The holidays. They just have a way of bringing to light all of our suffering, don’t they?
Something about all my siblings being in one place while eating and drinking food I knew too much of would put me in the hospital while discussing the way their lives and families have grown and changed left me feeling so slapped in the face with the parts of my life that feel currently unsettling at this year’s Thanksgiving.
Do I wish any of the good things above would go away? NO I DON’T. Seeing the dreams come true of those closest to me brings me serious Joy (and wanting them to fully embrace that joy is one reason I don’t always like to talk about my own suffering). But Lord, I didn’t prepare my heart this year.
In a perfect world, the holidays might be a time of learning to depend on one another and truly sharing all of what’s on our hearts. But, most of the time that doesn’t happen and we hone in on happy things. On this person getting married and this person buying a house and this person’s new job and this person’s new baby. GOOD THINGS. Incredibly good things that are incredibly WORTH CELEBRATING.
But me? Yes there is good…but I’m still struggling. Still figuring out how to live my life with chronic pain. Still figuring out how to faithfully stick to the minimal foods I can eat that don’t impact my pain. Still figuring out how on earth to balance having a job and a social life while having a constant migraine. Still figuring out what the heck I’m realistically being called to in terms of my vocation, particularly if my body remains in its current state (tho I try to cut that one off quickly). All the same things I wrestled with last year at this time. And the year before that. And the year before that, but only in different capacities. And this year, I just felt so tired. So, so tired of being the one whose always struggling.
When taking some time to reflect yesterday and grieve the pain, I found it hard to rediscover the strength and joy I can usually scrape up when stepping away. And instead, I just felt heavy.
However, in taking more time to reflect on this, part of me thought that maybe, just maybe, it is actually perfect to start the season feeling this way. Incredibly aware of my own mess, my own struggles, that seem particularly so so unfair. Maybe this is actually the perfect opportunity. To wait.
To make a choice to believe in the beauty that can come from all of this. And wait for that to happen.
Not in a way I try to manufacture in order to make myself feel “merry & bright”. Not in a way that means using all the extra materialism and flashy things of this time to distract myself. But by resting. And believing. That God will come. And somehow be born into the midst of all of this.
As I sit here with throbbing head pain and a stomach that has no desire to eat any more hamburgers or fish or any of the minimal foods that don’t bother me and only wants all of them that do…I honestly struggle to grasp what this could possibly look like.
But I’m going to believe it will happen. Because isn’t that what this season is for anyways?
Chewing on that? Allows my heart to feel a liiiitle less dread and a little more gratitude for the hope of this season. I hope it does the same for you. 😘 #Advent