Happy New Year. Here we are…again.
If that opening sounded flat and empty, yep. That’s about where 2020 has left my ability to rose-color anything. For those that follow my writing, you know that Advent has historically been one of the two most important seasons in my journey to find spiritual connection. I have explained the historical significance before. I have also written extensively during Advent in 2018 and 2019. This has always been a digging in season. One that produces good hard work. One that pulls me back to the story that is familiar and brings comfort. And yet here I find myself, sitting on the bathroom floor on this first Sunday of Advent with little certainty, no familiarity and a wicked rebellious streak that tells me that I need to sit this one out. But I can’t. So, what now?
In case you have missed the 2020 journey of chaos, let me catch you up:
I picked RELEASE as my word of the year. Stupid.
My journey into my undoing (that’s what I’m loving referring to this season as) met the words of my blog for the first time.
I tried to let myself question many things during Eastertide. And it ended here.
What no one really understood until recently, was the depth of the journey. I’ve been doing the hardest work.
Just rereading those 4 posts makes me emotionally want to hide. Well, physically, too. But that’s a conversation for another time and place. This is what I drag into Advent today. I drag doubt and pain and mistrust and disgust. I bring hurt and jealously and irritation. These are my starting points. And in year’s past, I would write that today is about Hope. And I would confidently know that Hope is coming in just weeks. And waiting is so good. But instead I write things like this to people in my life:
“I’m struggling. Advent starts on Sunday and for the first time in my life, I have no connection to the Church and little desire to focus on the “reason for the season”. I don’t know what I believe about Jesus. I don’t know if his birth really matters the way that I always have. But there is something that keeps calling me to to Hope, Peace, Joy and Love. What does it look like to embody those words in my soul?….This Advent looks so different it hurts. I can’t rest on what I’ve always done. I can’t read the daily devotion on the Advent internet sites because it doesn’t fit anymore. I can’t even really wrap my mind around what I need, so I’m sitting in the middle of the chaos. I feel like a teenager that just wrecked her room in raging fit and now has the choice to clean up the wreckage or burn the house down.”
I have never feared the real. And I write these words today as a warning as much as anything. I don’t know what this Advent brings. I don’t know what I might have to say in the coming weeks. So, if it is discouraging or hard for you to read about doubt or loss of faith or even hear the wrecked honestly of my foul mouth, you may want to skip my Advent ramblings this year. But if you want to hear about how in the midst of faithless-ness, I have chosen to sit and wait, let’s go.