I had a path for this blog coming together and laid out in my mind, and I had already mentally written the first two paragraphs, and readers everywhere were blown away and in awe, when I got a text that reshaped today’s post. I had sent birthday wishes to a friend who’s response back was that she was at the vet with her senior dog and to please pray. Whoof! I felt like I had been punched in the gut with her pain. Why couldn’t she be at the vet tomorrow or yesterday, any day but her birthday? I sent my 15 1/2 year old puppy across the Rainbow Bridge 3 years ago on New Year’s Eve, and I know the mix of pain and relief she’ll feel if the worst happens today. Pain because she’ll miss Max, but relief because he’ll be better off. Time will feather the pain into the relief.
Sometimes we have to recognize that it doesn’t matter what we plan for our daily lives, that God has a bigger, brighter plan for the entire universe and that we play our part in it. I still have a hard time recognizing that I’m not in control anymore, that I was never really in control. Do you know how that makes a control freak feel? Panicky at first. Then there is a kind of peace from the faith that believing in God’s plan brings. Then I’m back to panicky because I don’t have a crystal ball with life’s answers all contained in swirling smoke, and I want to know what comes next which leads to guilt because the panic is a lack of faith.
Don’t misunderstand. I still have to make the choice between good and evil every day, between being the light or being the darkness. Just because God knows where you are traveling to doesn’t mean that you don’t have to put gas in the car and drive the car to make the journey. Recognizing God’s perfect love and acceptance just makes it easier to love yourself despite your mistakes and to keep putting in the effort to choose light every day. Knowing that everything happens for a reason and that God works everything out for my good makes it easier to simply wait to see how life’s valleys and dips work out.
Still, we wait and pray for Max. We hope that he gets better, that it is nothing too serious again this time. Life hurts sometimes, but it is never hopeless. Everyone go out and live a great day. Smile at a stranger.