Sunday, December 15, 2013

An Advent Transformation

'The angel Gabriel from Heaven came,
His wings as drifted snow, his eyes as flame;
"All hail", said he, "Thou lowly maiden Mary,
Most highly favored lady", Gloria!' ~ 'Gabriel's Message' 

'Mary Is Visited By The Angel Gabriel,' by Walter Rane
Hello, my friends. It has been some months since I've posted anything here on my blog. Close to three months, to be exact. 

I'd had every good and sincere intention of quickly posting the promised 'sister' piece to my last post, 'Ministry Minded.' The majority of it is written, with the appropriate pictures and labels in place.

But here in the Draft portion of my blog it sits. Unfinished. Incomplete. Waiting. Because there was/is something missing. Something important. Something vital. Not in the post itself.

No. Something important, something vital is missing in me. Way deep inside. 

And because of this, I've been going through a transformation of sorts. It's been a slow and painful process, one that, truth be told, is quite irritating. One that I'm finding extremely difficult to embrace or accept. One that requires a willingness to obey (sadly, I don't always have that), AND truckloads of patience (oops...don't always have that either). 

One that leaves me drained and uninspired most days.

I feel like a butterfly just wanting to escape from my lonely, stifling cocoon, only to realize it's not time yet for me to emerge. God's hand keeps pulling me back in. 

Because He and I both know there is a need for Him to do so much more work in me.

courtesy of Koiné
Work that becomes more consistent, more intense and more painful with each passing day, as I journey through this particular season of preparation AND transformation known as Advent. 

However, in the suffocating starkness and silence of this cocoon, where the desire and inspiration to write often seems to have altogether disappeared, I felt God gently nudge me to share this very short, yet hauntingly beautiful song called 'Gabriel's Message.' I hope it will bless you as you listen to it.

I've never heard this song before. As I listen to it over and over -- these words that echo Scripture and set to music -- I'm struck by the thought that THIS...this song about the meeting between Mary and the angel Gabriel...can be taken as a story about another woman's Advent. Her time of preparation and transformation. Mary's set of circumstances are NOTHING like mine. And yet -- through this song, I find I can relate so well to her just now. This young woman on the cusp of change.

'Blessed Art Thou Among Women,' by Walter Rane
Mary's world was about to be forever and totally transformed by this strange, frightening, and unbelievably astounding news the angel Gabriel was set to deliver from Almighty God. She had no idea what this odd message from God would truly be preparing her for nor what it would ultimately require of her:

'"For known a blessed mother thou shalt be,
All generations laud and honor thee;
Thy Son shall be Emmanuel, by seers foretold
Most highly favored lady," Gloria!'

And yet, Mary's response shows her acceptance and willingness to obey; with words and heart attitudes that I would do well to echo in my own set of circumstances:

'Then gentle Mary meekly bowed her head,
"To me be as it pleaseth God," she said;
My soul shall laud and magnify His holy name"
Most highly favored lady, Gloria, Gloria!'

Meekness. Humility. Willingness. Acceptance. Obedience. Oh yeah -- all of THOSE vital, important things.

Maybe you are going through similar experiences. Maybe this Advent season is truly one of preparation and transformation for you. I'd love to hear from you, and perhaps we could pray for one another.

May the love, grace, mercy and peace of Christ abound in our hearts and lives this Advent and Christmas season, and in the coming new year, as He continues His great work in each one of us, however difficult, painful and time consuming it may be.

Tender Blessings,


(all lyrics used are from 'Gabriel's Message,' an original Basque Christmas folk carol, paraphrased into English by Sabine Baring-Gould with musical arrangement by Edgar Pettman; from Sting's 'If On A Winter's Night' CD )


  1. Pam, couldn't help but think of your 2013 word...Simplify...and how God is working on you, cleansing your heart and creating a clean heart and right spirit within you...Simplifying, getting rid of what is non essential, unimportant and setting apart in your heart that which is pleasing to Him. Exciting days are ahead my friend!

    1. Jeannie...I HAD to smile when I read your comment. Earlier this week, someone asked what 2014's One Word would be. for me. I hadn't a clue, and I thought to myself, "Good grief. 2014? I didn't even come close to getting this year's right!" But apparently, our God seems to take delight in coming through at the eleventh hour! He is certainly doing everything you've stated.

      Thank you for always being such an encouragement!

  2. Oh, good point by Jeannie up above me! I will pray for you. I am in a similar season...I actually have named it "limbo". It is interesting that it is heightened during the Advent season...prayers, for this season of transformation...that it would be fruitful and richly blessed in His time. That end component is the hardest, yes?

    1. Dawn -- I know you are, too, my friend. Thank you for your prayers from your limbo place. You know I appreciate them. Mmmm....His time. Yes, my dear, that part IS the hardest to contend with. Always.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...