One of my favorite lines in a Christmas song points to the unexpectedness of how the Messiah arrived - it says, "did You wrap Yourself inside the unexpected, so we might know that love would go that far?" 

Entering the season of Advent, each year I can't help but think more and more about the people of Israel, awaiting the arrival of the Messiah. The people had waited for this promised Messiah for a long, long time, and while still clinging to the hope of this Messiah to come, written about by the prophets, perhaps some were losing hope. Was this Messiah going to come? And then He did - He came in the most humble, unexpected way, setting the tone for His life of ministry, and so we might know that love would go that far. 

This past month has flown. It has been awesome in a lot of ways, but also hard. I'm coming to the conclusion that this wonderful season of life is filled with support and a community rallying around us; but it is still a transition and not like anything before- making it hard- transition and change can be great; but are by no means comfortable and easy. But the past month has also been so so good. 

The first weekend of our month was filled by a retreat where we looked at more in depth at what it means to follow the commands of Micah 6:8- seek justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God. We soaked in beautiful reminders and convicting exhortations; displayed our finest skills on the Ultimate Frisbee skills and the stage, performing a choreographed dance; and I certainly walked away from that weekend grateful not only for what I learned, but for this group of people, these Raleigh Fellows, and the people that God uniquely created them to be. Also grateful that I do not (hopefully) have to keep coffee on tap for 160 people anytime soon; as was my job all weekend- hopefully people liked the strength of my coffee! 

This past month I have been reminded to observe and praise the Lord's faithfulness in the smallest of things; in order that I may rely on Him for the big things. And in many ways, it's not hard to both and observe and trust His faithfulness for the small things; but trusting Him big can be really hard. My Myers Briggs is a "J" and I basically break the scale on J. I want the plans in place and the details taken care of- even if it stresses me out to get to that point, I'd rather have it than not have it. I was even reminded the other day that this is the closest I've been to ending anything without knowing what is next (and it's still almost 6 months away!). Woah. 

And yet the Lord gently calls to my mind His daily mercies and faithfulness- reminding me that somehow, some way, everything will be ok May 21, 2018; because the Ultimate J, God, has it in His hands. In the practice of acknowledging His faithfulness here are some examples from this month - at work, I had things to every single day in November (well, at least so far!)- and not only things to do, but sometimes to the point being slightly stressed as I balanced tasks for 2 or 3 people and answered the phone/made phone calls- praise Him! Also at work, we drew the name of a coworker who we were going to say affirmation/positive comments about at our next staff meeting, and fortunately I drew the name of someone I have grown to be friends with- because in the moment I worried I would draw someone's name and not know what to say about them other than they were "nice" and "friendly." He has been faithful in the good nights of sleep I've gotten over the past couple weeks; in truly valuable, sweet conversations I've had with others over the past couple weeks. And in the unexpected- when my Thanksgiving plans fell apart last Friday and my parents wanted me home badly enough to help me get there. 

Now, you might be wondering how this all ties with the song lyric, and truth is, I'm not sure if I'm connecting the two very well here. But I truly believe that the King who stepped down from His throne, and wrapped Himself inside the unexpected; loves us so much that we can expect the unexpected- because He will be faithful in the littlest of things- and when we least expect it and/or find it hard to trust- He will be faithful in the biggest of things too. He is Emmanuel, God with us, and He wrapped Himself inside the unexpected so that we might know that love would go that far. 

- Katie