“How are you doing?” Over cups of hot tea, my dear friend asked a question that I’ve asked myself often lately.

How am I doing?

Am I doing enough to help our oldest son during a crucial time of healing — body and soul? Am I getting enough rest? Am I still connecting with the rest of our family, with the brothers who want to know that I believe in a good outcome, that every day I see their oldest brother getting a little stronger? Am I letting my husband, extended family and friends in, receiving their offers of help and meals and prayers?

I have been so absorbed in the immediacy of walking with our son through his illness that I sometimes forget — others are on this journey with us.

Especially, that God is with us.

Searching bookshelves last week, I found two collections of readings for Advent: God with Us: Redeeming the Meaning of Christmas and Watch for the Light: Readings for Advent and Christmas. As I took them from the shelf and thumbed through the pages, I knew I would begin now, halfway into Advent, to reach for the one thing I need most right now — to be reminded that God is with us.

Advent, this season of waiting, is also a season of “with” because what we are really celebrating is the Incarnation, God with us in the flesh.

Our family is in a season of waiting — for healing, for a transplant, for a life redeemed. It isn’t lost on me that we’re waiting in the season of waiting.

I’m grateful we are invited to do our waiting and walking “with”.

The photo above was taken at Swedish Covenant Hospital in Chicago. These wooden wings hang above the reception desk. They’re probably mean to be angel’s wings, but for me, during our son’s two-week stay at the hospital, they were the wings of eagles described in Isaiah 40:31.

“They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary; and they shall walk and not be faint.”

I’m writing for 10 quick minutes on the one word WITH and linking up today at Five Minute Friday. Stop by their website for other essays inspired by this one word.