How do you start a day that you know is going to be one of the hardest in your life? I wondered this to myself as I lay in bed earlier this week. I knew what was coming and I so desperately wished I could close my eyes and turn back time.
2 weeks ago, our sweet 10 year old dog (who happens to be our only child) was diagnosed with metastasized cancer in his chest and lungs. As the cancer cells took over his lungs, it became harder and harder for him to breathe. We loved him too much to let him suffer and so we made the heart wrenching decision to say goodbye. The night before we were scheduled to take him in, I tossed and turned all night as I listened to his little lungs work hard for air. I knew I was doing the right thing, but that didn’t make it hurt any less. I was heartbroken and I was scared. In my desire for both me and my furbaby to get some rest for the day that lay ahead, I whispered a simple prayer. “God, please bring peace.” Within seconds of that prayer, our faithful father spoke to my spirit “My peace I give you.” This beautiful promise from the book of John comforted my soul, and I was able to get a couple hours sleep.
So that morning, as I lay in bed dreading the day to come, I made a decision that it would be a day of peace. I whispered God’s promise to myself - “My peace I give you,” quietly got out of bed, shut off my phone, and with my loving husband by my side I began to get ready for the day. We took our baby to his favorite park for a slow short stroll. When we first adopted him, our morning walks at this park had seen me practically jogging to keep up with him, but in his condition, our walk was a slow one-foot-in-front-of-the-other stroll. It was peaceful and empty at the park, so we enjoyed every step. Each time I felt sadness and anxiety creep into my soul, I whispered to myself, “My peace I give you.” When we returned home, I put on worship music, straightened up the living room and did the last of the dishes. A clean and organized space feels peaceful to me. I sat down to read comforting scriptures in my Bible and God brought me to Psalm 36:5-6. It says “Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. Your righteousness is like the highest mountains, your justice like the great deep. You, Lord, preserve both people and animals.” AND ANIMALS! What a good God to remind me that he loves and cares for ALL of His creation, both human and non. When Cash was first diagnosed I remember God clearly telling me that I needed to trust Him with Cash as much as I trust Him with all the other people I love. Somewhere in the back of my mind I wasn’t certain that God cared that much about dogs; but he took the time to ask me to trust Him with my furbaby and in that, I knew He cared. The rest of the afternoon was spent loving on our boy and quietly shedding tears over what was to come. But in spite of the sadness and heartache I felt, I had a peace that passes all understanding. It was a deep, unexplainable, atmospheric peace.
When we said goodbye to him that afternoon, it was a joyful peaceful passing. After we said goodbye, my husband I took a drive through the beautiful rainy Napa Valley and stopped for hot tea & coffee as we shared favorite memories of our fuzz butt. It was a day filled with peace.
My heart still aches for him every day, but I wanted to share this with you, because I want to remind you how faithful our God is. I want you to know that his promises are true.
I realize that few people reading this will be facing this exact situation right now, but I can guarantee that many of you are facing a tough situation in which you need peace, a peace that passes all understanding. And so, I want to share God’s promise with you - “My peace I give you.” He didn’t just promise it to me, but to all his sons and daughters.
When Jesus makes this statement in the book of John, He is speaking to his disciples whom He has just told He will be leaving. They are distraught, they are scared and they are sad. Jesus knows that there is no peace they will find on earth that will comfort the hurt of their heart and so he promises a peace that cannot be found anywhere expect through Him. It truly passes all understanding. This is such an incredible gift to us. A gift that I never knew I needed until this week. Matthew 7 says “He gives good gifts to His children,” and an unexplainable peace in the midst of heartache is certainly a good gift. I guess above all I want to remind you that you are not alone. There is NOTHING you have to face in this life alone, so stop doing it! We are all guilty of thinking that we can somehow overcome challenges, pain, fear, heartache, and sadness in our own strength; but we can’t. And more importantly we don’t have to! I am sharing my story with you because I want you to know that in the midst of whatever deep heartache you are experiencing you can have peace. I challenge you to ask for it, and watch our God fulfill his promise to you.
“Peace I leave you, my peace I give you.”
John 16:33 - “I have told you these things, so that in ME you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Hi! I'm Dezerai, a woman passionate about living in my purpose, about creating a life on purpose and about challenging you to do the same. I speak, I write, and I hang out with my husky and my handsome husband in the beautiful Napa Valley.