I began this year with a crazy idea that something amazing was going to happen. I have craned my neck to see it, sorted God's word to hear it, and dug through ashes trying to find it.
It wasn't an expectation that I held as much as a holy hope. I had no specific idea of what it would be. I looked equally hard in my heart, in my writing, in my career, in my friendships, in my family.
I was like a woman who went to the hills and expected to come down with golden treasure, the answer to her deepest questions, or precious tablets that God wrote His words on.
But in all honesty, I'm still standing on the mountain and my hands are mostly empty.
A few weeks ago I admitted a sort of defeat. It was painful.
Even more strange is the fact that when I pray about it, write about it, or talk about it, the embers of faith still burn hot and fierce.
Yes, it is fierce faith that keeps a woman on the mountain for another year, that makes her heart willing to stay even for the rest of her life.
As surely as I know the way my husband's laughter bellows out from his chest, how my children's hands feel wrapped around my neck, and the way God's presence is like a velvet curtain blocking out the world, I know amazing things are to come.
In Luke 2, the shepherds come to see baby Jesus and go around proclaiming the miracle, and the NIV says that people were amazed. Then it says, "But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart."
I am like Mary, I suppose. Laboring for God has created space for the greatest treasure to be stored within my heart, and I've got some pondering to do.
Someday in the distant future, perhaps in heaven itself, I expect I will see how I have held the threads of God's amazing work all this time. A thread on its own is common and simple, like a woman who waits on her knees for God's will. The miracle happens when time pulls them through my hands and behind me the threads are woven into a work of art called His Kingdom.
And so, come January, I will still be here. I will choose an uncomfortable seat with a majestic view and I will hold tight to my faith in an amazing God.
Because amazing faith is worth the wait. And because waiting for God is better than having everything make sense. Always.