Advent- a time of joyful anticipation of a baby’s birth. Not just any ordinary baby, but the baby who would change the world forever.

When Mary gave her, “Yes,” her, “Fiat,” and became pregnant with the baby Jesus, she faced many difficult realities. But these difficulties, while very real and painful, were so small in comparison to the saving grace that her Son brought forth to the world.

Motherhood is difficult, and in addition to the normal stress of becoming a parent, every mom has their own personal difficulties as well. But watching a mom give her “Fiat” to becoming a mother, to choosing to sacrifice each day for her child, to seeing the love in her eyes as she gazes at her baby or sings to him, to choosing to love the other community members and to take care of one another…this puts all the hard times in perspective.

As we celebrate this Advent season, we live out the beautiful reality of waiting for a baby’s birth in a remarkably human and tangible way every day. Here, we are no strangers to waiting, and as in the Advent season, there is such abundant joy in the anticipation of the birth of a new baby. When a mom finds out she is pregnant, there is a great deal of preparation to do. In community, we all share the joy of participating in this preparation. While we prepare our homes and hearts for the coming of Christ at Christmas, we are also preparing our homes and hearts for the babies that are soon to be born. In our community, we await the birth of each baby with the thrill of unlimited possibilities, we yearn to meet them, and to see who they become.

In my time here at Maggie’s Place, Jesus has shown me that each of our hearts is, in a way, like a newborn baby. God reveals His plans for us slowly, intentionally, over time, and He yearns to draw us more deeply into the mysteries of His Love. In the depths of our Hearts, we also yearn for Him. We yearn for love. We yearn for community. All of these yearnings are good and beautiful, and sometimes painful. But there is no yearning that Christ will leave unfulfilled.

Advent is the season of yearning. In Advent, we discover that the joy of receiving Christ, of new life, is made more meaningful by the experience of waiting and yearning. In waiting for a baby’s birth, the anticipation grows. And when the baby is finally born, the celebration is more vibrant and enduring.

This Advent, how does your own experience of waiting can make Christmas more meaningful?

By Genevieve Aucoin, a MissionCorps