The Hard Practice of Waiting

The Hard Practice of Waiting

 Come, Lord Jesus: The Weight of Waiting is now available! For the next few weeks I have invited the members of my “street team”  to share their stories and reflections on the book, the topic of waiting, and Advent. (This post contains affiliate links.) 


“Advent” isn’t a word I remember hearing, growing up, and truth be told, I still don’t much hear it in my everyday circles. I think this goes to my being churched primarily among the Baptists. As a young adult, I delved into Methodism a couple times, which provided a baseline in terms of my understanding of the liturgical calendar, but my reading in the blogosphere over the last six years has been infinitely more helpful.


Advent: a season of waiting. Now, waiting is something I understand extremely well, and I would even go so far as to say I have expert knowledge on waiting over the holidays. I remember waiting for Santa and waiting to open presents, in general. I remember waiting, one Christmas, for the chicken pox to pass.

I remember waiting for my first child, due January 9th, to be born. I played the part of Mary the mother of Jesus in the church’s Christmas production, that year. I refused to travel, so my parents and brother’s family drove up from East Tennessee. I had bought my brother a cheese ball and put it under the Christmas tree instead of in the refrigerator. He couldn’t wait to throw it away. We all laughed and blamed it on my having “pregnancy brain.”
I remember, five years ago, waiting for my fourth pregnancy to end after an eight-week ultrasound—conducted early in December—showed no heartbeat. Again, I refused to travel over the holidays; again, (most of) the family into which I was born drove up from East Tennessee. The days (the hours, the minutes!), seemed to drag by as I waited to start, then stop, bleeding.


During advent, last year, I was working outside our home for the first time in seven years: waiting tables while waiting for my husband to find employment. I hadn’t been to East Tennessee for a year. I was utterly homesick and doubtful that I’d have the money or time off to travel over the holidays. I remember rounding a corner, carrying clam chowder on a tray, when I saw my brother out of the corner of my eye. I remember feeling awash—just completely flooded—with joy. In the next instant, I realized the person I’d seen wasn’t my brother, after all, and I bottomed out to the point that I cried, hard, as I served the chowder. I’ve never cycled more quickly or profoundly in my emotions.

In the end, I made it to East Tennessee, but my time there wasn’t what I’d hoped: not unusual, as I’m the world’s worst for expecting Dolly Parton Christmas or some such, then feeling disappointed when the experience falls a little short, for whatever reason, in the magic department.


Again, I have expert knowledge on waiting over the holidays. I’ve experienced my fair share of disappointment: the one who came late and the ones who didn’t come at all. The chicken pox and the moldy cheese ball. (I could wax poetic, here.)


The thing about waiting for Jesus is that He’s a sure thing. His birthday’s always going to come because He’s already come; He’s already been born into this broken place, among disappointing people, and His act of love—his birthday!—can’t be undone or fail or fall short in any way. This is the truest and most complete victory I know: that Jesus was born to be our friend.


This year, I’ll prepare my heart for Jesus’s birthday, and I’ll do it with the help of Kris Camealy’s Come, Lord Jesus: The Weight of Waiting. I can hardly wait. Join me?


selfie4Guest Post By

Brandee Shafer is an English instructor turned stay-at-home mom to the four children for whom she records her life and thoughts, through blogging. She’s happiest when tearing up the road with her people, camera in hand, but she and her family live in a log cabin on the outskirts of Richmond, Virginia, where she writes and beats back chaos in the form of dishes and laundry. Blog
Brandee Shafer Photography



Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *