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We live in crazy times. There is so much to celebrate and revel in, but I have to admit, the headlines these days can also be paralyzing. There is so much bad news out there that I can overwhelm myself with worry. It seems the farther I get into Momdom, the more I fear tragedy because there’s more at stake and I can’t conceive of anything ever happening to me or my kids. So I do this thing, when I read a terrible headline, where I try to rationalize why that could never happen to me. “Well, I would never be in that neighborhood at that time…” I try to convince myself that I am not at risk of getting sick or losing a child, until I hear…

“She was 35, with no family history of cancer…”

“She was 32 and standing on a pier with her father…”

“She was only two and half, and had never even had an ear infection…”

Paralyzed.

In our local news alone, over the last year, a mom and her children were killed by a private plane that crashed into their home a week before Christmas. Another woman was hit by a garbage truck while unloading her infant from the car. Another mom was shot and killed at random when she answered a knock at her front door…half a mile from my house. And another gazillion moms were diagnosed with cancer. All in broad daylight, all in safe neighborhoods.

I can’t explain away tragedy– it is completely out of my control. So I try to convince myself that maybe my faith will protect me. That because I believe in a sovereign God who loves me, redeems me, and gives me hope for the future, that I will continue to lead a happy life with my healthy family. But that’s false hope because the headline gets worse…

“In this life, you will have trouble…” (John 16:33)

It’s right there in red letters, promised by Jesus himself. The faith that sustains me won’t protect me from bad things– in fact, it guarantees them. And those words haunt me.

“But I’m so healthy…”

“In this life, you will have trouble…”

“But I’m so careful…”

“In this life, you will have trouble…”

“But I love Jesus…”

“In this life, you will have trouble…”

As much as I want to believe that my God loves me too much to allow cancer into my bones, I know that’s not the case. My faith guarantees a lot of things– unconditional love, forgiveness, redemption, sanctification, deliverance, anointing, freedom, comfort, grace – but not a life free from pain or suffering. If it did, wouldn’t everyone believe?

So I have to keep reading.

“In this life, you will have trouble… But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

There it is! Take heart: to have hope, to be encouraged, to fear not. It’s there again and again, all over the pages of scripture.

“Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart…” Psalm 27:14

“Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.” Matthew 9:2

“Take heart, daughter, your faith has healed you.” Matthew 9:22

“Fear not, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will uphold you…” Isaiah 41:10

No, there are no promises of health or safety. But there is the promise that the Maker of the moon and stars– the One who overcame the cross, who overcame this world– holds us in His mighty hand. I trust that He will carry me through it, no matter the outcome. In this world, with these headlines, it’s my only hope for peace. I breathe a sigh of relief…

Take heart.

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Kathryn Grassmeyer

Kathryn is a southern transplant, working and living in Northern Virginia with her husband Tyler and daughter Charlotte. She is soaking up life as a family of three before baby #2 arrives this summer. When she’s not blowing noses or failing at potty training, she works as a pediatric physical therapist. Blog: http://www.barefootdaydreams.com/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BarefootDaydreamsBlog Twitter: https://twitter.com/kategrassmeyer

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