Dear Last Year,

I’m writing to let you know I’m not mad. I’m struggling a little, missing your days of lighthearted living (although you weren’t all sunshine and roses yourself), but I understand. I know why every Last Year is forbidden to shed light on the Next. It’s one of those things the Lord just won’t allow. And like everything else He orchestrates, it’s all for our good.

Because I know what you thought. You thought if I knew that This Year was going to be the one we’ve been dreading, the one where my dad’s physical strength would finally start to lose ground to his mental fortitude, then I might not be able to move forward. You thought I might crumble under the weight of what I knew would come.

You thought if you let me in on the fact that I’d have to watch my parents’ lives change while mine changed with them that it would be too much to bear. You thought that if I knew that the devil was going to be relentless in trying to discourage us, even in the darkest days of our lives, that I would give up.

You thought that my dad, even with his sterling testimony of living every single day as a Spirit-controlled Christian through the most difficult of circumstances, might just reach his limit with what This Year has handed us so far. And you thought my mom, who has persevered through the treacherous path of emotional highs and lows, might just say she couldn’t take anymore.

You thought that uprooting all our lives, taking away my parents’ independence, and putting us under one roof might be our last straw.

But, you didn’t know what God was going to do for us.

You must have forgotten what He promised in His word. Those verses like the one I’ve depended on for months now, Psalms 46:1, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”

And Romans 8:18, “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us.”

And ones my dad spoke of to his church by phone yesterday, even as he was too weak to be present with them: “For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God. For which cause we faint not: but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:15-18)

You didn’t know that, even through turmoil, God would give His peace. He would send our friends and family to pray for us continually and say the right things at just the right times. He would give us quality time with family, and victories like seeing my dad able to take steps again after his strokes. He would cover us with his feathers, and give us comfort through tears.

It’s true, Last Year, we weren’t expecting this. But, we’re still surviving, and we will survive whatever This Year holds, because God is holding This Year in His hands, and He holds us, too.