Waiting in Joyful Hope

This week, we are privileged to have Jocelyn Collen be our guest blogger with an Advent Reflection.


Jocelyn’s Advent Wreath, handmade in clay by Joe Miller

This Advent, more than ever before, I am being invited to wait. I have felt that my entire life thus far is about WAITING. We wait for Christmas break, we wait for summer vacation, we wait in traffic, we wait for the bus, we wait for a table, we wait for our food to come, we wait for the traffic light to turn green, we wait for the traffic to clear, we wait for an appointment, we wait in the waiting room, we wait for the doctor, we wait for the news that a loved one has finished surgery, we wait in the recovery room, we wait to heal so that we can go home, we wait to serve out our sentence, we wait for the mail, we wait for our packages to arrive in the mail, we wait to cash a check, we wait 9 months for a baby to arrive, we wait to hear back, we wait for our grades, we wait to graduate, we wait for an interview, we wait until after dinner for dessert (usually)…We Wait in Joyful Hope.

All of this constant waiting is why Advent is my favorite liturgical season. It’s about hope and being patient, but it’s more than that. It is about taking the time in quiet, in the midst of the yuletide hustle and bustle & decking the halls, to acknowledge God’s presence within, and wait with expectation, knowing that Christmas and the birth of our baby Jesus WILL come. Unlike our own lives, with Advent, we do actually know when the miracle will happen- December 25th. Every liturgical year, Christmas is on time!  Whether or not Santa Claus comes to your home, we know that we will celebrate Jesus’ birth after four short weeks of Advent. This is a blessing in and of itself.

As an adult, I have been praying about my vocation. I feel called to two very distinct vocations, priesthood and motherhood. Yet right now, those are both not in my immediate horizon (they will not happen tomorrow). At least that’s how it feels. I am waiting for the right path to live out both of these calls. I wait in Joyful Hope. Christians are hopeful people. Each liturgical year, we recount the major events and miracles of our faith so that we can practice living in hope, in sorrow, and celebrating the miracles. Every 365.25 days we have the opportunity to accompany Jesus’ whole life and ministry.

Jocelyn sliding with Eliza Jane

We know that our lives are not a liturgical year. But, we wait in Joyful Hope for the awareness of God into our lives. God is already here! We have already been saved! We live in the light of the Resurrection, and we believe that this Resurrection of Jesus is the ultimate miracle, and the ultimate sign of love and freedom. Because my vocation comes from God, I believe and trust that God is accompanying me in my waiting, providing me with companions for the journey, and helping me to realize that in many ways, I am already living out my vocation, as I wait in Joyful Hope. All in God’s time.

An October Sunshine, Westerly, Rhode Island

Along with waiting, it helps to remember that nothing in life is guaranteed, nor does it last forever. Amy Poehler writes in her book, Yes Please, that “Change is the only constant. Your ability to navigate and tolerate change and it’s painful uncomfortableness directly correlates to your happiness and general well-being… If you can surf your life rather than plant your feet, you will be happier.” Grab your surfboards, and trust that God will accompany you on the waves of life, as we wait for the tides to change. The tides change four times a day! God has given us something to do while we are waiting…!

© Jocelyn E. Collen, M.Div., December 12, 2015


4 thoughts on “Waiting in Joyful Hope

  1. Lovely post, Jocelyn. Joyful Advent and Merry Christmas to you! It’s the holy paradox of life that we get to move forward and grow while we wait. 🙂
    Lots of love,


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s