by Kristen

Expectations . . . such a weighted word. My shoulders sag beneath it.

Reality tends to hit somewhere short of my expectations. And I feel the pressure of the missed targets.

During this holiday season I hear murmurings from all corners that echo my sentiment. Yet this is the one time of year my expectations are spot on. Because this isn’t about the gifts or the food or the gatherings or the events. I have assumptions for all those, but—BUT—those expectations and their outcomes are not what drive me now.

This is Advent. This is life in the dramatic tension of waiting. It’s a celebration of kingdom come and yet to come, new life given and yet to be given. It’s intentional focus on the year-round reality of living in an atrophying world awaiting Hope.

And. Hope. is. coming.

“…‘Come, Lord Jesus’ is not a cry of desperation but an assured shout of cosmic hope.”[1]

Hope indeed.

My expectations will fade away. I won’t have the life I dreamt of as a child. The degrees will fail to translate into an identity. People will fail me. I will fail me. Check, check, check.

But Jesus is coming. Not because I want Him to. Not because I hope He will. He’s coming because He said He would. He promised.

Advent gives me the space to pause and soak in that reality. In bleak days and brilliant days, when it’s loud and chaotic and the to-do list outnumbers the waking hours and life’s demands clamor for immediate attention—in days such as these—my soul whispers “Come, Lord Jesus” with every confidence that He is coming.

It’s the expectation that will not disappoint. Emmanuel—God with us—was and is and is still to come.


[1] Richard Rohr, Preparing for Christmas: Daily Meditations for Advent (Cincinnati: 2008), 3.

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