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A Setback and a Second Reading


I’m going to guess you did just now what I do sometimes. You either skipped the above verse, or you read enough to know you’re familiar with it and skipped down to the text. Maybe you didn’t, but I am guilty of this so many times. God’s Word gets familiar, which is good, but we miss the blessing of the second reading.

So, could you do me a favor and go up and reread that verse closely? Maybe read it out loud slowly…give it a moment, and then come back. Maybe even find it in your Bible, and then open this post again when you’re ready.

This verse reminded me today, once again, that God’s Word is living. It works in us, and ministers to us specifically through His Spirit.

I had a setback today that shook me up. I got to school, only to have my left side seize up in spasms (dystonia, for my new friends). I left almost immediately, got home safely, and called the doctor. And it’s all fine. I’m fine.

I just wasn’t exactly what you’d call happy about it all…

Until the Lord brought to my mind this verse that He’d spoken to me about this morning. It’s on my mirror, along with a few others.

I was thinking about how different Jeremiah 29:11 would be if it stopped three words short.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

Read it like that again. Maybe a few times. How does it change? It’s significant.

Let me tell you how it changed for me today. (Parenthesis added for my own thoughts. Don’t judge. You do it, too….I hope.)

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord” (Well, I’m glad someone does…grumpy sigh.)

“plans to prosper you” (Because I just had to tell my boss about dystonia over here….)

“and not to harm you” (I’m hurting right now!)

“plans to give you hope” (Be specific.)

But for me, here’s the kicker. This is what got me today for the first time, even though I’ve read this verse a million times.


A future? A future…even when it feels like it’s all a mess. When life is out of control. When the pain is too much. When the doctor doesn’t have any great new solution. When I’m humiliated. When I have to get up tomorrow and go at it again.

So, how would this verse be different for me without those 3 words??

Until that point, it all feels so “in the moment”–as though, yes, there are “plans” but I’m living now.

But, when a FUTURE is mentioned, I feel myself relax. Submit. Breathe.

I’m a planner and my plans go wrong all. the. time. When I’m planning, the future is always unsure.

But the LORD? Not Him. He has our futures, my friend. Not just the moment we’re living, but our FUTURES.

And they are safe with Him.

Setback or not. Pain or not.

His path leads to a future I can trust, because it is planned by the One I trust.

I think I’ll just hold His hand through this one.

I hope you do, too.




9 comments on “A Setback and a Second Reading

  1. Margaret Yocum says:

    Been praying for you all day, girl:). And I thought wow, I don’t need that message today but oh my, I sure do! Thanks for the insight in the midst of your upended life because I really needed to hear that today as well. Love you!


    1. Katy Collins says:

      Thank you for your prayers, Margaret!! You are so sweet. God is good, even when life is upended…;)


  2. Alicia Zornes says:

    This is so true, Katy! I’ve never really stopped to think about that part of the verse either. Thank you for reminding me that God is in control even when life seems chaotic. I hope you are doing well after your setback today. Prayers for you!


    1. Katy Collins says:

      Merry Christmas, Alicia! I’m feeling much better! 🙂


  3. Ann Jernigan says:

    Love you, Katy..your writing…and your heart! Praying for you.


    1. Katy Collins says:

      Love you back!! Merry Christmas!! 🙂


  4. Cindy Tignor says:

    Katy, thank you for taking the time and writing a blog. A blog that i know is touching lives, like it touched mine. I like you have read that verse many times, in fact one year it was my verse for the year. I held on to it like a life raft thrown from a sinking ship. “the future” often feels like it is out in la la land, but it is the next minute that we breath. It is “the future”! Thank you for being so honest and open with us. Merry Christmas….praying for you.


    1. Katy Collins says:

      Thank you just doesn’t seem enough for your sweet comment. I pray the blog touches lives like it helps me to write it…and, I agree, sometimes (all the time!!?) it feels like His Word is all we have to hold to. But, thankfully, like you said, it’s enough to get us through that next breath and to the future! Love you, sweet lady!!


  5. Candi Barcus says:

    I missed this one during the holiday madness but I am thinking I needed to read this one now. A future…I receive it…even at age 59. Thanks Katy!❤️


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