Advent marks the time of year when people are reflecting and expecting. Not only remembering what Jesus has done and anticipating what He will do, but looking back on what has been of the past 12 months and looking forward at what is to come in the new year.
2015 has been the most significant year of my life so far, as I have moved in a direction which changes the course of the rest of my life. Despite the enormity of change in my trajectory, the work that God does in me never slows down, never comes anywhere near to completion.
At the beginning of this year, I shared with my small group that I wanted to spend 2015 gaining a better understanding of my identity: who I am and my self-worth, and in particular to really understand my identity in Jesus.
I have just completed a Diploma of Intercultural Studies in which the foundations of my lifelong faith were revealed and reinforced. Most precious to the search for my identity was the understanding of the Trinity.
What a privilege to explore the uniqueness of the Trinity to the Christian faith, and all that it means to serve a God who has one divine nature, and yet is three distinct persons.
The fundamental point is this: as Triune God, God is Relational, and He is relational in different ways through His three distinct persons. And so, in being made in His image, I am created to be relational.
God, give me a husband!
For the majority of this year, the friends who made up my day to day life were mothers. Married women with children. These women are great friends, wonderful supports, and play an invaluable role in discipling me as wiser women of the faith. I am incredibly fortunate to have such a strong band of women in my life who are living examples of serving and seeking more of Jesus.
Despite these relationships, I lived with a great sense of discontentment. I thought my answer was a husband. If you hadn't noticed, you can't exactly just pick one up at the supermarket, especially the one you know God has for you, the one who's been called in the same direction you have.
I remember the night I told God that He needed to give me a husband, and He needed to hurry up about it. How could I serve Him without one? Graciously, God challenged me. Our conversation involved God rebutting my reasons and asking repeatedly 'What is it about a husband that you need Tahnee?'
I had no need. I couldn't come up with a reason of why I had to have one. Yet I knew I was so out of balance. Until one day I realised I was back in balance. I was me again.
I had made some new friends at church and new friends in my community. They were people around my age, single, and who share my interests and passions. Their stage of life matched up with mine. Like me, they were free to hang out in the evenings, looking for friends to go on a picnic with, happy for my company, as I was happy for theirs.
Longing for relationship
The biggest thing I realised this year was, that as a single female in my late 20s, it wasn't a husband I was longing for. Although I do long for a husband. This was a longing for company, for companionship. I didn't desperately need a husband, I just needed friends.
So as I looked at the Trinity, as I appreciated the way God made me as a relational being, I realised that my identity is more complete, and makes more sense, when I am in relationship with my mother-friends as well as my single-friends.
I'm going home to my family for Christmas and I really can't wait. Not for the presents or the food, but to spend time with my family, to express my identity as a relational being by enjoying the company of those I love the most.