For the past few years, I have (like many others) participated in the practice of choosing one word for the year. Past words have included grow, change, embrace, and last years word: learn. It's funny to read those words and remember so many defining moments in the past few years.
It's also quite funny to me to think about the word I chose for the past year, and the word I would give 2014 when looking back on all that's happened. Because while I did set out to (and succeed in) learning plenty this past year, learn is not exactly the word that stands out in hindsight.
That word is patience. I feel that in every area of my life over these past 12 months, I've been forced to dig deep into my (mostly shallow) wells of patience. I've been thrown unawares into a season of longing and waiting, of hoping for what is to come.
In some ways, I believe that's just part of what it means to be human. This year during the advent season, I am really trying to slow down- to light the candles each week with a heart of thanksgiving for all that we have and for all that we are waiting for. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed with the gravity and depravity of our world. There is more brokenness than this one heart can hold. And because of that, I think a part of me is always waiting, holding onto that hope that better things are to come, longing for that reality in the here and now.
Somehow this puts into perspective for me my own longings over the past year. I am far from alone. As I wait with expectancy for what is to come, I am joined by many brothers and sisters across this world and across history that know what it means to hold that longing inside, afraid that the pain of waiting is too big for just one heart. And somehow, though it still hurts, and though patience still sounds like a far away & not entirely achievable goal, I wait anyways. Light my candles, grasp onto the thin whips of gratitude that blow across my heart like smoke and root myself in the belief that there really are better things to come.