Christmas trees and car wrecks.

Christmastree-1 Christmastree-2 Christmastree-3 Christmastree-4 Christmastree-5 Christmastree-6 Christmastree-7 Christmastree-8 Christmastree-9 Christmastree-10 Christmastree-11I look forward to decorating our home for Christmas all year long.

It isn’t that we have lavish decorations. Those things require money and storage space, with the latter being perhaps the greatest of all constraints. We stick to one awkward and patchy tree, scavenged clippings strewn above the bookshelves, and random candles scattered about. Every space in our little home has to be highly functional, so we just don’t have the luxury of the magazine-worthy Christmas decor.

I’m ok with that, because I love how our few Christmassy things bring unspeakable coziness to our space. And I love the traditions that go along with our decking, our cold trek to Eastern Market, our speedy decorating of the tree (16 ornaments can be hung surprisingly quickly), and our annual viewing of Elf with gingerbread cookies and festive drinks. I love these things, because they are ours, the traditions we established as an “us” to carry through the years.  We always make sure to get back from Thanksgiving travels by Saturday night or Sunday afternoon at the very latest, just to give us time to spruce our home and sit in the glow of our tree before the business of December sets in.

But this year, that didn’t happen.

If you follow along on the grams, you saw that we were in a terrible car wreck coming home from Kentucky. I keep on closing my eyes and feeling afresh that impact, the crush of metal, the sight of the mangled car. I stood by the highway and cried for a long time, and we are looking at a long road of insurance dealings and car shopping, as we now have no vehicle. It will be an expensive road, a stressful road, a frustrating one. We spent the first part of this week making sure we were ok physically, nursing aches and pains.

Still, we walked away from that wreck, as did the other people involved.

I keep playing over that too, reminding myself that God is good and that we are safe, when so much logic says that the wreck could have been far worse than a totaled car, sore bodies, and worried hearts. We made it back to DC late Sunday night, and decided to decorate our apartment Monday night in spite of the rain that made our trek difficult and the weary souls that made us less in the mood. We covered our crooked tree in lights and feeble ornaments, tossed branches above the bookshelves, and curled on the couch to watch Elf in the glow.

Immanual. God is with us.

I keep coming back to that, the promise of Christmas. I feel reminded of it every time I look at our tree and feel thankful that we made it home in one piece to ring in another Christmas. I feel it like a gentle warmth spreading through my cold and tired body. And I am also reminded that Christmas doesn’t just mean that God is with us on his own. The incarnation set into motion a series of events that changed everything, that placed some of the character of God, his capacity to love, in humanity. We have been blown away by the support of our friends and family this week. Texts have flooded in offering cars, rides to the grocery and doctor, prayers, comfort, laughter, and support. We have been surrounded by so many people who remind us that Immanuel came to not only be with us, but to inhabit our very souls and be his hands and feet in this world.

God is with us indeed.

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18 Responses to Christmas trees and car wrecks.

  1. So glad you are okay! You are well-anchored in truth, so another truth comes into play–All is well, and all will be well. Blessings as you celebrate Immanuel.

  2. 2presblogger says:

    So glad you are okay! My sister and I got into a wreck on 64 years ago. Hit black ice, spun, and rolled. Amazingly, we both walked away from it, although my car was totaled. I remember calling my mom from the side of the road to tell her we were okay but needed to figure out a ride home. She said,”the angel networks are activated!” I never forgot that. And yes indeed, through a series of fortunate events we found a ride and made the 8 hour trek home by that evening. Hope you all have similarly felt surrounded by love and care!

  3. Maria says:

    So glad you are both okay. I felt so sad when I read your gram. Cars can be replaced, but your beautiful soul cannot. Merry Christmas with love and peace.

  4. Shannon says:

    I am so sorry, Hannah! I am glad you both are ok, and will be praying for grace and provision as you sort everything out.

  5. Ashley Smith says:

    Hannah, so glad you’re okay! We made the same drive (Louisville-DC) on Monday and I know full well the roads in WV are crazy dangerous. I wish we could have helped you guys out, but you made it home and God is good. Best of luck with getting a new car, etc.

  6. So glad that you are both okay. Car wrecks, minor or major, are so unsettling. God is good. I hope the insurance claim, car shopping, etc. all go smoothly.

  7. WomanLoved says:

    So glad you are ok. God is so faithful. Praying that your December and Christmas will be filled with peace and that deep joy which comes from knowing the lover of your soul. May you walk in his grace and favour with your car shopping. X

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