By Jaime Fitzgerald
Waiting is my weakness. I am the person who taps her foot in grocery lines, the one who huffs and obnoxiously turns magazine pages in the doctor’s office when I have been sitting for longer than 30 minutes, the one who obsessively glances at her watch when someone is late for a meeting, the one who tosses and turns all night in fear of waking up late and the one who paces the floor waiting for friends to get ready: all because the anxiety of missing something big and important in the future is paralyzing.
Needless to say, Advent is a struggle for me. Since waiting is central to this season as a whole, it seems that my anxiety increases every year as I wait for Christmas day to come. I know that on that particular day, sweet little baby Jesus will be born year after year after year, yet I can’t help but hate the waiting part. I don’t know about you, but I am thankful the season of Advent does not last the entirety of Mary’s pregnancy, because I do not think I could wait for 9 months of every year anticipating the birth of Christ.
This year, on November 8, 2014, the newest addition to my family was born – James Weston Collins – to my cousin, Lindsay, and her husband. The nine months of my cousin’s pregnancy seemed to last forever to me. Frequently, Lindsay sent me pictures of her growing belly and glowing smile. With each picture received, I wanted more than anything to hold her precious baby that was growing inside of her (although I am confident the wait was harder for Lindsay and her husband than it was for me).
My wait was finally over on November 26, when I finally held Weston in my arms for the first time and kissed his forehead while intently staring at his perfect face, hands and feet for almost three hours. It was in those moments that I realized: as painful and difficult as waiting is, it is necessary in order to produce new life.
During this season of Advent, what are you pregnant with? What dream, hope and new life is growing inside of you? What beautiful and joyful thing are you going to give birth to?
As life gets hectic and busy during this Advent season, may we make time to center ourselves and focus on the hope, peace, joy and love of Christ. My hope for myself, and for each of you, is that we can take the time to embrace this pregnancy as we pause in the moments before new life is birthed, no matter how difficult, dark and daunting it may seem.
Jaime Fitzgerald is a CBF Leadership Scholar attending Gardner-Webb University School of Divinity.