The past six weeks or so I have been reminded again and again of the frailty of our bodies.

A friend from middle school and high school was hospitalized with a life-threatening allergic reaction.

One of my older sister’s best friends, a girl I’ve known since middle school, is in the hospital with complications from a chronic liver disease. She has a six month old at home and her condition is serious.

My best friend’s newborn nephew caught pertussis and has been under 24 hour watch for weeks so he won’t choke to death.

My little sister had a medical emergency on New Year’s Eve that had us up in the night and me worried to death.

And yesterday I heard the news that a little girl from a family I’ve known for 20 years or so, a girl I babysat as a baby and preschooler, died from the flu. Her little sister is  still in the hospital being treated for the same thing.

I’ve spent these weeks praying and praying and praying for healing. All the while I feel the little kicks, punches, and tumbles in my tummy reminding me of yet another fragile, but vibrant life that is growing inside me. I don’t have any grand words of wisdom to wrap all this up in a tidy bundle. It’s a wretchedly hard world we live in. Pregnancy reminds me that the human body is strong and capable of amazing things. But these health crises remind me that it is also frail and our strength, our life, can be taken away in a moment. It certainly is leading me to walk a little carefully into this new year – not out of fear that something will happen – but in acknowledgment that there are no promises about tomorrow beyond the promise that God is already there.