When Advent Season Is Hard


So we fall into Advent, this time of waiting. We are waiting for the hope yet to come. Waiting to celebrate the hope we already have. Waiting to see, to understand better the gift given to us.

This is a season of expectations — and yet, for so many of us, a season of unmet expectations and bleeding hope. Maybe this is the first Christmas after a separation, a divorce in the family and trying to figure out how to divide time, how to share the days. So it is for us this year. Maybe illness has borrowed space this holiday. So you try to figure how to handle your heart, how to stop the bitterness from spreading. For some of us, a child has gone away. A loved one has left us. A friend is now unreachable. There is brokenness within.

Sometimes, it’s hard to reconcile all this brokenness and pain with the hope of this season. We fall into Advent, this season of waiting — but some days it’s hard to wait for a change to come, to endure one more day. Though there are lights all around us now, the pain is evident and so is the darkness.

When I go to the beginning of time, the beginning of the story of humankind? I see my brokenness already there.

The fall of man — the fall of my heart. I also see beauty in our brokenness. Not ours but the beauty of Love broken for us, heaven bent down to meet us wretched sinners where we are. The Perfect One carrying our failures and falterings, our guilt and shame — and the world shook as grace poured down and won the victory. It was the kind of love that bled raw. The kind of love that took so much, so that much could be given.

It is okay to feel that way as well. Your Lord and Savior, the One who gave His heart for you? He knows. He has walked the road you are walking on now. Your God — He feels the pain, the brokenness, the strings of your heart that are about to snap.

That, right there? Is the hope for us hurting, for us lonely or broken, for us tired or weary. To know that we need not walk alone with all this that we carry. We need not pretend to be okay. Yet we know, that there is something beautiful waiting for us.

“For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise: “For yet a little while, and He who is coming will come and will not tarry.” (Hebrews 10:36-37)

In the end, is that not the beauty of this season? The joining together of all of us broken and hurting, us weary and confused. We were all there already, in the Fall of Man — this stubborn heart of ours, wanting to decide what is best for us. But we know, that the best for us is the presence of God.

So how do we get it, the presence of God? We get it by joining one another, praying for one another. And we get it on our knees, letting go of these desperate needs and wants. We get it — when we want God. And He is there, only one step away. He is there, this bright light for us who are surrounded by darkness. He is there, for He is Emmanuel — God With Us.

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  1. Ronja,
    These words are profound, of Christ’s brokenness for us to heal our broken places. I’m thinking of you this holiday season as it must be a bit difficult to navigate this first season of change in your family, but just as your lovely words point us to the wait of what we’ll someday experience eternally, we wait this advent season for hope to come to us, for surely it will, in due time. Sending love and prayers to you across the ocean tonight! xoxo