Advent: The Big Wait

Advent is defined (as believers) as not only the arrival of the most notable and anticipated person, Jesus, but also the season leading up to his coming. Like the Jews and Gentiles who had heard of and awaited a Messiah, we are waiting too. Our personal stories of waiting still point back to God, just as every story in the Bible carries the same theme: a rescuer, a Son, a Savior.

Advent is about waiting. But really, just like our season of waiting, it’s also about the end, the prize, the Great Hope. Advent is about an arrival, the coming.

What’s so incredibly hard about our waiting is that we have no such promise. God doesn’t give us the specifics of if, when, or how we can grow our families. There’s no road map or 10-step checklist to a baby. No guarantee, no quid-pro-quo, no stopwatch on our suffering.

God is not cruel. Our God is a caring Father, a Perfect Planner. He is not absent or forgetful. Psalm 56:8 reminds us that He keeps careful  track of all our sorrows. He has recorded each tear. We don’t wait because of something we’ve neglected to do, nor can we do some perfect thing to “redeem” ourselves or make us more worthy of a child. I think one of the hardest parts of our waiting is the unknown: What will happen? What will our test results be? Why did we lose this baby? Why did the adoption fall through? Why can’t they tell me what’s wrong? What does that blood test mean? Why do I still feel as hopeless as I did last year during the holidays? Are we just going in circles? When will we grow our family? Will we ever grow our family?

Oh, my friend. I have been there. I can close my eyes and be standing in the cold bathroom at the specialist’s office, or kneeling on the little bath mat in my bathroom at home, or in my bed wide awake. All of the places where these questions cycled through my head. Over and over. We can feel like we’re on a proverbial hamster wheel—constantly moving, exhausted, but (feeling like) nothing is happening.  But something is happening, dear one. God is at work. Whether we can see it, or feel it, He is moving.

Seek Him. Cry out to him. Pray. Cling to Matthew 6:34: “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” When it is time, His time, there will be a step forward, or a time for rest, or an end to the waiting. The maddening part is that it is often not when we want or expect it.

Sally Lloyd Jones writes, “Christmas is when, at last, everything is ready. The time has come, at last, for God to give us his great gift.”  Christmas is cause for celebration. Jesus came to Earth, was born as a baby in a lowly stable. His birth put an end to the first season of waiting. The Savior had/has come!

Even though that first season of waiting ended with the birth of Jesus, we are in the midst of another—eagerly anticipating his triumphant return. Jesus has come, which is absolutely cause for celebration, and yet, we’re still waiting for his final coming. Just like so many of us have drawn joys along the way: a clear test result, a complete adoption file, a positive pregnancy test, there is more—time to pause, time to wait again, time to pray. There truly is a season for everything, including waiting. As we wait for our Savior to come back and restore his people, we may also be waiting to grow our families.

Friends, let’s REJOICE in each and every season: the past, the present, the future. Our mighty God has his hand in all of it, for each of us—every detail, every minute—all for our good and His glory.

Hallie Wallace -

Hallie Wallace is the Editor for Waiting in Hope Ministries and a local WiH support group in Tyler, Texas. After almost a decade post infertility, IVF and loss, she is humbled to be able to come alongside women who are walking where she has.  Hallie is a lover of words and a self-proclaimed word nerd, but also an encourager. Most days you’ll find her dancing around with her two girls and cooking breakfast-for-dinner for her husband Jason.

-Waiting in HOPE- Advent: The Big Wait