“A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morning.”
The familiar poetic promise of this line from my favorite Christmas song, “Oh Holy Night” has been on replay in my head. The past year has left me weary. It has been the hardest year in a long time, for a number of reasons. Not since coming home with Elena after her injury have we have faced more uncertainties. A year of constant adjustments, overcoming challenges, facing unknowns, and unwelcome surprises has left me feeling depleted and afraid. There has been little time in between to regroup and gather myself before the next wave has hit.
Many of you know about our unexpected hospital stay a few weeks ago. There was an issue with Elena’s Baclofen pump that caused a disruption in her medication, sending her body into withdrawal. We knew right away something was wrong and got her to the hospital where they were able to administer medication to stop the withdrawal and get the pump working again. However, the combination of medications was too much for her and, unfortunately, she was overdosed. We experienced about 48 hours of terrifying swings from one end of the spectrum to the other. It was traumatic both in the moment, watching her struggle so and dip precariously into dangerous territory, but also because it drudged up lots of old memories of another time when we faced life-threatening situations with her. Thankfully, she is back to her normal now and we hope to not have to face something like this again, but it has certainly been an exclamation point at the end of a challenging year.
I am indeed weary, but abuzz with a thrill of hope. I am hopeful that this hard year is in my rearview mirror and that yonder breaks a new and glorious morning. I know I am not alone in this. I see weariness everywhere I look. I see people longing for hope, longing for things to get better, longing to feel less alone, longing to rejoice for a savior.
Most versions of “Oh Holy Night” include only the first and third verses, but I was listening to an old, classic version last week that included the second verse, one I’m not sure I had ever heard before. The lyrics struck me and I quickly searched to reread them in this elusive verse.
“The King of Kings lay thus in lowly manger
In all our trials born to be our friend
He knows our need, to our weakness is no stranger
Behold your King, before Him lowly bend.”
It was the verse I needed to hear, the verse that instilled yet more hope within me, reminding me where my hope is born. Hope found me in a Christmas song. “In all our trials born to be our friend. He knows our need, to our weakness is no stranger.”
To all of you weary souls like me, may you find the hope you need this Christmas season.