So here we are, the dawn of Advent, the beginning of a season of anticipation; anticipation for so many wonderful, poignant things…but let’s just be real, as much as we press Jesus into our sweet children, the biggest thing our kids are anticipating is all the Christmas morning delights. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to back off on celebrating the Advent, the remembering of Christ and the longing for Him. We are going to embrace Jesus this month every single day, and hope to understand the Gospel in a more profound way than ever.
This past week was so full of memory making and purposeful family time that I didn’t even take any pictures of it! But maybe like Mary, I will ponder all these sweet moments with my family and tuck them away for when I am old and it’s all just a fading memory.
But as much as this week was filled with snuggles and movies, roller coasters and pies, Christmas tree drama and Scattergories–full of love and laughs–sometimes my heart still feels lonely. Do you ever feel like this? Is this just a female thing, I wonder? How can my life be so full of people and goodness and peace (for the most part, excluding all the times my children are fighting with each other), and then my heart feels lonely?
Maybe there’s real struggle and longing for more, more real fellowship and community, more openness and realness with the people we see every week, more vulnerability. Maybe I’m too self-protective to be real with people, and maybe I isolate myself from deeper connections. And these things I know are true concerns and very real (and I’m sure I’m not the only one).
But maybe more than that, my heart just knows that the biggest thing it needs is Jesus. My circumstances, my family life, my sweet marriage, my lovely home can all be sources of joy, but none of it is lasting joy–my heart needs to be filling up with Jesus. And oh I so want this! But friends, this is so hard! And I can only assume it’s hard for you too, right?
And maybe over a week of holiday celebrating where I didn’t even open my Bible once, my heart is saying, “Hey lady, don’t forget the real thing, the real deal, your first love. You can’t get by on snuggles and laughs, you need Jesus, get yourself back in the Word!”
So this morning, as I settled back into my routine of early morning Bible reading, I turned to 1 Peter, which for me is like home, one of my favorite books in the Bible. And of course, it spoke to me in such a comforting way,
It’s so good to know that Jesus is the Shepherd and Overseer of my soul. Gosh, when my soul feels lonely and weary, I have an Overseer? Almost incomprehensible, but so good for me to remember. And in this busy season, when the to-do list can seem impossible to get through, and when all I really want to do is have a soul that’s at rest, I can look to Jesus who is tenderly caring for my heart, knows what’s going on in there, and He’s working on it in His good way.
Maybe you are feeling some of these same things, and I hope you can draw some comfort from these thoughts as we approach this beautiful time of year. None of the good things we will do and experience this month will bring your soul what it really needs, which is Jesus. Let’s press into Him every single day, through the good and the bad.
It’s what our soul really needs, friends.