Advent-ageous Prayer

This Advent, our “Advent By Candlelight” evening of reflection for women included a formation talk entitled “Let Yourself Be Loved”.  We included advent calendar bookmarks with scriptures for each day of December leading to Christmas about God’s love for us.

Letting ourselves be loved sounds pretty easy.  But sometimes humans find many hurdles to real love, having been hurt or just not having an example of love in their lives.  Even if we are blessed to have a loving family, or a good marriage, we still may not experience the unconditional love that is available to us.  Not the kind of love that involves ego-ism or a vain sense of worth received by the accomplishments the world values, but a true understanding of love that involves understanding our identity in Christ; that we were created by God, Our Father, exactly as we are, no upgrades needed.

I struggle with this, as many women do for whatever reason, and part of my assignment in spiritual guidance this month was to ask God what it is about me that He loves so much.  Not many people know (well they do now) how difficult of a task this is for me to do.

I spent many mornings reflecting right there, in that spot of discomfort asking God, “What is it that YOU love about ME, Lord?” In accordance with my assignment, I also tried to meditate on seeing myself as HE sees me.  Not an easy thing to do with our human hearts, bruised and broken.  Enter, Holy Spirit! After many times asking what it is about me that God loves, the answer came sweet and simple.  Although sometimes we feel that still small voice in our spirit that alludes to guidance in difficult situations, or sometimes a epiphany about a struggle we have, sometimes we encounter the voice LOUD and CLEAR.  That’s how this answer came to me…

THAT YOU SEEK ME.

That you seek me.  It wasn’t “You make nice dinners.” Or “You are trying to take care of your family” or “You have a degree in psychology” or “you donated old clothes to charity”.  It had nothing to do with worldly accomplishments or achievements, or anything I could contrive.  The answer was simply about responding to the love of God for me.  I don’t have to do anything other than begin to wonder if He is there, or if He knows I am here, or what any of that means for my life.

As Christmas approaches us this year, my prayer is to spend time meditating on that bright star that led so many to the newborn King.  That star was a suggestion for everyone who looked upon it, whispering in the dark night sky, “SEEK ME”.

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