Need a little Christmas?

It’s no secret: I’ve struggled this year, and in recent months the battle has almost overwhelmed.

I wrote on my blog yesterday how I felt like I have failed Advent and someone who played a pivotal role in my messed up life decades ago, and who remains a dear friend of my heart, sent me an email in response to my feelings of failure.

He gets it. In a very real sense, he’s right there with me just like so many of you are. This has been hard and harsh year.

My friend shared a song, and the backstory behind it, and It helped. It reminded me of things I sometimes forget when I feel like my brokenness disqualifies me from—well, pretty much everything.

“Jesus wasn’t born for people who have it all together. He was born for those who have nothing,” the story says. These days, I’m one of those who feels like she has nothing so I guess that means me.

Maybe, in terms of my intention for quiet contemplation and deepening my faith, I missed the mark on Advent this year. Hope, peace, joy, love. They’ve been elusive on all fronts. Unfaithful. Weak. Unstable. Yup, that’s me.

In a couple of days it will be Christmas. One like none other in our lifetime. Many of us are feeling  worn out, wrung out, and the effort to summon joy is just more than we can muster. The good news is that we don’t have to. Manufactured joy isn’t what Christmas is all about.

We’re pausing to remember a birth. A time when love was manifest in a time of unrest, weariness, and political turmoil. A time, in a sense, not completely different from today. I know . . . there’s this, and there’s that, and we’ve never come this way before and all that’s true.

But God.

And me. Broken, weary (so, so weary), feeling a lot like I’ve failed these days. Messed up and feeling like giving up.

And Immanuel. God with us. God with me. God with you.

Maybe we need Christmas more than ever this year.

# # #

Here’s the song and a link to the story behind it. I pray it will bless you as it does me.

* Music and words by Bob Kauflin and Lisa Clow © 2020 Sovereign Grace Praise/BMI. Sovereign Grace Music, a division of Sovereign Grace Churches. All rights reserved.


I’m a writer, reader, and creative. I thought by now I’d have things figured out, but I keep coming up with more questions. I think that’s okay. I’m here most mornings pondering ordinary things and the thin places where faith intersects.
  1. I actually think the paired back, silent Christmas will be a blessing this year. We need time to reflect and glean some of the lessons this last year has offered. The struggle has been there for me as well – grief, helplessness, and frustration – just some of the feelings I’ve wrestled with. I’m ready to move through it.

  2. How lovely that your friend was able to give you some words which were helpful. I’ve always loved the definition of a friend as “someone who knows the song in your heart and can sing it back to you when you’ve forgotten how it goes”. Hoping you’ve been able to find a little rest and gently let go of at least some of that which burdens your lovely soul.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.