My uncle, Dave, graduated to heaven last month after a beautiful, faith-filled life—yet a grueling battle with cancer. Though we believe there’s no more suffering or sickness where his soul is now, in the presence of Jesus, we still ache here on earth.

My aunt, Juliann, asked their daughter, Sydni, and a few of us other family members to read or say something at his funeral, but I had trouble finding the words. Everything seemed too chipper, too dark, or too impersonal. Honestly, this isn’t our first run-in with death, and it all just feels so heartbreaking and overwhelming. However, a few days before the funeral, I woke up in the middle of the night with whispers of truth running through my mind. Naturally, I typed them out from the blue-light of my iPhone.

If you (or someone you know) are daring to grieve with hope, like we are, I pray you’ll find comfort in these words. If you’re currently caught in paradox—between death and life, pain and hope, confusion and faith, bitter and sweet—may you find unexpected strength in God’s faithfulness.

We have lost so much. Yet we still dare to hope.

On the surface all seems grey and dark; unfair and unknown. We have questions without fully comprehensible answers, another empty chair at the table, and packages without neat and tidy bows. Yet we still dare to hope.

We have an enemy who wants us to doubt our Maker’s faithfulness. Who pokes and prods in a sarcastic tone, “Are you sure God is still good? That He’ll really do what He said He would?” Yet we still dare to hope.

In the midst of heart-wrenching tragedy—one hard blow after the next—we cry, we grieve, we wrestle. Once again, we ask, “WHY?” We mourn, but not as those without hope.

At times, our faith seems as small and fragile as a humble mustard seed. But our Savior assures us: that’s all the faith we need.

Our God is not shaken from His throne. Our God exists outside of time, space, and this broken, fallen world. Yet our God enters into our suffering and pain with us—weeping WITH us. Just like when Jesus wept with his friends over Lazarus’ death, even though He knew resurrection was coming.

This isn’t the end, but a glimpse into a new beginning. A spark of light, set ablaze to illuminate the darkest of nights. This world is not our home; we’re merely passing through.

No, we don’t have all the answers, but we know the One who does. We can’t see the future, but we trust the One who holds it.

We have lost so much, yet we still dare to hope.

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for His appearing.” 2 Timothy 4:7-8