Tuesday, December 24, 2013

ready or not.

What if I'm not ready, Lord?

I'm not ready to feel this way, I'm not ready for Christmas, I'm not ready for January, or my birthday come February.

What have I been doing, anyway? I get so caught up in what I have to do, I forget about the One I'm doing it for.

Do you want some news, dear self? You don't have to make everyone happy. You don't have to make cute handmade gifts for everyone or write Christmas letters or pretend like you're someone you're not to celebrate Christmas.

See, dear heart? Steady yourself. This isn't a performance, this isn't a race - this is the good fight.
Those things that stress you out and make you tense - when you're not someone's best friend or when you still need to work on all of your Greek homework - it's because you're striving to be good enough. Yes, you should do those assignments, but first - don't make those things define you. You're human and so is everyone that hurts you. Rest. Revel.
That Momma was unloading her dishwasher and I sat at her kitchen counter speaking with her and tending to her kiddos. We've been talking about high school and mean kids a lot lately. She flashbacks to those days and I bring some of the painful present to the table. "In these situations, " ones that she still finds herself in these years later, "I often feel like I am either too much of something or not enough." That's it. I'm striving to be good enough - for everyone. The Pastor, my friend, talks about the audience of One from the pulpit and I cringe. That's what I need. Because, once we start performing for the audience of One, we aren't footwork first and heart second. The audience of One first perfects the heart before the footwork creeps in naturally somehow. If I was more concerned with what the Lord thought of me than everyone else I wouldn't be worried about keeping busy all the time - I would be more concerned about sitting with Him. I would be more concerned about seeking His will above all the doubts in the back of my head. I would choose to walk in what He has revealed to me instead of asking for something a little bit more convincing.

The snows fall and I cringe, yet again. It's Christmastime and I don't have my act together. Again.

"...a few snowflakes were finding their way down, and the sky had the appearance of being so overcharged as to want only a milder air to produce a very white world in a very short time..." -Jane Austen, Emma.

It's beautiful. I love it - I just don't think I'm ready for more wrapping paper, anymore tearing of my heart, or for this new year that is supposed to FEEL like a new beginning.

"God does not wait for the world to get ready, He enters right into the mess." -Katie Davis.

Somehow, I have it twisted in my mind of how perfect the first Christmas was. Hello! Earth to Emilee! Joseph and Mary had been traveling for such a long time, they finally arrived in Bethlehem as Joseph yawned, they found no room to rest their heads, and as Mary enters labor they find shelter in a barn. There was a lot of awe that night, but when did we get the idea that it was silent? 

Mary didn't have her bag packed ready to go to the hospital and Joseph wasn't ready to deliver the Savior of the world. Mary grimaced in pain and the angels started to rejoice.

"He's coming! The Baby is finally coming!"
In that dirty barn, a prophesy was fulfilled and history was forever changed. It was just Mary, Joseph, and God. God was becoming a man as Joseph found a rag to wrap Him in and Mary wipes the sweat from her brow. She had just delivered the Deliverer.
Do you think she was mentally, emotionally, and spiritually prepared for all the trip to Bethlehem would hold? I don't think so. I do know, that she pondered all of this in her heart. When strangers started coming to visit, there was no front desk to check in to. The wise men just came and the shepherds started rejoicing without anyone's permission. Mary didn't tell Joseph to push them away. She knew she would have to share their Baby Boy with the world. She knew that someday a sword would pierce her own soul, too. It wasn't an easy Christmas and I wouldn't hold your breath until you find one. Christmas is hard... when you're anxious, grieving, tired, and not ready for the new year.

"He doesn’t mind that I am not ready yet and He doesn’t mind the wretched condition of my heart or the stench of my sin. God’s time is now and He enters into the mess, ready or not." -Katie Davis

It doesn't matter if I'm not ready.
God is ready. He is ready to lead me and walk with me in each new day. The first Christmas wasn't a white one or a glamorous one - it was a messy and glorious one. Which would you choose? Glorious or glamorous?
Stop putting every stressful and lovely thing upon your shoulders. Don't let everything you're not going to get done eat at you and beat you up. Walk with Him and allow Him to show you the way. He has promised that He would tell you if you need to walk to the right or to the left. Just rest and listen. Revel in the Holy Spirit's presence. It's easier said than done to trust and to listen to God's will first above everyone else's noise, but what better way to try than at such a time as this? After all, He's ready and waiting for you.
Jesus, show us how to ponder Christmas and prepare for the new year in the way that you would see fit. We love You.  
To read more of Katie Davis' thoughts that this post sprung off from, click here.

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