Two days before Christmas and I did not feel ready. Sure, most of the food has been purchased for Christmas day meals. Presents bought and awaiting our late night wrapping fest Christmas eve. The house is fairly clean. But, that is not what I mean by ready.
I mean spiritually. My heart has not been ready. I have prayed, meditated a lot this Advent, but this year has been tough. Family issues and adoption set backs have had me weary and all of that carried into Advent. While I totally trust Him and His plan and His timing, it has been abundantly clear that my own plan and timing did not quite match His. And when I entered Advent, a season of waiting, I struggled to wait. Honestly, I was done with waiting and just did not want to wait any longer.
And that is how I entered this week. I so desperately wanted a change of heart. I wanted to just sit back and rest in Him and wait on Him and His coming. So, my plan for Monday was no school. Instead, we would head down to the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception for daily mass and confessions. We would then head to one of the Smithsonian's.
And it was exactly what I needed.
The Shrine was already decorated for Christmas. The Nativity was everywhere, even in the cafeteria. Yet, not quite complete. A sign of waiting the long awaited King. Waiting.
Real Christmas trees adorned the sides of the main altar and were everywhere. The scent of the pine wafted throughout the whole church. I love that smell.
Mass was perfect. For a whole year when we first moved to this area, we lived on the campus adjacent to this church. And I went to daily mass in the crypt. Yet, today the mass touched me like it never had before. God's message was clear. Wait. He will come. He will show His power. Rejoice in Him.
And I saw this statue of Mother Teresa. A subject of a recent blog post, and a topic of part of the Marian consecration my husband and I just completed. Her life touches my heart deeply. Seeing this statue that day just strengthened me to serve Him more, reach down deep, and wait on Him. Because He is always worth waiting for.
And outside of the confession chapel. I looked to my left and saw the Our Lady of Hope side altar. A reminder to always hope in Him. A gentle whisper to have hope this Christmas.
And we made our way to this beautiful mosaic and I prayed for Our Lady of China to intercede for our adoption. It is all in her Son's hands, after all.
I left the Basilica that afternoon with an overwhelming peace, an excitement for Christmas morning.
Come, thou long expected Jesus, come!
Merry Christmas everyone! May you wait patiently for the Lord and trust in His goodness, this Christmas and everyday!