I watched a family light the second candle on the Advent wreath today, and was stricken with a moment of panic. SECOND WEEK OF ADVENT!!! I'M NOT READY!!! I'm not ready for Christmas! I'm not ready to even think about the Lord's birthday! My nativity is still in the box! Lights are only up that Lydia took the initiative to put up! I'm NOT ready!!!
Some years, I've had most of my shopping and half of my wrapping done by now, and I am not exaggerating when I say I have barely started. As I have mentioned, I'm just not ready...and I'm a little overwhelmed. BUT the good news is that this year, Christmas is on a Sunday. So, really I have three weeks left before Christmas Day. I can do it. I just have to calm down a minute and pace myself. I work really well off of a list. So, I'll just make my list, and check the items off one by one.
The first thing on my list has nothing to do with the holiday, and it's getting in the way of everything else. My three year anniversary tomorrow keeps pushing itself to the front of my mind. I try to just ignore it, and end up thinking "what was I doing three years ago tonight?" Was I ready then? I had most of my Christmas shopping done (luckily). I had things planned, and prepared, and micro-managed. But was I ready for the things Advent is all about? Had I done everything in this life to prepare for the next one? Had I prepared for the coming of Christ at the end of the age?
Was I ready to meet my Savior?
Maybe that's why I didn't get to see His beautiful face. I wasn't ready to spend eternity with my beloved Maker, and after three bonus years to work on it, I'm still not sure I'm ready. Willing, yes, but ready? The closer we get to each other, the more I realize how far I have pushed Him away. Why? Is what I want really better than being embraced in perfect unending Love? Not even close! I'm supposed to be loving and faithful, and I try, but I'm not 100%. That's why I need Jesus this Christmas. More than ever, I need his gifts of grace and mercy. I need the freedom of knowing that the things "I can't", "He Can!" I need his gentle reminders that my mission, ministry and purpose is to Love. And even if I'm not ready, He is ALWAYS ready and willing to love me, and show me how it's done.
The rest of the things on the list will need to wait. The WomenHeart Support Network Meeting will happen. It will be the blessing that God chooses for it to be. School is school. The gifts will get bought. The lights will get hung, but none of it is as important as my heart being ready. Tonight, my heart is working just fine. I have a pulse that's keeping me upright and coherent. I feel so grateful to God for a properly beating heart, and more time with my family and friends! I'm so glad I was alive today. I'm hoping for another day tomorrow, but if that's not God's plan, I'll be swaddled in Love instead.
I'm a lot less panicky now. Maybe I'm more ready than I realize.