But taking a walk would be difficult. Painful. For the past month, we'd taken walks with our newly adopted Greyhound, Turbo Paulo.
And we'd returned Paulo to the adoption center on Sunday. There were things we weren't able to work through. The fit was not right. The sweet times were very sweet, and Paulo had potential miles long. But holding him tight wasn't the best thing.
Not for him.
And the loss carved a hole in our home.
Gabe dreamed of scratching Paulo's ears. Sam thought he heard Paulo sigh. Zay prayed, hands clasped until his tiny knuckles turned white, for a forever family for our Paulo.
And I didn't want to take a walk.
It hurt like mad to let Paulo go.
Sometimes right things cut hard and deep and bright dreams color dark.
"It's a nice day," Gabe said, following my gaze. Sun shone bright on stark patches of snow. "Maybe we can go outside? After lunch?"
"Maybe," I said. I ran my fingers through Gabe's angel-soft hair. His head tipped down.
I tried to make spiritual sense of the tangled mess. We'd prayed. Chosen carefully. Prepared our home. But what I thought was a blessing turned bad. And I couldn't shield the kids from the hurt. From the empty. From the loss.
What do you do when it doesn't make sense? When there's hurt instead of joy? When Mama can't erase the sadness or quick- fix wounded hearts?
Trust in what we cannot see.
Trust in the Lord whose ways are above our ways. Trust that He's promised to be with us and and He'll never, ever leave. Trust that He longs to bless us, and there are blessings we cannot see or understand. Trust that He hears our prayers. Trust that He's merciful to mamas and boys and beautiful dogs, too.
Then grab warm jackets to keep out the cold, step past the wicker basket that used to hold the leash, take the sweet hands of those you love, hold on ever-so tight,
and walk, together, into the sun.
Sweet truth to claim:
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18
Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the great deep. O Lord you preserve both man and beast. Psalm 36:6
As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:9
The Lord is compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. Psalm 145:8
Note: It's likely that Paulo will go home with another family this weekend. The kind, wise people at the adoption center are graciously working with us to find just the right dog for our family, too.