I’ve confessed before that relocating is one of the most painful experiences for me to undergo. For me, it feels like the closest experience to dying I’ve ever known. I give up so much of the “me” I’d come to be in one place… faith formation coordinator, religious education teacher, vacation bible school coordinator, book club member, Bunco player, room mother, PTA chairperson, committee member of x, y, and z, etc. etc….only to find myself uprooted and transplanted to another place where people do not know my gifts, my favorite past times, or even my (often sarcastic) personality. It takes time to get to know others, to get to know who I will count among my friends, and who I will come to consider family.
There is no blue print for how to do this.
Much like the relocation experience for me, I believe we are not meant to stay whole during this Advent season’s experience of waiting and darkness. Like our landscaped bushes and shrubs during this season, parts of us are meant to be trimmed away, and left broken and raw as the darkness sets in. There we sit stunned, immobile, and unsure of where to go from here.
Then, eventually, we catch a glimmer or a twinkle perhaps, of something—someone–glistening in the darkness. Our eyes begin to adjust, ever so slowly, and gradually we make out silhouettes of others that reflect and project the light our way. Pretty soon, even the heavy snowfall bounces the light around and we feel ourselves lighter, brighter, more hopeful of things to come.
Finally, we realize perhaps this isn’t the end after all, but rather the increasing of Someone in us, and the decreasing of the self we are no longer meant to be. (John 3:30)
It is yet another journey for our soul.
And like all journeys, it requires trimming back some areas of our lives, so that what matters most can break forth and blossom when the light dawns.