this Advent get pulled in by God and fight fear

Originally published Thursday, 01 December 2016.

It can be awkward, fighting fear.

The times when your mind is too full and your heart is too aching and–when it is time to speak–tears come instead.

The noise is loud now, yes? The invitations to do and go and respond feel all too much?

I know.

I feel it too.

fight fear

The day before, I had stopped the car in front of our bungalow a few minutes before picking up the kids from school. The front yard a disaster–port-a-potty outside the house’s front window, storage units in the driveway, trailer piled with remodel debris parked in front of the porch. The house must be made a mess before it is made beautiful–yes, I know. But still, after six months. I miss home.

But it is not just this home, I miss.

I know.

“I see Him in front of me as I look down. He puts His hand underneath my chin and lifts my face to His.”

“I find Him in the mornings. I need Him to fill me. I’m missing Him when I don’t spend the first part of every day with Him.”

“We are at the table, my family and me. I see us all together. And then there is Jesus, way at the other side of the room, waiting. I see Him. He asks me if I would like Him to draw near.”

I know.

We need God to meet us, equip us to face what makes us weary–the shopping, the agenda, the shuttling from one thing to the next, the loneliness from forgetting He is here, right here.

fight fear

Yes, He is here, in the moments of hurry, but we don’t see Him. Yes, He is here, in the pressure to get through a day, but we miss Him.

We ache from missing Him. Over and over again.

I sit in the car and remember what He said when I asked Him what Advent means: turning.

“Advent is the time of waiting for what is already here, who has already come. It is a time of turning–turning inward to study your heart. Turning inward to listen for my voice. Turning inward to heed what is true. Advent is for emptying oneself to receive joy in abundance.”

And this is the kind of invitation I need–the invitation to turn toward Love, toward Life; the invitation to lay down fear, anxiety, pressure to perform by culture’s dangerous and manipulative standards.

I turn toward Jesus, and I am filled, equipped to face this battle that will otherwise kill my heart.

Turn, my soul, turn.

What is it going to take now, soul, to turn toward Home, toward Heaven that is within me this moment, right here?

Let Me pull you toward me, love. I am here. Let Me pull you deeper in.

And I open my hands, and I open my heart, hungry to be sustained by Love.

So again, I choose.

Pull me in, Father.

Again I choose.

fight fear

And it is not difficult this time, this act of surrender, to turn. I am too weary, too famished for Him to not let Him pull me in. This is how I will be equipped to love my friends, love my family, write in truth, work with steadfastness. I will let God pull me in.

In the mornings, when I read His word. In the car, when I am alone and I picture Jesus’ face, or the face of my Father. In the work day when I ask Him what it is I need to do, what task is for me to complete. In the afternoon-evenings when the whole family stretches out in different corners and dinner is cooking and I seek His patience, His energy, to coax/love another child and not yell. In the night when I lay my head down and ask Him for His touch to quiet me.

Pull me in, Father. Pull me in closer, closer still.

What weight is on your heart now, sister? What does it look like for you to turn?

This Advent, let us let God pull us in. This is how we fight the fear perpetuated by our culture.



Jennifer J. Camp is the author of Breathing EdenLoop, and Loop Advent.

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