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Expectation and Longing

Updated: Nov 29, 2021


With the start of Advent this past Sunday, I was reflecting on this season of expectation and longing for the coming of Jesus. Anselm Grun writes in his Advent devotional book, Your Love Gives us Light:

Advent is a season meant to prepare us for the Lord's coming. He comes to us every day, and in so many ways: in our brothers and sisters as in the stillness when the clamor of our noisy thoughts finally abates. He knocks on our door through the quiet impulses of our hearts. When we open to him, Advent comes to fulfillment in us, the one whom we long for enters into the house of our heart.

Just days earlier, I had been on a virtual Friendsgiving call with some old college roommates. The call left me with an ache in my stomach that felt something like jealousy. One of the girls had given an update on her career in public health, leadership in her church community and developments in her humanitarian work. I was sizing my life up next to hers and felt small. My own career suddenly didn’t feel noble enough, the allocation of my free time felt overly self-gratifying, and my pandemic-related excuses preventing church involvement felt skimpy.

My first inclination was to bury the feelings, summon gratitude for the place in life I'm in, and move on. But I could feel God asking me to pause.

He was inviting me to look at these feelings with fresh eyes. He was showing me that what I had thought was jealousy was actually a longing He had given me for a larger purpose. This was a longing, and perhaps an invitation, to co-create a unique and expansive life with Him. Rather than discarding the feelings and moving on, I could see these feelings were God knocking on my door through the quiet impulses of my heart.

Anselm Grun's words and the experience of this subtle stirring in my heart, left me wondering what other ways God is coming towards me each day. Because these seemingly small movements from God feel to me like the most generous acts of love, and I want more of that.

My prayer this Advent season is that God would give me eyes to see and boldness to respond to His daily movements towards me.


-Melanie (this post is from the archives)

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