Our family has been on an interesting journey over the last 10 days. In the middle of last week, I ran over our 15 year old cat while backing out of the garage with my girls in the car. He’s mostly deaf and although the car was running for at least a minute, he never heard it in order to get moving. It was awful! Now, well over a week later, he’s still hanging in there, but due to his age this trauma has proven to be too much. We know that he has days left with us, as we can’t fix what’s wrong and we won’t allow him to suffer any longer.
It has brought such interesting tendancies to light in our lives. Bottom line, we want to avoid sadness at all costs. I don’t want to feel the sadness, I don’t want my kids to feel the sadness, Mark doesn’t want me to feel sadness, and we would do anything to protect each other from it. The problem is that if we try and protect each other from this, we are actually robbing each other of valuable emotions such as grief, gratitude, longing, and closure. These emotions, although sometimes painful, are precisely the moments when God shows up at His best. It is often in the sadness that our Comforter, Peacemaker, Healer, and Tear-drier shines His brightest.
It is also a valuable lesson that life is hard in this broken world. Happiness is elusive, but Christ’s love is a firm foundation to stand on. Unfortunately my girls and our family will face darker days than our favorite cat dying at a ripe old age. This is simply training ground for holding on to joy in the midst of the sadness for the young hearts we are raising. If we try to make it go away or shove it under a proverbial rug, we are not equipping them to handle what else may come their way.
And so, we will march on through the sadness and let Jesus go to the places in those small hearts where He needs to go. I trust Him with their sadness (and mine, too) and I know He will use it to birth in them perseverance, compassion, and depth. We really can’t go through life avoiding sadness or we will miss out on some of the most beautiful experiences in our humanity.
Thanks for all the well wishes for our family! We serve such a good God and I’m so grateful that He’s got my kids in His hands!