Now that school is out and summer almost here, most of us look forward to taking a vacation… or just a much-needed rest. Learning one way or another produces within, a passion for life in general. Learning something new excites and rejuvenates.
I love learning about the WORD and figuring out what GOD is teaching me. But what about when GOD is teaching you something you were not ready for, like saying goodbye?
As of this writing today, we just put our beloved yellow lab named Charlie down. A week ago he was riddled with pain, and a rush to the vet gave us the answers. My companion was suffering from a tumor and also lymphoma. It was a shock because we had just been on a long walk together the day before and he was himself up until that vet visit. Our veterinarian suggested putting him to sleep at that time, but my heart told me there was more time together. I spent a sleepless night going over it all with GOD and HE said we had more days with our loyal friend. Always with a pet, the “right time” is hard to know. But after much prayer I was certain we were doing the right thing bringing him home for a short time.
And so, with pain medication in hand, the next day we brought Charlie home and he was eager to be there. We did have some wonderful days together… much slower walks, much-needed hugs, and looking into each other’s eyes with love. Some will say it’s just a dog, but those of us who have owned one, realize what GOD’S idea of unconditional love is… you see it in those sweet brown eyes!
So with each day, I saw a little more slipping away… I of course tried to hold on tighter. There were a few pain episodes, and one seizure. I began to take walks by myself, just to get used to the idea. My hands felt so empty without a leash to hold. I started to grieve with each passing day, and with the realization that my constant shadow of 11 years would soon be gone.
And so here I sit, without my friend at my feet and my heart aches. The house is very quiet now. Charlie’s unconditional love for me I will experience no more.
But praise GOD, how wonderful HIS unconditional love is for us!
I have HIS love, mercy, and grace every single day… it has gone before me and will continue after. HIS love is unchanging and in this letting go, I am leaning in on my GOD with all I’ve got… looking for HIM to heal my grief.
Letting go is hard, but I need to LET GOD. I am certain in my heart that HIS unconditional love will be a salve on my wound… HIS word, a restorative pill so to speak that I need to take every single day. If I let go, HE will catch me into HIS arms; HE will love me and guide me, and forever remain by my side, a side that is empty now without my beloved dog.
I “see” Charlie out of the corner of my eye everywhere I turn, and I miss hearing his sweet nails on our wood floor when he would run to greet me. My pain is gut wrenching at this time… and GOD says: “ let it all go, and I will heal you”. I am learning, and leaning… one day at a time.
LAMENTATIONS 3:32 “ THOUGH HE BRINGS GRIEF, HE WILL SHOW COMPASSION, SO GREAT IS HIS UNFAILING LOVE.”