While We Wait: Day 23
Each day during Advent, we will post some sort of reflection having to do with waiting, anticipation, hope. Each one will be different, each one a chance to pause and take a breath during this busy season. Past posts are archived here.
10 years ago, this month, Russ and I were very much in a “Mary and Joseph” state of mind and expecting our second child. As the first of the month rolled around, I’d already had two false alarms-yet the only thing alarming for me was that this meant I was NOT having my baby yet.
With my baby bulge-no longer a bump-spilling over the confines of what once was my waist, I was moving slower and slower. As my nesting urges nudged me to spread my usual Christmas fanfare about the house, I found myself overwhelmed, as I gave in to more nesting or just sitting still on my ‘egg.’
Joshua was only two, and though Aijilán was not due until the 28th, our unfruitful little nursing-suite voyages had warranted very little preparation including shopping for our first-born, much less anyone else.
But despite my prenatal dilemma, I remember feeling so blessed to be able to identify with the matronly Mary. Here I was with child and a baby girl of my very own. My Christmas memories of Cabbage Patches and humanly baby dolls were materializing into reality. I was filled with anxiety and anticipation of what it would mean to love this little girl. Could I love her as much as I loved my sweet, little ‘drummer-boy?’
While I waited, what calmed me was having the hope that I could and that all would be well. Despite the fact that our tree was up, but bare; that there were no presents; and despite that I was unwittingly physically challenged, I was at peace. And for me, this is the way that it has been for much of my adult life. I am so grateful for the hope.
Romans 15:13 reads:
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
For me, my faith is fueled with this hope. No matter what happens or how unbearable it has been, in Christ, I have a hope-an expectation-that assures me that everything will be ok. Living with Him is a guarantee for which there is no expiration date. And that guarantee becomes the peace…the peace that passes all other understanding or confusion or doubt. I am so grateful that He came.
So while we wait, this is what fills my heart with joy. It makes me stop and hang a bauble just a little more slowly or is what made me try not to yell as my kids frolicked about when we were supposed to decorating the yard – I, just a bit more focused than they – stiffened, numb hands and all. The days and the weeks move so swiftly that I fear if I don’t slow down, Christmas will have been here and gone – and what a shame it would be to make so much preparation only to feel as though I missed it at December’s end.
Aijilán Sa-mara Mason, already filled with the same determination that she is today, couldn’t hold out for her appointed time. She arrived December 6, on a Saturday evening, a squirming, grunting little mass of beautiful joy.
As Russ was filled with contemplation about a job transition that would begin at the beginning of January, we had prayed and been given the time to welcome little AJ before he was to start. Though we knew what her first name would be, as Sunday afternoon rolled around we were still perplexed about her middle name, and then we made our decision. Her first name is found in the tenth book of Joshua and is the valley where he commanded the sun and the moon to stand still. And her middle name means, ‘ascended to God,’ which is how we felt that by the end of that day.
While we waited this is what we’d felt in the days leading up to Aijilán’s birth, wrought with false alarms, a job transition, and parents about to enter the unknown once again as we prepared to parent-not one-but two children. We felt that we had been in the valley of life for a season-but that Christmas, we were grateful and filled with joy to feel that our decisions were sound. We felt ‘ascended to God.’
Melia began attending Fellowship North 6 years ago when her husband of 15 years, Russell, joined the Programming/Worship team as a worship leader. A native of Little Rock, Melia has worked as a graduate assistant-instructor at UALR in the Rhetoric and Writing department. Her career also includes working as a Publications Editor for Leisure Arts, a Southern-Living subsidiary, AR Children’s Hospital, and St. Vincent Infirmary. She is currently serving as an Adult Ministries Coordinator here at FN. She and Russell have three children, Joshua, 12, Aijilán, 10, and Jonathan, who is five.
You can find Melia on Facebook.