My Journey To The Christmas Barn


What Advent means to me?

Adjusting to changes has never been my forte and this year seems to be filled with many. I had struggled to say many “goodbyes” to what I once knew, and to have a number of skirmishes with friends close to my heart, so much so that I felt uprooted and exposed to elements in a space where I thought God would shelter me.

In the middle of all this, I had reflected about having “expectant faith”. What exactly do we ‘expect’ and should we even do that?

There are always times when we need to hold our breath and be “expectant” in faith and for me, that always requires some kind of process within myself: present and argue for my case, get angry or grieve when outcomes differ from what I so hope for, and eventually reach a sincere and calm acceptance that doors are managed by God who knows best.

Therein lies the “expectant” part for me. It’s not about expecting my way to be accomplished, but about expecting and trusting that God’s way will be better (even if this trust happens only after my necessary internal tussle!). I do take my time getting there.

As for doors, I was also waiting for one very particular one to open: that of a school transfer for our son.

Months of waiting brought us to December and led us to the Christmas barn. Along the way, we had to ask for directions and to obediently do as we were told. After, I was sincerely happy to say, “I can’t wait to see what God’s plan is for us!”

Then, I was outside the barn, unsure when to knock at the door – all that activity within… was it for me to be a part of or to look on from outside? Either way was good enough – it was enough just to have reached the barn and to know, God is actually so very near.

Today, I suspect God’s plan for me this year was simply to make a journey of trust and arrive at having “expectant faith” enough to know He will go before me. He led me to a process of reconciling inside wounds caused by bad choices and decisions, and to build on suffering relationships.

I had spent this year praying for God not to let me wander too far away from Him and spent Advent waiting for Him to burst forth clearly. He did so with affection and indulgence as He opened the door to the Christmas barn to let me in. Tangibly, we got the school transfer we wanted, a catechism class at our parish and best of all, a certain reassurance that I can continue to grow roots where I belong.

He is indeed my faithful King and I, His most unruly daughter.

Joyce Gan

#alwaysreturning #thanksbetoGod #blessedchristmas #landingsawaits

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