Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Living in the Longing

Living in India definitely has its perks.  The opportunity to learn a new language(on good days I call it an opportunity, some days not so much :/), new friends, a simpler life,  yummy food, vacationing in places like Thailand, Nepal, and Sri Lanka.  There is much about my life to be thankful for and much that many people would love to experience.  However, one thing I was not quite prepared for in moving here, was the longing I would feel.  The longing for things to be made right, for women to be equal, for kids to have clean drinking water, for orphans to have a warm blanket(not to mention a family who loves them!!).  My heart has learned to long for many things while living in India.

Christmas brings out the deep, personal longings.  In ways that make me want to not get out of bed and cry a lot. I know that the whole deal with Christmas is about how hope has come, Jesus has come and what wonderful news that is and the hope that he is coming again brings even greater joy.  Yet we live in the in between.  Oh that in between time, I feel like I am always talking about it, always thinking about how it is a beautiful yet dreadful time, full of hope and full of longing.

This Christmas there were deeper longings than I have felt in a long time.  This is not my first Christmas away from family or in a different country, but this year it just felt deeper.  I long to cuddle up on the couch with my nephew and watch "It's a Wonderful Life" or who am I kidding, that would probably be boring to him(he's only 4).  Anyways, he would pick a Christmas moving and we would snuggle on my Mom's couch and drink hot chocolate and eat chocolate chip cookies.  I long to sing Christmas carols with my Memee.  She always wanted to sing Christmas carols on Christmas eve and it was always awkward trying to sing acapella when we are not exactly a musical family.  But,  I would hold her hand and sing my heart out and she would tell me I am the best singer she has ever heard.  And she would mean it.  I long to help my brother set up all the toys for Christmas morning for my nephew.  I know he hates all the instructions on how to put those toys together and I would help him..err Ryan would do it and I would keep them company.  I long to sit around that big wooden table Ryan's Dad made for his Mom so many years ago.  We would talk about marriage, relationships, intimacy, and how aloneness is so bad.  I would even drink a little coffee along with everyone else this year.  Then I would ask my bro-in-law question after question about girls in his life and he would pretend like it annoys him, but I know he likes it.  I long to sit around my Mom's house with some of my best girlfriends.  Hold their new babies, talk about husbands or boyfriends or how guys are jerks, and how much life has changed in the last year, and remember how we are best friends because even if we don't see each other or even talk that much (because lets be honest, I am a horrible long distance friend) it is so easy to pick back up.  My heart longs....

I used to think longing was a bad thing.  I thought that if you were really walking with God then you should always feel content and that longing meant you probably had some kind of sin in your life or something.  I don't believe that anymore.  We are living in the longing time.  That is what Christmas is all about that Jesus came into the world and we are longing for him to come back.  So Christmas looked really different and not really in a good way, but thats okay.  This year I grab that cup of longing and take it in both of my hands and drink deeply, because in the longing we remember we are still alive.  Our work here is not finished.  One day it will be and we will no longer live in the longing, but for now we do and we say, "Come Lord Jesus, come". 


  1. Wish you were here to sit around and talk and eat lots of chocolate. :) Love what you wrote because I feel it too. Thankful that Jesus is working in ways we don't see or understand in the midst of us longing for him. Thankful for his grace that he would delay his coming even if it's for one more person to know him. :) Love you much.

  2. wow, Kristin, this is good! an email is coming your way when I get the chance... :)