When Hoping Hurts – A Life Abroad |

My favorite factor about Christmas has all the time been the identify Immanuel, and what it actually means. To have an all-powerful creator God who noticed that an important factor for him to be and do is to be current: to be God-with-us. At the same time as a toddler, with out understanding the theological fantastic thing about this, I cherished Immanuel.

Within the tumult of ongoing private {and professional} storms, with no religious group to uphold me, I discover myself ruminating on the connection between Immanuel and hope. Each really feel distant from me in my present circumstances. When somebody talks about hope, I need to stroll away. There’s no place for hope on this pit. Issues will occur as they occur, and there’s no level in hoping for them to fall a sure method.

Folks wishing for the very best for me, saying they hope and pray issues will work out even higher than anticipated – this makes me really feel alone, not hopeful or supported. Extra comforting are those that merely acknowledge that my scenario is terrible after which embrace me in life, sustaining presence with out anticipating me to carry out both grief or pleasure for them.

Proper now, hoping hurts. It hurts to recollect how I beforehand constructed a enterprise from nothing to a habitable earnings. I have a look at empty financial institution accounts, and the life I lived two years in the past appears like one other lifetime. It hurts to think about dwelling with my husband in our own residence, as a result of they’re on the opposite facet of the world, out of attain.

Which brings me to Immanuel: God with us.

The Almighty God of affection checked out a darkish and damaged world, and he knew that what we wanted wasn’t inspirational tales, cheery phrases, ideas and prayers, or to be checked in on. What we wanted was presence.

The hope of Christmas isn’t that issues are fantastic now that Christ is right here.

The hope of Christmas isn’t that Jesus will repair all the things.

The hope of Christmas isn’t even that Easter is on the horizon and THAT will repair all the things.

The hope of Christmas is Immanuel.

The hope of Christmas is that we aren’t alone.

The hope of Christmas is that now we have a God who has lived within the darkness with us.

The hope of Christmas is that Immanuel is in it for the lengthy haul.

Our God doesn’t swoop in and save us on the finish. He’s right here for the entire journey. The entire darkish and damaged expertise of life amongst messy and tousled individuals. He’s the buddy who sticks with us after we’re not good to be round. He’s the one who will sit with us in silence, not simply provide cliched phrases of “consolation.” He understands that hope isn’t about twirling within the sunshine; it’s about believing in mild whereas dwelling in utter darkness.

Typically, remembering the nice that was – hurts.

Typically, believing within the good that will probably be – hurts.

However it’s right here within the darkness, the brokenness, the mess and destruction, that we discover Immanuel. God with us. That is the actual hope of Christmas.

I don’t have to vary, I don’t have to repair something, I don’t have to stick on a smile or make myself peppy. These items aren’t hope. I don’t should consider that immigration paperwork will occur rapidly or easily. I don’t should consider my enterprise will get better. I don’t should consider my well being will ever be okay.

Hope is figuring out that what I see now isn’t all there’s.

Hope is figuring out that it doesn’t matter what befalls me – Immanuel.

Hope is figuring out that journeying by way of darkness is a part of the journey of religion, and never a diversion from it. It is a chance to expertise Immanuel.

Jesus seems to be at my darkish and damaged life and is aware of that what I would like isn’t inspirational tales, cheery phrases, ideas and prayers, or to be checked in on. What I would like is presence with me on the journey. What I would like is Immanuel.

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