Today kicks off our Christmas Guest Post Series and I’m beyond thrilled to introduce our first poster, Sara Hagerty. She’s no stranger to Long to Love, since I link back to her whenever I get the chance. Her story, her desire to know more of God, and her beautiful writing is such a gift. You can find her every day at Every Bitter Thing Is Sweet. Here’s Sara!!
We giggled over tree branches, piercing our limbs and sap finding its home on our clothes as I taught Lily her mommy’s tradition: wrapping every branch with lights.
This child had never celebrated a Christmas before, much less sat in wide-eyed wonder at its tangible sparkle. Orphaned most all of her life, wrapping every branch with lights had much less to do with reenacting a tradition or creating beauty and much more to do with time brushing elbows with mommy.
The day held anything but glamour. My jeans were sap-stained, her fingers sore and our floor quite possibly had more needles than the tree. At least it didn’t fall over this year, I thought.
Hours later, we turned on the lights. My children sat pajama-footed, eyes-wide, at the base of this brilliant light display and we prayed prayers of preparation.
That night’s image is still burned in my brain: silhouettes of four former-orphans who had their innocence restored, who found life safe enough to sit still in wonder.
It is the message God is writing on my heart this December.
The time for wonder is now. This is the hour for fascination …with God.
The inertia of life seems to have a constant pull in the direction of what I perceive to be normal. Mundane. Sterile. And as I inhale this I begin to expect more of the same.
I make a habit out of non-expectancy from God.
And it all happens below my radar, many times unevaluated. I breathe death, but call it everyday life, and add to the tally of days absent a brush with the Man who is Wonder.
But the beauty of even my non-pursuit is that He is still pursuing. I watch their eyes grow round with an awe which I feared might never rest on their prematurely-aged frames, and I receive His nudge.
Those eyes are to be your eyes … for Me.
The God who pierced the divide between holy and human with a child came to fascinate His people. We were made to be provoked by this Love. Every day.
But how do I get there?
Enter adoration. Beholding. Taking my anemic expectations of the beauty of God and gazing into Truth.
I take a passage of scripture that speaks a truth about God (or I use this book as a guide) and I repeat those words back to Him. God, you are my strong tower. I praise you for being my strong tower. I let my mind linger and I clear a space in my heart to receive. He writes back, and reminds me of the times where I’ve seen this very truth activated in my own life. I praise Him from that reminder. I wait, listen. Pray back. Speak back. Sing back. Write back. All to Him.
When I look up, I see up. I see the beauty of this Man I barely know when I set my heart to adore a part of Him that His Book tells me about.
Discovering this God-Man, anew.
It’s not seasonal. The time is now.