This year's Advent finds my spirit in a tender, grieving place. This year promises to be a different season than maybe anytime in my life. I know that I'm not alone in my grief. Dear friends have lost loved ones recently. Friends and families are experiencing deep, deep sadness from loss. This year grief is companioning of us into the holidays. Always we are learning. Each season, each year we are learning in new ways. But some learning seasons are easier to enter into than a holiday season feeling overcome with grief. Changes have come to my life that have left me feeling disoriented and lost. What was up is now down. What was clear is no longer so. And in the midst of all of this, Advent comes.
For this season, I hope to write daily blogs. As we make our way to Bethlehem, I am especially mindful this year that my heart awaits the promise of more light to come.
Many of us enter into this year's Advent with heavy - yet - perhaps more than ever - expectant hearts for what is yet to be revealed. If you are also going through a time of loss, or if you know someone who is, I hope that these daily writings resonate from the inside-out to you. I hope that these words can remind you that you are not alone. None of us is alone We are not alone because God journeys with us. Emmanuel, God-with–us sharing with us this Advent journey.
For this Advent journey, my intention will be to weave together seven different themes, threads for each day of the week. Beginning tomorrow and continuing through Christmas morning, we will be walking with these seven companions:
Sundays - (wisdom that holds us in our) words,
Mondays - waiting in the midst of grief,
Tuesdays – light that comes in the darkness,
Wednesdays - songs,
Thursdays - (following our) compasses,
Fridays - (three) spiritual practices,
Saturdays - (being tethered to) guides.
For those of us acquainted with grief in this holiday season, this Advent may be especially difficult. And here we are, entering in. Left foot, right foot we begin this journey. One by one and two by two we begin this journey. In our gatherings and in our carolings, in our expectations and intentions as we make our way on this December journey, I wish you peace and hope ...and most of all I wish you lovingkindness along the way.