My friends know that I am not a so-called “animal lover.” But when my Mom called to let me know that Callie, my 16 year old calico who I got as an Easter gift in second grade, had to be put to sleep I was upset and sad.
2013 has been a difficult year. From my husband’s sickness to my own illness, from a grandfather battling cancer to my other grandfather passing away, from family friends struggling through trying times to our country mourning many disasters and losses this year, my cat having to be put down was another trial to add to the list.
Yet while this post could easily become a litany of grief and hardships, this one thought has been circling my mind. On my run yesterday (first of all, I’m just thankful that I can run again), I kept thinking:
We have a God who lets us cry. He not only allows us to cry, but we also worship a God who desires for us to cry out to Him. “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18).
I am realizing that I don’t have to have my act together. I can come to God with questions. I can show up for my church small group and not have answers to “What is my role as a wife to a sick husband? What is my role as a daughter during trying and tiring experiences for my family?”
|Beautiful Chicago, a reminder of many blessings|
I can ask, “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me?” (Psalm 42:5) Because even if I don’t understand, I have a firmer foundation than answers to my “whys.”
“Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.” (Psalm 42:11).
I have hope because I have a promise: “The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold” (Psalm 18:2). Now that is a litany I want to repeat. Strong words of “rock, fortress, shield, stronghold.” This is my hope and promised salvation: a Deliverer. This is my joy.
And that is why I continue counting my blessings in my gratitude journal. Numerous blessings like family visiting, a friend’s wedding in Chicago, beauty in nature, a friend’s birthday, the list continues…
|Celebrating Becca’s birthday|
|Before the wedding in Chicago|
|My sister-in-law Emma and I visiting the CNN Center|
As I count my blessings, my joy increases and I can cry out in sadness and in praise.
|I had to include this adorable picture of sweet Callie|