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My Heart Hurts

I've been quiet in my writing. My heart has been going through a transition. We are always changing aren't we? Although we don't always realize the change that is occurring until something happens that totally sets us off track. October 31st we had to have our little Daisy put down. Those words still don't sit well within me. I want to spit them out and start again. Go back somehow and have a different outcome. She was our little Dachshund. Daisy was eight years old. She had suffered from back issues for the last three years. We knew this day would come, but you pet lovers out there know that nothing prepares you for that moment. 

I have felt such a loss. She was my buddy. Especially the last three years. She was never away from my side. She was so smart and brave. Funny and filled with personality. She was my study buddy, my writing buddy, and my late night friend. Since she had injured her back we babied her and was gentle with her. Carrying her outdoors. Never allowing her to jump. We were cautious and nervous awaiting the next time she hurt her back, but always hoping that day never came. 

I began sharing with friends just how much my heart was hurting. What I heard from friends was that I was mourning Daisy and it would take time. I can be honest with you and tell you I just wish she was here now. I am carrying such guilt. I have never had to put a dog down before. I pray this is my last time. She trusted me. She looked to me to care for her and at times the tears roll and I feel as though I let her down. Did I take the cowards way out? At the time I didn't think so. I could see how much pain she was in and I knew I never wanted to see her that way again. Over the last few years I would sit with her for six to eight weeks as she recovered. Keeping her still. Which if you knew Daisy was impossible. She was such a people lover. She was so excited when someone came through the door. She greeted everyone with such love. 

She came into my life eight years ago during a very dark time in my life. Life had thrown me for a loop and I didn't want to face tomorrow. As my husband called me into our bedroom one evening to watch television I stopped at the door. I couldn't enter. I knew I didn't want to. I was facing depression head on and I knew where our gun was. It was a thought that came to my mind. I knew I would never do it. I had too much to live for and would never leave my family like that. But even the thought scared me and I didn't want to face my fears. I screamed out to God during that time in my life. I didn't know how our family could be going through such disheartening times. I dropped to my knees that evening and my husband lifted me up and allowed me to just break in his arms. 

That weekend my husband and son came through the door with smiles. My Jake said, "Mom, are you ready? Close your eyes." In my open hands my son placed Daisy. If there was ever a divine purpose for a pup, Daisy was that gift from heaven. I smiled again. I giggled and even though life around us was falling apart she was there loving me through it. So, you see, Daisy wasn't just a dog. That really hurts when people say that. She was much more than a dog. She was my friend. She never failed me. She was there and she always knew when a migraine was about to hit me. During those days I would be sick she never left my side. And here I am without her. My heart hurts. 

We are blessed to have the most wonderful vet we could ever ask for. On the evening I called him he came to our home. My husband was with Daisy. I couldn't. I laid beside her and told her how much I loved her and just how proud I was of her. I told her everything from my heart. My husband was crying. He knew my heart wouldn't be able to take what was about to come. I traveled to my mom's home and she sat with me and cried. 

I returned home that evening and when I walked through the door I went to Daisy's pallet. Oh, how she loved her fuzzy blankets. I picked up her favorite and noticed that half of it was missing. I turned to my husband and said, "What has happened to Daisy's blanket?" He broke and could barely get the words out. "That was her favorite blanket and I buried her in it." Here is my big and tough husband breaking for the loss of a pup he loved so dearly. 

Daisy will never be replaced. No pup will ever compare to our sweet Daisy. I'm not sure I will ever be ready to have a pup again. Maybe some day, but through sharing with friends I realize more than ever how important it is to take time to grieve. To remember our sweet times together and to embrace what my heart is feeling. 

A friend texted me a few nights ago and said, "How are ya doing, Rob? I mean, really, how are you doing?" It is such a gift to have friends who know me so very well. I shared with her my struggles and just what I have been pondering. 

Almost two years ago this month was our last visit to our home church of twenty years. Church wounds hurt deeply. I have carried such anger and hurt. I have felt like my presence there never mattered at all. We haven't been visited by anyone in our church to ask us why we haven't been there. I can tell you with everything in my heart that I now know I too have been grieving our home church. We have visited many churches, but have yet to find one that we feel the Lord's calling. I am now understanding grieving takes time. Until I am able to fully grieve and let go of every hurt and forgive I can never truly find where the Lord is calling. Just maybe that is why I haven't felt His calling to join another church. He is wanting me to take time. I have many emotions to work through. I lay it all at the feet of Christ, but then something will happen and I pick it all right back up again. Healing takes time. We aren't suppose to rush through what our heart is feeling. 

I have been opening up more and more to the Lord. I can tell you once you have been hurt it is hard to trust again. I have lost friendships that I thought would last a lifetime. Friendships with women I trusted and loved as sisters. I don't have all the answers, but I know the One who does. When we face loss, and there are many kinds of loss, we must take time to work through our emotions. 

This month I will turn forty-seven. My dad passed from this life to the next when he was forty-six years old. The same age I am today. He died when I was nineteen. When my dad died my entire world was broken. You never get over the loss of a parent. All those people that said, "It will just take time", were lying. Time doesn't heal that wound. But what time does is give you new perspective. Time allows you to grow. Life continues and I know the greatest gift I could give to my dad would be to live my life to the fullest. Now that I am the same age as my father it has hit me even harder. I now understand more than ever just how young he was. I understand so much more that I could have never understood at nineteen. 

This is why I have been more quiet than usual. The words are there to share with you, but my heart has just been going through so much and I have come to understand that when my heart is hurting I just need to spend time with my Lord. I need to soak in all of Him and allow my heart to listen to all He has to share with me. 

Friends, don't be afraid of grieving. There is no right way or wrong way. We all grieve loss. It could be the loss of a job. Moving to a new home and leaving the home you raised your children in. Which brings me to another emotion I have been touched with. The empty nest. Our youngest son has been staying with our youngest daughter. They have such a wonderful relationship. Oh, all of his things are still here at home, but he is missing. I think leaving home is a process for him too. I don't think it's anything he wants to do too quickly. Just a few nights ago he texted me and said, "Mom, I'm so sorry I'm not there with you. I feel so bad." I am blessed to have Jacob as a son. Oh, he worries about his momma, but his momma wants him to soar. I know he is getting ready to fly and when he takes off there is nothing going to hold him back. God has huge things planned for him. But the house is quiet now. His music can't be heard all through the house. His banjo isn't playing the same tune he loves over and over again. Dirty clothes are not scattered and his boots are not stacked by the front door. 

Life is forever changing and what I'm learning is that if I am not fully present I am going to miss out on great blessings. Grieving has it's purpose. It allows us to work through issues that blindside us. Through all of this I am learning to wait upon the Lord. He has been moving greatly in me. Guiding me and teaching me lessons I could have not learned any other way. I am depending on Him like never before in my life. 

In our journey there is nothing that the Lord cannot use to bring glory to His name. Nothing goes wasted with our Jesus. He knows exactly what He is doing. From ash He brings beauty. From grieving He brings growth. From growth we become more like Him and more of who He has created us to be. 

Thank you for allowing me to open up and be transparent with you. If you too are grieving, leave me a message. I would love to pray for you. 

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