Dear waiting heart,

It’s hard to be in a waiting season during Christmas, isn’t it? I know.

You enjoy the festivities of the season and the beauty of the day, but there’s a shadow, hovering over your heart. There’s a hole, like something is missing.

While you rejoice in the wonder of Christmas, at the same time there’s a part of you that wants to hide in a corner and sob.

And you fear… what if next year is no different?

I understand.

I’ve been there, as a single woman until 28 years old. Every Christmas since I was about 16, I would ask God, please let me have my husband here with me by next Christmas. Twelve years I waited. Twelve years I wondered what was wrong with me, why no man was there to share the Christmas joy with me, why God wasn’t answering my pleas. I watched my younger sister spend 4 Christmases with her love, before the Lord finally gave me mine. Though it was certainly worth it, the wait was painful.

I’m there again this year, with a hole in my heart, the size of a baby I should be 7 months pregnant with. But my baby is gone, and my arms and heart ache to be a mommy. I don’t know when that will happen, but I’m waiting for it, and while I celebrate Christ’s birth with people I love, that longing hovers, a little heavier on Christmas.

So how do you deal with it — with the pain of waiting during this joyous holiday?

Well, if you’re like me, you stay busy with baking cookies, washing dishes, watching Christmas movies, and trying not to think about what’s missing. But maybe that’s not the best advice.

Maybe you and I both, wherever we are, should steal away for a few minutes alone, and talk to God about our hearts. About what’s missing. About the wait. About how stinkin’ hard it is.

He gets it. And I promise… He cares.

Remember when Jesus wept over Jerusalem? It was in the middle of a great, victorious celebration — the Triumphal Entry. It was nearly the Passover, an important Jewish holiday, and to top it off, Jesus had just been praised and recognized as the King who comes in the Name of the Lord. All around Him, people were shouting and rejoicing. It was a wonderful day.

And yet…

Jesus steps aside from all of that, and, with tears streaming down His face, cries out for the burden of His heart — His beloved Holy City that will soon reject Him.

So, dear waiting heart, today in the midst of the celebration, if you need to take a moment to yourself to cry out to God for the burden of your heart…. do it. Let a few tears fall. Or a lot of tears, if that’s what it takes. Just know that God catches every one of them. Not one goes unnoticed by Him. He sees your waiting, and no matter how long it takes, He is working. Don’t lose hope. He came this Christmas Day for your hope.

Merry Christmas, waiting heart.

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