I am so glad that I have learned that joy is not a feeling based on circumstances. Yesterday, I had to make the difficult choice to end the life of my kitty Sam. It was not expected that he would get that sick so quickly. I have been caring for a blind kitty with cancer over the last few weeks and I was trying to prepare my heart to let her go, but Sam took me by complete surprise. I am grateful I was strong enough to be there loving him until he drifted off completely. Right before the first injection, Sam had kissed my forehead one last time. He stretched out his paw onto my arm. I could swear he knew it was time to go and wanted me to be okay with it. At least that thought helps me a little. It was a sweet and peaceful rest for him, considering the circumstances. Man, I cried like a baby letting go of him. It would have been cruel to keep him alive since there was nothing that could be done for him. But even so, it didn’t make that decision any easier. The pain of having to make that choice is cruel to my heart, but that’s life. I am trying to focus more on the blessing of having such a long time with that wonderful creature. I have good memories and I am grateful for that. I cried way past midnight. I would be okay for a bit, then the tears would come again and they came hard. As the night went on, the pain in my heart got worse. It has been a long time since I had to say goodbye to a beloved pet. It was like it was a first time again — soooo hard to deal with.
Today was the first day of Spring semester for me. Bad timing!! It was very hard to put my broken heart aside this morning and show up to be a student for 6.5 hours. My eyes were red and puffy and I was tired from crying so much last night after losing Sam. This morning, my heart was just not feeling the student thing. This is only my second year after quitting 20 years ago, but I wanted so much to blow it off. I wanted so much to numb myself again, but reality kicked in and I know how much I stand to lose if I go back to my old ways. So, I pushed through the pain again. As hard as it was, I got out of bed and I showed up. And you know what? So did God. He always does and that is why I continue to push through tough times even though quitting sounds really good sometimes. God gave me what I needed to be a student today. He put the desire back in my heart. I like my professors and the students. Even being the oldest in the classes did not bother me. I may entertain thoughts of quitting at times, but I am so glad that I know better. Even though I walked with a sad heart today, I was encouraged at how I was able to push through and focus on my mission of being in school to earn a degree. That is surely God’s strength in me. I am way too weak on my own.
When the long day ended and I sat in my car for a moment, I completely lost it again. It was weird how it seemed to come so quickly after being strong all day. I cried…a lot. I got an errand done, and when I got home, I cried some more. I really thought after last night’s tears that I had run dry, but nope. Even as I write this, my eyes are welling up. I hate when my heart hurts and I cannot do what I used to do to lessen the pain. Of course I can if I really want to, but deep inside, I really don’t. I don’t want to undo the great things of God in my life. I am alive and sober and I don’t want to go back to the darkness of being dead and drunk. I just can’t go back.
I am grateful for how God’s Word helps me through the night. The Holy Comforter is with me. Listening to “Joy Will Come” from our worship songs at church makes me cry more, but I find comfort since it’s about God’s promise that joy always comes in the morning. His joy always comes even if it’s the kind of joy that we can’t feel. I hold on to that promise along with many others because God’s Word never fails. So I keep giving my all to Him no matter what because I believe His promise that He is with me and will never leave me. Today was amazing proof of how He helps us through and gives us a supernatural strength to move forward even with such a heavy heart that without Him, would have had me going the wrong way.
I’ve got 21 days to the 6 year mark of sobriety. I will not throw that away. Satan cannot have me ever again. I am holding on even if I have to cry through it. It’s the only choice worth making now and I will keep making this choice to keep pressing on and keep feeling my feelings no matter how much it hurts being sober. I will have to do this all over again when Zoe shows signs that it’s time to let go. Before letting Sam go, I didn’t think I could handle it at all, but now I know I can even through a river of tears. Thankfully I can remember clearly that numbing always made things worse for me. The temporary relief was always followed by much worse pain than what I have been experiencing since yesterday, if you can imagine that. I think some of you can.
So tonight, when I’m all alone and it’s quiet and the sweet creature from the last 17 years does not come by again, I will remember and believe that weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning — just as it always comes in the mourning. The Joy of the Lord is the only joy worth holding on to. The Lord has promised to always be there for us no matter what we’re going through and I believe Him. I pray more of you will believe too. I would not be here today if that were not true. Thank You, Lord. ♥
I just needed to pour out my heart again, thanks for listening. This is me and my boy Sammy moments before he fell asleep with his head resting on my hand. 😦 It was a bitter sweet moment, but my heart is still grateful for the blessings.