The truth about 2016 is not everybody made it here, and not all of us will survive it.

My new tagline for my blog (made in 2015), is “faith, fiction, and encouragement,” and I don’t mean for this post to stray from that by being a downer, but I did have a sobering experience on the last day of 2015: I had to call 911 and wait with an older friend who lay non-responsive on the floor of her dining room until help arrived.

We didn’t know then what had happened, but as the paramedics ruled out one problem and then another, they sat her up, and the left-to-right slope of her mouth made it clear she’d had a stroke.

Though she has survived, that was the most serious medical issue I’ve ever had the responsibility of getting help for, so you can imagine that the experience has left its mark on me.

As I watched her sit helplessly on the floor, surrounded by paramedics, her expression skewed, I knew like I’d never known before that life doesn’t last forever. The Bible tells us our lives are vapor. They’re here and then gone.

What nags you as you read this? What area of your life is out of order? The good news is that, if you’re reading this, you still have the opportunity to work on those issues. Live a life that is rich toward God. Get right with Him, family, and friends. Enjoy your blessings. Take advantage of opportunities. You never know when those things will no longer be an option.

I could write so much more about the experience. I could write about how important faith in Jesus is. (And I urge you not to try facing eternity without Him.) I could write about the importance of inter-generational friendships or doing good for the people around you.

But for today, I’m going to leave it here because, honestly, I’m still processing the whole thing myself.

The truth about 2016 is it’s a privilege to have made it this far. Make it a good year. Use it to address those nagging issues because what’s true of 2016 will be true of 2017: not everyone will make it, and each day is a privilege.