This past year was pretty bad. I don’t think it’s just me; the sentiment across my family — and even the country, it seems — is that 2016 was hard. Harder than 2015, or any of the years prior. It seemed that more celebrities died this past year, and it felt like everyone lost a little more than they ever had before.

My grandma died this past year. I didn’t write about it. I’ve been writing since grade school, blogging since before my daughter was born, but I didn’t feel like I could. It felt like the emotions were too raw, the weight of them too much. I can only imagine how my mom feels. But Jessica lost her mom the previous year. Shortly before Namine was born, both her grandma and her dad died in the same year. 2016 wasn’t the only bad year. Every year we lose something we once had, something or someone we thought would last forever.

My grandparents, both my mom and dad’s parents, looked pretty much the same my entire life. How does the saying go? They were old when I was young. They never changed; they were the kind, patient faces, never changing. Until they did. I have one grandpa left, and — it hurts to admit — he will not live forever either. None of us will, not in this life.

2016 wasn’t hard. Every year is hard. This world is hard. This world is full of strife, of heartache, of pain. There is no hope to be had here, and comfort to be given. But… our hope isn’t in this world. It’s in the next.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
Hebrews 13:8

Our faith is in the eternal God, who foresaw the lives of everyone — and the deaths of everyone — before He created the universe. Our salvation was promised since the world’s beginning, and that is where our hope lies. Not in people, not in new years, and not in so many broken promises. Our hope is in the one promise that God made before we were born, the one promise that He has kept. Jesus Christ is not dead. He is risen! And on that glorious day of His final coming, we will see our loved ones again.

2017 will bring more deaths. I don’t have to be a psychic to know that. But what I do know is that my faith rests in the God who has died and been raised to life, and through Him, I can know that everything will be all right. I will see my grandparents again. Jessica will see her parents and grandparents again. It’s not something we have to do, not something we resolve. It’s already done. Jesus Christ has already done it; He has already won for us the greatest victory.

The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.
Isaiah 40:8

Husband. Daddy. Programmer. Artist. I’m not an expert, I just play one in real life.