For those of you who have known me for the past couple of years, could probably figure out that my most prized possession and the love of my life is my black lab, Jake who I more often referred to as my Little Boo Bear. Two and a half years ago I woke up on a Sunday morning and told my fiancé at the time that I was going to get a puppy. I was tired of spending so much time by myself while he worked crazy hours and I wanted something to love and care for. Being as he was always supportive and understanding with the combination of knowing that once my mind is set on something I don't stop until I get it, we drove an hour and half that same morning to a breeders home where I was certain I was going to leave with a yellow female lab. When I held her in my arms, I looked at my fiancé with tears in my eyes and when he asked me what was wrong, I responded with "I don't feel a connection with her." He suggested I be more open minded and we looked at the male black labs. I remember picking up Jake and holding him in my arms for the first time and I knew immediately he was the one. I felt such love for him.
Over the course of two years, Jake was the center of my world. He made moving from Oregon to Georgia with no family feel like I had everything I needed. He was truly like a child to me and as my family would joke, I spent more money spoiling him than most would on a real child! He was also my best friend, my comfort and security in that big house on nights I slept alone. He slept under the covers with me at night, he ran errands with me, I took him on walks three times a day, to the dog parks to play and my most special memories with Jake are on my boat. Last summer I spent every day on the lake with Jake. I loved taking him to the pet store and letting him pick out a toy that I could throw in the water and watch him swim out to fetch and swim back to the boat so pleased with himself. I would do this with him for hours and as I would drive the boat around the lake, he would sit on the seat right next to me as my co captain and I would put my arm around him and just feel so proud and thankful he was all mine.
It is almost impossible for me to come to terms with not having my Boo Bear. Since moving from my home last year and into a small condo, it became too difficult to take care of him by myself in such a small space. I was spending hundreds a month on daycare and it simply became too expensive and unfair to Jake. The same day that I called my mom to tell her my plans of trying to find Jake a better home, I met a man at our condo's dog park who was playing with his Jack Russell. He and his wife were in town for the weekend visiting their daughter who lives in my building. Something inside of me on that Easter Sunday encouraged me to tell this man of my plans. He completely lit up. He explained that his wife has been devastated for the past year over the loss of their black lab, Nicki. She hasn't been able to even look at labs without getting extremely emotional and felt like there was a huge void in her life. He asked that I meet him down in the lobby that next morning so his wife could meet Jake. I cried myself to sleep that night and contemplated whether or not to go, because I was certain as soon as they met my handsome boy they would immediately fall in love as I did, which meant I would have to say goodbye. I thought unselfishly that morning and mustered up the strength to do what I knew was the best for Jake. When I learned they lived on several acres on a lake where he could swim, they allow him to sleep in their bed at night, they have another dog for him to play with and most importantly as a retired couple with no children at home, they spend all of their time with their dogs, I just knew in my heart that God gave me this family as quickly as he did, to save me the pain of dragging out the process of finding him a home.Needless to say, that Monday was the worst day of my life. Although I knew in my heart I was doing the right thing, I felt very guilty and my heart was completely broken. I am thankful his new family has such compassion and sends me frequent updates and still asks me what my opinion is on certain situations. They have assured me that they love him as I do, he has adjusted remarkably and is extremely happy and spoiled in his new home.
I write of this because writing is how I cope. I felt if I write about this, I could finally be able to move forward. Last night as I lay in bed thinking about Jake as I do every night, I also began to contemplate some decisions I have made these past couple of months since losing Jake. I realized that I was making them to fill the hole in my heart. Last night I felt again the Lord speak to me and I wanted to share in hopes that someone else who is feeling as I am, will take comfort in this as I do.The Lord was telling me to let go and trust in him as I did one year ago and he will give me the desires of my heart plus so much more than I can't even possibly fathom. He was telling me that just because I lost something dear to me, I should not make the mistake of filling that hole in my heart with the wrong person or the wrong things. I need to trust that his grace is sufficient and do not go after a temporary fix that could lead to more holes in my heart. For those of you who have ever felt an overwhelming feeling come across your body where it becomes impossible to fight back tears, please listen to it because it could very well be the voice of reason. The voice of comfort and encouragement and the voice of guidance and strength.
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition and with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." - Philippians 4:6-7