Tell about a time when you experienced patience or a fruitful waiting time in your life. Was someone patient with you or did you offer a patience that surprised you? What does that experience of patience tell you about the character of God
Nearly 21 years ago, like Mary, I was awaiting the birth of my first child. I vividly recall the feelings of discomfort and wanting my pregnancy to end. Along with that was also the anxiety of not knowing what the future would hold. Would I have a boy or a girl? Would I be a good mother? Most of all, would my child be healthy and happy? My anxiety was exacerbated by the lack of control over the situation. When these feelings bubbled up, I would stop, take a deep breath, and remind myself to be patient and have faith. I let go of what I wanted and how I imagined the future. I learned to trust in God that all would be well even if I didn’t know what that would look like.

During this Advent, this time of waiting, it feels like the collective anxiety of our world due to the pandemic is almost palatable. When will this all end? When will there be a vaccine? What will the “new normal” look like? When can we see our loved ones? When can we celebrate and hug our friends? The lack of control and not knowing what the future will hold makes this so much more troubling. When I’m feeling anxious, I stop, take a deep breath, and remind myself to be patient and have faith. This time will pass but we need to have faith and trust in God that all will be well.

My beautiful daughter finally arrived 11 days late. She is intelligent, strong, feisty, funny, creative, kind, and thoughtful. None of us knows what the future will hold or when the pandemic will end but I’m quite sure we will get through this. Families will be together. We will see our loved ones and hug our friends. 
Susanne is a parishioner of St. Catherine's, North Vancouver.