A couple of weeks ago, Bryan and I were in a car accident. With each other. (Very fun conversation with Geico, as you can imagine). I was driving onto the highway as several cars in front of me stopped suddenly on the ramp. I knew as I tried to stop that Bryan, driving behind me - wouldn't have time to process all of it. Sure enough - he slammed into my bumper, then hit me a second time on the side. I watched from the rearview mirror as he spun off the highway ramp into a street light that fell on his car before rolling into the grass.

Everything seemed to move in slow motion. I couldn't process what had happened, only get out of the car and run to him and hope that I found him unharmed. But it looked horrible. It looked like I watched my husband meet his demise. He said he could hear me yelling his name hysterically (hysteria, yes!) as he wondered how the airbag came out but never touched him. We were both fine - not even a scratch to report. The enormous street lights are apparently very easy to knock over since they are hollow, and even in photos the car didn't look as bad as the whole thing felt. Elsa was safe and asleep in her bed at home, under the care of my mom. Our car was totaled, but it didn't matter. We were overwhelmingly thankful for how everything transpired and the way God protected us.

As far as timing goes, it would have been cool to not add expensive car damage to the everlasting list of things to be taken care of around the holidays, but who even cares when you all get to spend the next day together - safe and sound.

Pretty sure we all need to buy all of the Lindsay Letters canvases. Amen.

That story is so paltry in light of everything that has been going on lately, though. Deadly hostage attack in Australia, as patrons enjoyed their coffee in a cafe. Close to two hundred children killed in a school in Pakistan. An ex-marine kills his ex-wife and her family. Horrific and ominous threats to moviegoers. Parents mourning their babies that left us two Decembers ago.

It's heavy. It's weary. It's stifling.

It makes the busyness of buying presents feel trite, and I keep finding myself wondering aloud to my friends and family, "WHY DOES EVERYTHING SEEM TO HAPPEN THIS TIME OF YEAR? When it's already such a struggle to focus on what Christmas actually means, why is everything so especially broken and depraved?" (I know why it's broken and depraved, but you know what I mean).

And then I thought of O Holy Night - that one particular lyric.

A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices.

And then I thought that maybe it's always going to be especially hard this time of year. Because we need to really remember and understand just how much we need hope and need a Savior. Because we have to remember that this isn't it. This isn't our home. This isn't how the story ends.

Two Christmases ago, I wrote that I had to stop trying to make sense of it all, and instead remember the joy and glory of anticipating the day when "He will wipe every tear from our eyes. When there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain."

Our weary world will rejoice again. Even reading that now seems so far from the brokenness of the horror that keeps happening, but it's all the more reason to cling to what is good and true. We need to be reminded of the glorious significance of advent.

I so hope you fight for the time to slow down, to savor, and to celebrate the hope and promise and glory of our Savior amidst the squalor and distraction. I pray for joy and peace surpassing all understanding, and thankfulness for each small moment.

All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us). - Matthew 1:22-23, esv

And here's a picture of my baby because THAT WAS A HEAVY ONE, FRAN.

Merry Christmas, ya filthy animals!


  1. Sing it, sister. I couldn't love this post more, and I've been chewing a lot on similar things lately. That line from O Holy Night gets me right in the heart. That song came on my shuffled iPod a few months ago (judge me), and I remember crying like a fool as I was driving down the highway because those lyrics! They're so powerful and I had never fully noticed! I chalked it up to hormones at the time, but it gets me as much now as it did then.

  2. I read this yesterday, on the two year anniversary of the day a friend of mine died in a car accident, and I've had that line running through my head ever since.

    A thrill of hope.

    Thanks for this.

  3. yes and yes! we are all singing the same song and grateful for it!