gratitude of what God has done, mixed with a great anticipation of the New Year. If the discipline of reflecting has taught me anything it is this: that life is an ongoing journey. And in it, there is purpose.
What. A. Year. December always feels rushed to me, right up until the 25th, when all the excitement and expectation falls into some strange tangent slow motion of belonging, and rest and joy. The year goes slowly, slowly through January to July. then August, September, October just happen, you blink and it is December everywhere. Santa always arrives early, the shops are filled to the brim with things. Maria Carey and Michael Bublé on repeat for weeks. You’re trying to catch up with everyone and everything before the 25th ’cause it’s dawned on you that you haven’t seen them since last December. Work is busier leading up to the break, school is finishing, everyone is a little crazy until suddenly, it’s Christmas and there’s peace – everything falls into slow motion and that morning could last forever in my memories.
Was that what it was like leading up to the birth of your son Jesus? Were you filled with expectation and longing as you awaited the fulfilment of what you had promised all along? I’ve spent this year, prompted by you last January, reading through the Bible. It has amazed me that the entire message of the old testament pointed to the moment that we’re celebrating tomorrow. I know there was so much in your word that showed the history of your people, but all the while, the entire text is peppered and seasoned so beautifully with the promise of Jesus. Reading it simultaneously with the New Testament God, there is so much truth seen and so much more yet to be seen.
So I can only imagine, that when the sun rose that morning so many sunrises ago now, you were filled with so much joy. You knew what would happen that day before the birds had even sung their song. You had already placed the stars in the sky that would guide us to you, laid out the plans that would point us to you. Was there chaos the week before Jesus was born too?
We head through life so ‘full stream ahead’. I imagine we miss an awful lot of ourselves, of the lives of those around us, or you Lord? Are we missing what you are speaking now? How can I even begin to explain or digest what this year has looked like for me? I feel as though all the possible growing happened last year, yet here I am, at the end of another year of challenge and stretching, standing taller than before. And somehow, unlike previously, there is more peace in it. I have learnt to love the wilderness. To focus in the seasons of drought, not on what I don’t have yet, but Father what you are doing in me that I do have. Yes, I am still asking for the rain, and the fruit to harvest, and the full womb, because I know that’s where you want me, yet my focus is not there anymore. It is right here, living in the moment. It means making mistakes in the moment, taking the risks, being brave, without having to know all the answers. Is that what Mary was like when you asked her to be the Mother to your promised? I imagine there was more questions she had then the gospels let on.
Sometimes I know I am too afraid of what the future has or doesn’t have for me, that it cripples my ability to live now. Yet that is not what you have asked. You have said not to worry, that you will be my leader and that I will not fall. That promise is evident when I read the Christmas story, or hear the gospel sung in many carols – you have said that we would not perish, that our inheritance would be eternal life, that you would send a Saviour, and a Saviour you did send. You fulfilled your promise then, won’t you do it again now?
I love Christmas morning. There is a joy as people give to one another out of love, just as you did then many years ago. We fill our trees with memories of the places we have been and the people we have met. It is a testimony of you reaching down to us, not bound ever by distance or time. There is a meal, of family gathering together to enjoy one another and celebrate differences – always the best dysfunctions come out now, yet I still love it. I know this isn’t what Christmas is like for everyone. But one thing remains the same – even if it looks different on the outside, your peace is still at the heart of it. It is a story of love triumphing over all evil and the answer for what is to come. Do you know why I love New Years so much? Because after a year of hardships, the people come together at Christmas to give thanks and to celebrate the gift you gave us by giving to others. Then the New Years comes a week later and people, now filled once again with hope, come together to celebrate and bring in the new year. I enter every New Year filled with hope that the Lord would move again. I ask again every New Year that you would come, that you would finish what you started.
If I could ask for anything this New Years, it would be a greater hunger for you Jesus. That I would not be bound by my own finite understanding of what you can do in my heart. That I could grasp even more just how high and how wide your love is God. I do not want to ever accept that I have seen enough, or heard enough of you God, because your infinite heart is beyond my understanding. So despite my own fatigue, God if your will permits, allow me another year of wilderness, so that I might know fully what it means to be dependent of you. And if it is indeed time for the SpringTime you have promised, in you I will rejoice greatly. I will enter the New Year with worship. Thank you for your Saviour. In you I have found my peace. There is so much more to write, but for now, that is all. Merry Christmas, and Happy Birthday to you Jesus.
Love you long time,