I'm sitting here quickly editing some images of my boys that I snapped the other morning while they were playing together. Candle is lit, Christmas lights are strung, the vinyl record is playing, my coffee in hand.. I cannot help but tear up with so much sweet joy.
A few nights ago I cried myself to sleep fighting the belief that I am a big failure in all the things of life. I know this is a lie I am always trying to ignore and rebuke. My gut says many people fight that lie. But it's hard when everything I am doing seems to be falling short, you know?
As the boys were wearing their matching onesies that we ordered as yet another adoption fundraiser (shout out to Baylee Hart at Whimsey and Wanderlust for an awesome design, ONCE AGAIN) and playing together in their small room that I love, my heart swooned and swelled so big.
These boys are miracles. Both of them. We all are. In so many unique and detailed ways.
One little man would pick up a toy car and the other would drop the block he had to grab the car. And round n' round in circles, they would trade toys and teeth on them along the ways, passing slobbery snotty mucus back and forth.
This time of year, the advent, is always so confusing. I mean, not really, but really. See? Already confusing. It is so filled with joy and hope, lights and Christmas magic, singing sweet and silly carols. But it is also filled with sorrow and loneliness for many, sickness that remains, fractured families, and the messes that we are all wading through in our dailiness.
The dailiness continues to have the mess of us, in addition to the twinkle of advent. Sometimes it seems fake and inauthentic to hang those Christmas lights, play those Christmas carols, bake those cookies, and shout from our social medias the joys of Christmas...it seems in-genuine when it feels like the reality of life is breaking at the seams and our words are breaking the ones we love most.
Sometimes the advent season seems like a facade. A lie we can live in to feel better.
But it isn't. It's not a facade.
I don't think the point of Christmas and the Holidays is to show the world how good and perfect we are. How pristine our lives are, how right we are living, how we have it altogether.
I believe it is entirely okay + possible to exist in both the reality of grief and sorrow and brokenness, while also being swallowed up whole with hope and grace and joy. I have experienced both sadness and hope wrapped into the same moment, which ushers a tired heart into a surpassing peace. Not a jumping up and down giddy joy or hope, but a calm and steady hope that anchors us.
I mean, what if the point of the advent season is to bring us back to the truth that Jesus came despite and even because of our mess? What if He squeezed His gracious, unfathomable, godly self into a tiny human baby body because He wanted to reveal His unending love and graciousness amidst the mess? In the thick of all of our mistakes and cracks and weaknesses? What if the point of advent is that there is hope despite all that seems entirely lost + hopeless?
He is faithfully present dear friends and when you don't have the strength to believe it, remember there are those of us who do for you. And as I sip my cold coffee, edit these sweet-tear jerking images of my boys, I am reminded that He is in all of the details. I think of adoption and how it has changed our life so much, for the better. Adoption is born out of complete, COMPLETE tragedy. It is born out of loss of the most precious parts of life. It is born out of darkness. And yet...yet it can be so beautiful, so healing, so hope-giving. It can piece together families and give a mama hope + confidence that she is giving her child a whole and stable life.
I think advent is much like this...the coming of something beyond our expectations, to redeem the utter brokenness and tragedy.
He is Hope and Hope anchors when everything is turbulent.