Unexpected Advent Moments

Enjoy a special blog post from guest writer LeAnn Dent, Ministry Assistant at Lifeline Pregnancy Help Clinic. As the year draws to a close and we reflect on these past twenty years at Lifeline, it becomes clear that we have come a long way. For years we waited for an ultrasound machine, and now we have one. Then we waited and waited for a new building, and now we have that as well. We have waited for God to provide staff members, board members, volunteers, a mobile ultrasound unit, a van, and so much more. There have been many Advent moments in the past twenty years -- months of waiting and years of hoping, and at every turn He has provided in just the right (if often most unexpected) way and at just the right time. Once very early on in my time at Lifeline, we were waiting for the next scheduled client appointment and waiting for the end of the day, when our Christmas break would begin. It was the last hour of the last day before we were going to be closed for the Christmas holiday when a young, unexpectedly-expecting woman came through the door needing a place to stay. It was an interruption to our afternoon schedule full of other anticipated appointments and needs. I remember being struck in that moment, a moment pregnant with a waiting need, facing a pregnant woman, thinking, "there was no room for them in the inn." And what if this was our opportunity, at this late hour, to make room for her, find a place for her? There are so many moments when I don't know how best to help a client. But there are still, and always have been, moments when it is clear that what is being worked out is not just some logistics regarding an ultrasound appointment or a utility bill, but our actual faith. Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes or daily food. If one of you tells him “Go in peace; stay warm and well fed,” but does not provide for his physical needs, what good is that? And By this we know what love is: Jesus laid down His life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone with earthly possessions sees his brother in need, but withholds his compassion from him, how can the love of God abide in Him? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. We had been waiting for another client, and instead found ourselves surprised by an unexpected visitor with an unexpected pregnancy and an unexpected need. So, this Advent season, what are you waiting for? Maybe you’re waiting for test results from the doctor, or a phone call from a family member, or an apology from a friend, or something in the mailbox - a letter, a gift, a bill… Often we don’t know what to expect, and perhaps it is best in these moments to remember that God is up to something good, and most likely something we wouldn’t imagine! We are reminded that Christmas began with an unexpected pregnancy, and it seems the Father is still using unexpected pregnancy, for His good purpose and for our own good, to change the world -- one life at a time. Merry Christmas! By LeAnn Dent

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