When preparing this blog post, it hit me that I would be publishing it on Independence Day. I hadn’t thought about writing anything related to the holiday, but after a few events over the last weeks, I felt inclined to.

To start, I want to say that I am much less informed than I should be. I have become the ignorant citizen who only sees the headlines and occasionally skims articles but fails to learn all details of the incidents. And this is shameful, I know. But to me, the headlines are painful enough.

What “events” am I speaking of? The tragic terrorist attacks that have taken place all over the world: the massacre shooting in Orlando, the airport bombing in Turkey, and now, a bombing in Baghdad. Hundreds of people have lost their lives in recent weeks, and this thought brings so much shock to my system.

These attacks are so unpredictable, so powerful, and so frequent.

As much as I could do research and write about the situation our country is in, or even express a political stance that would “solve” everything, I have no motivation to do such. Instead, I am highly convicted to share my personal thoughts on this world, on my beliefs, and on what I cannot control.

For me, I see these tragic events and my heart goes straight to God. I don’t blame Him. I don’t ask why these events are happening. In all honesty, that is a matter I will never understand. Instead, I fall on my knees and I thank God that I can have hope in the gospel, in an eternity without pain or hate, in a peace apart from this world.

I honestly believe that if there is any time to have faith in God, it is now. The thought that any country could be attacked on any given day is horrifying. I never thought I would live in a world where I could not confidently say I felt safe to go to school, take a trip to the movie theatre, sit at a bar, run a marathon, or check into an airport, but it is true. There is no safe haven in this world, or this country. As pessimistic as that sounds, this post is not about the pain or fear. Instead, it is about the hope we have in Jesus Christ–the safe haven.

I may sound preachy or negative. I may sound ignorant or crazy. But I don’t care.

To believe in God is to know that these events will all work out for the good (even though I don’t know exactly what that will look like). To believe in God is to know that any day the place I am living could be a target, but I will spend an eternity with God after. To believe in God is to have a hope that families and friends who have lost close ones in these tragedies can lean on the Lord and find some sense of peace.

People may ask where the proof of God is. People may ask how the God of love could let these horrible things happen. And to be honest, I don’t have evidence. I don’t have an answer. But there is plenty evidence of sin; we live in a fallen world. I like to find hope in my Creator. I love the gospel and what it means for me and for you.

Today we are celebrating our country, and I am so proud to be an American. But even more than that, I am proud to be a follower Christ.

America is the land of the free, but God is the only thing that can set me free from the fears of the world we see each and every day.

I am thankful that I can speak my beliefs through an online blog because of the country I live in. I am thankful that I can believe in God and express that to the world. I am thankful that I can hit “publish” and allow readers to see this hope.

If you are watching the news and you are afraid–if you wonder what is after this life–I ask you to say two sentences to God today.

God, thank you for my freedoms and for keeping me safe. Open my eyes to see you amidst the suffering in this world.

It may sound weird. Or it may fill your heart. I pray for the latter.

Happy Independence Day.

Love, your sister in Christ.