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I lit a candle this morning

I lit a candle this morning.
For the first time.
Not just any candle.
The candle of Hope on this first day, this first Sunday of Advent.
Hope.
A simple word. But also not a simple word.
A complex and intricate word. A pregnant word.
Pregnant?
Yes, pregnant. Not the “have a baby in my belly” kind of pregnant. But the “full of meaning” kind of pregnant.
I’ve been pregnant six times with actual babies. Two ended way too soon, loss and grief and confusion permeating my heart. Four ended at just the right time, joy and life and expectation bursting onto the scene.
Pregnant.
This word. Hope. What I felt every single time those two lines appeared in that small oval on my bathroom counter.
This word. Hope.
Two times, it ended in a bloody mess. A bloody mess that brought the end of possibility, the death of the little life that had stopped growing, and abject heartbreak.
In this particular season of Advent, with all the death and heartache that surrounds us, it sure feels like I’m sitting in the middle of a bloody mess on my bathroom floor crying.
All I did was open my newspaper this morning.
[More lockdowns coming world-wide. Covid numbers rise again.]
[Death toll is now 10 after rampage at chaotic outdoor concert.]
[Largest inflation surge in more than 30 years.]
That was just the front page.
In this particular season of Advent, it’s very much okay to be sitting in the middle of a bloody mess on my bathroom floor crying.
It’s why I lit a candle this morning.
NOT because there is nothing to grieve.
NOT because everything is as it should be.
BUT exactly because there is lots to grieve.
BUT exactly because everything is NOT as it should be.
This word. Hope. What I felt every single time those two lines appeared in that small oval on my bathroom counter.
BUT this word. Hope.
Four times, it also ended in a bloody mess. But those times, the bloody mess brought the beginning of possibility, the birth of the little life that had grown just enough, and undeniable joy.
In this particular season of Advent, it feels unsure whether our bloody mess will end with grief or joy. Death or life. Heartbreak or hope.
It’s probably why we often find ourselves on the bathroom floor crying. Praying under our covers. Lighting simple candles on our kitchen tables.
It’s why I lit one this morning.
Mary. My favorite pregnant woman.
Young, poor, single. A nobody.
In a world where her headlines read just like mine.
[Unbridled sickness.]
[Unnecessary death.]
[Abject poverty.]
In a world where there was a lot to grieve.
In a world where everything was NOT as it should be.
BUT in her womb, a baby grew.
Just enough.
AND yes, her pregnancy ended in a bloody mess.
But hope tells me what her Baby tells me as He bursts on the scene at just the right time.
[I’m right here with you in the middle of your grief.]
[I will put things right and things will be as they should.]
[Take courage, my child. Prepare your heart for Me.]
It’s why I lit a candle this morning.

HOPE.

**If you want the whole devotional (and the next three Advent Sundays) including spiritual exercises and reflection questions, sign up BY CLICKING HERE**

Author:

I am a wife, mom, daughter, women's group leader, sister, marriage mentor, friend, speaker and lover of Jesus.

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