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From Equipper—Until Christ is Formed in You

Join us! During the weeks of Advent, we invite you to follow this spiritual practice from Equipper.

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My first pregnancy was not like Mary’s pregnancy with Jesus. There’s the obvious difference—while my husband and I experienced the pregnancy as a miracle, our child was not immaculately conceived. There are other differences as well. I was in my late 20s while Mary was a teenager. I was married, and though Mary was betrothed, she was not yet married. I deeply desired to be pregnant while Mary’s pregnancy was a surprise. I was surrounded by a village of loved ones who prayed alongside us for a child while Mary lived in a time when becoming pregnant in that context was met with societal doubt, judgment, and shaming. My experience was more like Hannah’s as recounted in 1 Samuel 1. We navigated the ache of infertility, longing and praying for a child who my husband and I were unsure would ever come to be.

What our stories have in common, however—what we all have in common—is the shared experience of Advent, a period of active waiting and anticipation. Though we wait, there is much happening in the waiting. It is a time filled with promise and possibility. We are being spiritually formed.

Spiritual formation is the journey through which we can develop deeper intimacy with and connection to God. I committed my life to Jesus more than 30 years ago, and for much of that time, my focus was on either doing things or avoiding doing things in hopes of keeping God from being upset with me. I didn’t really know what it meant to be with, loved, and formed by God.

Last year, however, after being introduced to spiritual formation by a close friend, I had the privilege of participating in the School of Formation alongside other Christ followers as we learned about and practiced contemplative rhythms, interior examination, racial justice and reconciliation, wholeness, and missional rhythms. Through that experience, I began to truly understand what it means to be in Christ.

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