Thursday, December 10, 2015

what advent is really for, and what i'm learning so far

This is the part where I skip over the fact that this is the 2nd time I've written here since July. 

I'm not sure if you're supposed to start a post about Advent admitting that you weren't actually expecting God to change your heart that much during Advent - but that's where I'm starting.
I mean, I was hopeful that intentionally spending time in God's Word would help prepare my heart for Christmas. But that's kind of where I left it - Advent was "for Christmas." Reading the Bible daily during December is so that you aren't just focused on parties and presents, right?

I guess I overlooked the fact that the Word I was reading was written by the God who says that He wants to do "far more than we ask or imagine." And I'm so, so grateful that this is exactly what He's doing in my heart.

I'm learning that Advent is for so much more than preparing our hearts for a holiday -- it's for actually MEETING WITH JESUS. It's a time to let Him do work in our hearts that changes us, and that lasts way longer than the Christmas tree we purchased for our living room. Advent is an invitation to sit with the living God. To let the awe-inspiring mystery of Emmanuel shift how we think, how we love, and how we worship - in a way that lasts far beyond the month of December.

So we're ten days into this Advent thing, and I am sensing that shift in my heart. I can feel Him gently nudging me to believe Him more, in some areas that feel tender. I can feel my heart softening in places where I've been pretty stubborn. I'm realizing how much more deeply I can BREATHE when I choose to take refuge in Him, instead of in my own thoughts, hurts, and worries. Some of these things feel really fresh, and I'm not quiet ready to unpack them here yet. But nonetheless, God has already done more than I expected He would during this Advent season. And I'm excited for Him to take these truths deep into my heart, that I might learn to really believe them, and live them year-round.

It's still early in the month, if you want to hop into an Advent devotional or Bible reading plan! I'm reading the Naptime Diaries Make Room for Advent Devotional, as well as a free Bible reading plan by John Piper, with my church.

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