I have thoroughly enjoyed joining in with Floss and the other wonderful bloggers participating the Pause in Advent. Now we are at the last one the big question is 'have my Pauses made a difference to my Advent period'?I'd no idea how this was all going to turn out. I was aware I was sharing much deeper thoughts than I normally do as my blogs are usually frothy fun places. As I reach the final Pause, there is a rather profound change in me as I reflect on this year and I am so glad I have had the opportunity to record some of my thoughts in these pauses.
It is hard to categorise this year as in all truth much of this year has been unpleasant, distressing, painful and unreasonably difficult and I would willingly delete it from my life in a heartbeat if that were possible.
However, to do so would mean wiping out the first half of the unexpected summer holiday as this was a shaft of sunlight I thought I'd not experience with someone I love dearly again and the amazing kindness and support of friends and colleagues in helping which has been humbling. I cannot bear not being in control or having to ask for help but this year I have had to and, despite all my fears and concerns, some friends have proved to be absolute rocks of support particularly in practical terms. Blogging and learning new crafts has also helped make me feel a continuing part of the real world while I was so limited and at times despairing.
I face a very different Christmas this year which I didn't quite expect, nor would it be in any of my top ten choices for how to spend it. However, though it will not be ideal if I am honest, I have experienced worse and this one has much hope to commend it. It comes with no major expectations, the limitations are fixed and in many ways this is immensely liberating and I find myself looking forward to how and with whom I will spend the day.
My relationship with God has received a boost through writing these pauses. I have not attended mass regularly for nearly three years now since my life imploded spectacularly trying to care for someone who's needs and demands totally consumed and overwhelmed me. My faith sustained me through all of that but I still find my emotions can overwhelm me in church, and I am not a pretty or quiet crier! However, for me my faith is a personal value and ethical attitude which does not need a shop window to it. The strength of my faith exists between God and myself and by joining in these pauses and in reading the reflections of others has helped me recognise and reconnect more effectively.
I speak with God more often, I have offered up the worries and fears I have to him and let Him know that I am leaving it in his capable hands without fighting him for control and I am trying my very hardest to stop pushing for things to happen or fretting. Lack of control and acceptance are majorly challenging to me. So this Advent and Christmas I am letting go, not entirely without fear admittedly, but I'm trying. I have been using my Angel Cards before bed as a meditation tool to focus on a particular aspect or attribute and, this too has been helpful. It has helped me particularly in this last week as I finally underwent surgery and as I continue to recuperate I am more at peace than I have been. In all truth I am starting to suspect this has been a bit of a watershed and that there are indications of a time of change ahead but instead of fretting about it I am going to leave it in God's hands and let him guide the way.
So, as the celebration of our Saviour's birth approaches I want to send my love and thanks to my real life and blogger friends, to everyone who has been there for us this year, to Floss for arranging these Pauses and to God for being in my life and continuing to be there. May everyone have a beautiful, peaceful and fulfilling Christmas and look forward to a bright, promising New Year.
With much love,