11 Dec Joyful Expectation | December 11
Trust in the LORD with all your heart; and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge God, who will direct your paths.
When I was denied admission to the music program after choosing the university because of its good reputation for that very program, I stood on the threshold of a metaphorical doorway – unsure if I should reenter that room months later after more practice and dedication, or if I should step all the way through that threshold into a hallway of unknowns. I was standing between what I had thought my purpose was and a bunch of unknown possibilities.
In all honesty, I was probably more disappointed that my plan was shaken than that I was told “no” or “try again later” to the music department, because aside from being interested in firefighting when I was a toddler, I had always wanted to be a music teacher. I taught Sunday school music at church, took music theory classes, participated in community and school musicals, took vocal lessons, and did all I could to feel prepared for this path I was sure that I was on.
There had been security in knowing the plan and being able to actively work toward it, but suddenly, my stability in a plan was lost.
In advent, we know what we’re waiting for because through tradition, we repeat this same wonderful story each season. We can imagine what the anticipation was like for Mary, Joseph, and the world, but we know the end result and so in some ways, advent can seem like an easy wait. But in our own lives, these times of uncertainty, transition, and waiting are harder because we can’t see what’s coming and can’t be as sure of how to prepare for what’s next.
I often want to skip through the uncertainty of transition. Even in my work here, I sometimes want to skip the transition period and get right to being secure! It’s like me saying, “let’s skip advent and just bring in baby Jesus!”
But during these times of transition or “Holy Spirit tornadoes” is when I become most aware of how God is a master coordinator. Even before I knew music education wasn’t my path, God had already provided experiences, insight, support systems, and affirmations that would guide me to and prepare me for where I am now. I even recall looking at my resume one day in college and realizing that so much of what I’d experienced was preparing me for a path into youth ministry! As we wait in, wonder about, pause over, trip through, or freeze above our thresholds, God is coordinating.
We might be unsure of which direction to put our focus, but there is someone who really knows what is coming and what is needed. I admittedly don’t seek out or naturally enjoy the liminal seasons of my own life, but I trust that when they come, God is working on the details and coordinating what will be needed with whatever path I take going forward.
by Becca Mortensen
This post is part of a series of Advent Reflections – “Joyful Expectation”
Learn more about the series at gslcwi.com/advent