Take Heart

There is no doubt that there is evil in this world.  We were reminded of that this past week as 9 innocent people were murdered in their church, Emmanuel AME in Charleston, an hour after welcoming a stranger into their time of bible study.

Evil should not surprise us.  Even  Jesus said in John 16:33 “In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

This cancer in my body is a form of evil.  God did not orchestrate the horrific tragedy in Charleston, rather He did allow it; and similarly I believe that He did not cause this cancer to exist in my body but He did allow it.

God is both GOOD, and SOVEREIGN in ALL things.  We will never see ALL the good that comes out of our suffering (only God can see the whole picture) but in His grace many times He does allow us to see some of the good!

In my last post I shared about how God has been underlining the truth that my only hope; my only ROCK in this world is Jesus.  He’s the only guarantee and He is the only One who is incapable of disappointing us!

As I’ve been processing the news of the church shooting, and continuing to process my own cancer I’ve really been thinking a lot on these words.  What does it mean for my only hope to be in Jesus?  What does that look like, and how does it flesh out?  I don’t want those just to be words that easily roll off my tongue as they have in the past.

One of the beautiful treasures of walking through cancer has been that I’ve had to wrestle with some truths that I *thought* I understood about God….even truths I have taught large groups of women!  The Lord is allowing me this precious opportunity to put flesh on these truths.


So back to John 16:33 “In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

My hope can be in Jesus alone because He has overcome the world.  He has overcome every tribulation, trial, suffering, injustice, and evil that has taken place and will ever take place.

As I go through this life – the good and the hard – His promises are there for me to cling to with all my might!

Promises like this:

He will never leave me or forsake me.  He will provide all I need, all the time, according to the riches in Christ Jesus.  He is preparing a place for me in heaven. Nothing can separate me from His love.  I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. By grace, through faith I have been saved from my sin and eternal separation from God.   I am His masterpiece created to do works He ordained before the beginning of the world! He numbers my hairs (whether many or few) and has numbered and written my days.  He can give peace, not as the world gives but peace that passes all understanding.  He turns ashes into beauty, and makes ALL things work together for good.   (just a sampling of the promises found in scripture….so many many more!)

NOTHING, no shooting, no disease, NO evil that is in this world can take these promises (and many many more!) away from those of us who trust in Jesus as our Lord!  This is how we can overcome, through Jesus overcoming!

This is how we can “take heart”.  This phrase “take heart” in John 16:33 is translated in the King James Version as “be of good cheer”.  In the original language it comes from the root word meaning COURAGE or CONFIDENCE.

We can have courage and confidence to face all tribulation because Jesus has overcome.  And through Him, and fellowship with Him, we can too.

This is what it means to me that Jesus is my ONLY Hope.  His promises I can cling tightly to, and know without a doubt they will not slip through my fingers.

This is how I can take heart.  And you can too.    Today, whatever you could be going through take heart and remember Jesus has overcome.


credit: inspiringpretty.com

Prayer requests:

-my next “big chemo” is this Wednesday, 6/24.  pray for peace as I approach this day! (this is Chemo #3 of 6, so after this I’ll be half way through with this part of my journey!)

-pray that taxotere does not cause another allergic reaction as it did with round 2

-Pray for minimal side effects and boldly praying that they are shorter lived this time!  Specifically pray that I can manage my nausea better this time and I am able to eat

-Continue to pray that God would get all the glory from this cancer and what satan meant for evil, God will use for good in whatever ways He pleases! Pray He uses this so that I may know Him more intimately

-Praise for my “village”  (all of you included) who shower me with love, support, cards daily in my mailbox and just the words of encouragement I need straight from the Lord!! No act of love goes unappreciated!!

-Praise for the “good days” I’ve had (like today)! Celebrating spending the day with my children and feeling like a “normal mom” taking them to VBS and meeting friends at the pool.

I’m so grateful for you!



  1. Brantley says

    Brooke, great post! God is good always!! I had something for you and I smile bc of how beautifully God works in even the little things. You’ll see how that makes sense when you see what it is.

  2. Judy Sanders says

    I’m praying for you today as you have your 3rd chemo treatment.
    Thank you for sharing your heart as you walk this journey. Love your thoughts on “take heart”. I wrote some of them in my journal this morning. God is blessing you with great insight.
    Love and prayers,

  3. Debra Jennings says

    You do not know me but I have been wanting to write to you once I learned about you. I had three grandfathers but there is one that was my favorite. His name was Bob, he was a step-grandpa. My mom is the one who told me about you a few weeks ago. She was tellin me about her step sisters (I never remember hearing she had step sisters). She told me when Bob was hurt and she went to the hospital to be with him during his last few days that Bobs oldest daughter was pregnant with her first child and he did not want her to know he was burned and dying. She was due any day…not long after he was hurt my mom and her mom told Bob that his daughter had a healthy baby girl named Brooke…once Bob heard the news he finally relaxed and was in a coma until he died. I don’t know why God keeps putting you on my heart to tell this story to (other than that baby was you), but I wanted you to know how much I loved our grandpa Bob and how he held on for you to be born. I was not that old when he died about 5 I think but I remember how he always brought me a treat when he came home from work when I was there visiting. My mom shared your blog with me and I have been praying for you and your family. We have several things in common (like infertility and twins). Sorry this is so long I just wanted to let you know I’m praying.

    • Thank you so much for sharing this. It brought tears to my eyes. I wish I could have known my grandfather Bob. From my my mother shares it sounds like he was an amazing man. God bless you and your family!