prepare the way

prepare the way

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all will be well.
today i spent some time reflecting on the order of events over the past few months – where i’ve been, the people i have met, how situations fit together and finally unfolded in bringing me here, to where i am today. still in the process of making sense of it all, it’s all part of my life story that i know i could not have creatively crafted on my own.
today is the first sunday of Advent, and what a special, beautiful beginning. it is a period of waiting, hoping, anticipating, celebrating the sacred, and eagerly looking forward to the birth of Jesus! how awesome! 
but back up – that word: waiting…is sometimes very difficult to do, and it may be one of the greatest challenges to be learned and overcome during this time of Advent. so many times we want to rush – i know for myself, that’s a problem that i sometimes find myself in. we [i] want answers quick – there’s no time to fully process things. time is money, folks! the faster, the better. a packet of 3-in-1 coffee (for you filipinos out there) is much more efficient and easier than investing in instant coffee, powdered milk, and sugar, AND the containers that those will need to be placed in. naman!
sure, we are trained patience by society [and sometimes not] – we fall into a line when we are purchasing things, we follow the order in traffic, though some people take extra liberties over others and exercise their sense of entitlement, but, that very concept of waiting…i think we can all learn to be healthier in living that. i know i can certainly speak for myself in that regard!
when i was in chicago last month for my re-entry workshop (blog entry here), someone asked me how long i have been back from my mission in the PI. after she asked me, i answered pretty quickly without even taking a breath, and said, “oh, about 9 months now.” so content with my reply, it just slid off my tongue – so naturally so, just stating the fact. it was then that i took a second of reflection in my mind, and said, “wait, actually, let me think…” i held out my left hand, and started counting, “july, august, september, october…-oh shoot! i think i’ve only been back 4 months from the Philippines? oh shoot, and i just got back from swaziland in early october.” ….what? “soooo basically, i’ve been back 4 months from the PI, and a little over two months back in the US from those travels.” 
THAT – was a reality check.
it made me realize: crystal, you have only been back four months from living two years overseas, living intense missionary life. why are you in such a hurry to have answers? does everything in your life have to be in their own separate compartments, boxed up and tied up with a perfect, pink bow? slow down…take.some.time. give yourself time. …of course, with that, means, tuning out the external pressures of the voices surrounding me telling me that i need to have answers now.
but, thinking back, that very answer, 9 months. wow. i think about what that number signifies, and it occurred to me, that essentially, i feel like a re-birth is taking place in me…very much in line with this 1st sunday of Advent, signifying the beginning of a time of waiting and patience. 
perhaps i said 9 months because basically that’s what’s going on – i’m re-learning things, re-connecting with relationships from the past that i left behind, learning how to make new ones as a healthier and more mature young adult, getting familiar with my new role in ministry, feeling out my limbs if you will, and seeing how they do in this new geographic location, the list goes on. and that’s exactly what’s happening. it’s a period of re-birth and growing into the place where i find myself today.
as troubling and as uncomfortable as this place may be, i see it indeed as being brought back to the womb of playing around in gunky acids and growing into a person, until i am able to be released and see light in the form in which it was intended for me.  at least, for now. maybe this place isn’t so bad after all.
and, this time, is my playtime. while this is definitely the “liminal time” – the undetermined, awkward middle ground of transition, i figure if i can put it into a different perspective, then i will do just that! this is my playtime. it is a chance to discover, re-discover, and uncover the things that i enjoy doing, and i get to re-learn and possibly get a chance to undo some of the learnings that i have been trained to believe in. i can be me.
on this first Sunday of Advent, in this time of waiting and discovering my re-birth, what a great parallel it is to the birth of Jesus, in the waiting that i am called to experience in the midst of His coming. i am a firm believer that things are always easier when done with another, so I am very much looking forward to learning to breathe new life in a new way, with baby Jesus accompanying me.
all in all, i have learned, no time is wasted. everything has brought me to be right where i should be. and how do i feel about that? i am beyond grateful. life: onward and upward!
Curly Girl Design / = crystal captured on paper
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