I wrote about it last year. The singleness of the season. The way it feels, for many of us singles, to live in November and December.
I’ve had pretty good form the last few holiday seasons, minus a few sadness glitches here and there. For the most part, I RSVP to parties, buy glitter pumps to wear with Christmas dresses, put my head down and muscle through the holidays, ready for January 3rd.
January 3rd seems to always be the day when we all go back to work, and when we all go back to work, being single is just another part of my life, it isn’t the thing that is noticed.
So I spent the holidays having fun, seeing friends, eating yummy treats, but trying to get to the end of the season quickly, so I don’t feel extra sad or lonely.
Because of that, I’ve never really celebrated Advent before.
If you look across the internet, and look at the products available, it has always felt like a family thing to me. Light the candles, teach the children. And so I put aside Advent, as a part of separating myself from feeling sadness for the life I don’t currently have.
My counselor challenged me this year — what if I took it slow, and actually felt every single day? What if there was something to be celebrated in the lonely and in the longing?
Isn’t that what Advent is actually all about? The celebration of the coming baby Jesus and the hope, expectation, and longing for His return?
Don’t miss the beauty of Advent because you fear the longing.
I get it. If you could see my journal, less than a week into the Advent season, you would believe me — I GET IT. But there’s something really beautiful too, about slowing down, spending a little time each evening reading, journaling, and praying by the lights of my Christmas tree.
I’m setting aside time to feel the longing — the longing for Jesus to make all things right, the longing for Jesus to answer my deepest prayers, the longing for Jesus to come back. I’m reading the SheReadsTruth Advent plan and The Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp. I’m choosing to feel this season. John Eldredge says that pain and pleasure originate in the same spot in our hearts, and the more I allow myself to feel the longing, the more my heart feels joy, too.
So I’m testing that theory this Advent season. I’m taking is slow, still buying glitter pumps for my Christmas dresses, but feeling and acknowledging and being honest about the places where I feel lonely.
This year, no matter your longing or loss, your pain or your hurt, celebrate Advent. Feel the longing. Because the joy to follow, when the promise arrives, will be all the sweeter.