If I were to be honest with you, I would tell you my heart's all achy tonight. It's been one heck of a week. Actually, it's been one heck of a year so far. Life comes at us fast and hard sometimes. And looking back on my last weeks and months, it kinda feels like a haphazard whirlwind/wild rollercoaster ride mixed with lots of change, some just-staying-the-same, and honestly - a lot of hot messes of tears. And friends, I have to admit, I've done "the ugly cry" a couple times. Here on our little blogs, we must share only what we are comfortable with, only what our boundaries allow - for our hearts, families, and personal convictions. And so, I have not divulged everything I've walked through lately, because it's not always my story to tell. I share this to let you know, though sometimes our Instagram pictures and Facebook profiles, our Tweets and blog posts may look glammed up, perfect and happy all the time - those are just little slices of our lives, little snapshots of our whole pictures... small tastes of our whole story. And I think it's OK to share the lovely things, the blessings - to look for the good and share it. It's not always appropriate or right for us or our families to share the good, bad AND the ugly. So I hope you know that, though bloggers can seem all put together and perfect, we are not. Or rather, I am not. When I talk about heartache, I know it. Even if I don't share a laundry list of reasons why. I know. And you are not alone, my friend, in those struggles, heartaches, and quiet "underworlds" of your life you walk through - the things you do not share on social media. The struggles you face, that you don't or cannot talk about with friends. You are not alone. We all face heartaches, in our own unique ways, and no one's life is picture perfect.
This week, I faced a loss and it cut deep. It's honestly been a really, really rough few days. (Hence my lack of posting here.) When I was 13, my family adopted two of the sweetest Labrador Retrievers ever: one chocolate, one black. Dad named them Joshua and Caleb. Those two precious pups lived through so much life with my family. Nearly 13 years of ups, downs, happy days and sad ones. They were always there - through every one of my teen years, and many of my 20's. So many memories. And they represent so much in my life and my family's life. Early this week, sweet Caleb, our black lab, began to struggle to catch his breath. Being elderly dogs, I knew this day was coming, but just wasn't really ready. Caleb, the once frisky and always hyper dog we loved, laid quietly and peacefully on an old quilt....breathing in and out. Slowly. He wasn't sick. Just tired. And Tuesday morning, I sat down next to him. I whispered what a good dog he was, a good friend. And how sorry I was that I wasn't there... when I was in college, in the last few years...how I missed him. He just propped his chin on my leg, as if to say he forgave and forgot it all - as dogs do. Tears falling softly from my eyes onto his graying head. The sky outside was heavy early this week... cloudy, gray and rainy. Strange for Southern California in May. As if the weather matched the sadness in the air. Yesterday morning, he quietly passed away. My dad buried him under an old oak tree on my family's land. We cried, alot. We knew it was his time to go, he lived long and happily. His sweet brother pup is rather lost without him, and that is so heartbreaking to see. Joshua laid on his brother's freshly laid grave yesterday. He knew. And we will all really miss him.
caleb & i, last spring
Quite honestly, this morning, something in me rose up - angry. Not just over this natural loss but all heartache. I hate loss. My spirit really does. And I know it may sound silly to someone, my heartache and pain over losing our dog, but it's real and it matters. The pain and loss you are walking through may be far greater than this loss, and it matters... oh so much. I hate endings. Change. Pain. Disappointment. Death.
But then I remember the hope I have. The true, phenomenal hope - because death does not win! I've read the end of the Bible. Death loses! Jesus wins, through His death on the Cross. Yes, we experience loss and disappointment, heartache and death here on this broken earth. But death does not have the final say - Jesus has the final say. And He is LIFE.
"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy,
but I (Jesus) have come that you may have life
and have it to the full."
(Also, I really believe God takes care of animals... as my dad (who is a Doctor of Theology ;) says - if God creates a place for animals here on the earth, wouldn't He take care of them in heaven?)
I am thankful for the I Am, tonight.
For hope in loss.
For the Heartache Healer.
And thank you for the sweet prayers for my aching heart.
If your heart is aching too, please share in the comments so we can pray.
Also - next week, I have some really exciting stuff to announce.
A project I've been working on for a year, something I am so thrilled to share with you.
Until then, love and hug and be loved.
Life is short.
I love this thought on loss:
"You will lose someone you can't live without,
and your heart will be badly broken,
and the bad news is that you never completely get over the loss of your beloved.
But this is also good news.
They live forever in your broken heart that doesn't seal back up.
And you come through.
It's like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly -
that still hurts when the weather gets cold,
but you learn to dance with the limp."
--- linking up with the sweet Casey Wiegand --