Finding Hope in the Ordinary

As I walked through Advent this year, I was reminded that we serve a God who creates incredible meaning from ordinary moments. Jesus was born to teenage parents in a stable and placed in a manger—simple, quiet, and, at the moment, unknown to most outside the stable. An uncharacteristic coming for a long-awaited King.

Through his humble beginnings and the many ordinary moments of his human life, Jesus proved he was willing and able to live this hard, lonely, dark life with us, giving us hope and providing light in every moment because he understands. He walked through it too, becoming the ultimate counselor for every difficult, hopeless, draining moment we experience on this earth.

Jesus brought hope. He brought light and joy and the freedom to enjoy relationships and passions and learning and creation despite the darkness that plagues this world. He provided an answer for the longing, hope that there is something better than what this world offers.

I don’t know what happened in your 2015, but I’m sure some hard stuff went down. I’m sure things changed that you didn’t expect to change and that you struggled and cried and felt hopeless and lonely at different moments. I know I did. But this year, more so than other years, I experienced the reality of Christmas, of light always being the end result of darkness. Of God providing incredibly beautiful moments and opportunities I couldn’t have anticipated. Of a Savior always coming when the darkness I found in myself was too much.

I love how Christmas is immediately proceeded by a New Year. After a season of reflection and longing and waiting and finally of the joy that Christmas day symbolizes, we get to start over. I’m thankful to serve a God that always allows us to start over every moment, every morning, every year.

In this New Year, I hope you allow the significance of Christmas to change your daily routines and conversations and relationships and responsibilities. I hope you recognize God in the small moments, that you see how he is infusing light and hope into the facets of your world you think are permanently dark.

I hope you find God with you in your responsibilities at work or school, in the dark mornings getting ready for the day, in the average conversations with the people around you. I hope you find Him in the books you read and in the people he brings into your life, in the walks you take outside or in the dinner you make at night.

Let’s allow 2016 to be the year we recognize grace and love and hope and truth in the everyday because we remember that God is with us.

I started this blog to do just that, but in the transition of graduation and moving and first year teaching and the hundred other new things the Lord plopped in my life, I’ve forgotten to spend time reflecting on finding the beautiful in the ordinary. So here’s to coming back to this space in 2016, reflecting and learning and finding meaning in the in-between moments.

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