Having made a career of sharing with others that it is not just okay, but healthy to recognize and fully embrace our emotions in constructive ways….. I make terrible practice of it. It is WAY easier most days to stuff down uncomfortable feelings than deal with them.
But today was different. I could NOT sit still. Some weird emotion was nagging my heart. And, what I wanted to do was snuggle with a cup of coffee, watch a happy show, and pretend that I didn’t feel anything except positive feelings.
But that didn’t work. And, so I questioned myself and the Lord. “Shouldn’t I just be happy?”
You see our two little puppies went to new loving and wonderful homes today which should be cause for happiness….and to a large degree it was.
But with one quick glance as I looked out in the field, I knew it was time to head to the barn and fully embrace the nagging emotion and what God had to share through it.
You see, when I looked outside, what I saw was this sweet mama wondering where her babies had gone…..
This was the source of the other emotion.
My heart hurt so much for her…….
…….When Bonnie had her first litter of pups exactly 8 weeks ago today, 7 of them did not make it, but she mothered the surviving 2 in gentle loving ways.
And last night, we had an unexpected birth of twins baby goats. I watched as Bonnie placed herself between the puppies and the goats and laid down. Then I watched as her puppies followed suit. I watched her over the last few weeks, each time the puppies wrestled, gently put her nose on them, lick them, and love on them to teach a gentle way of being…. not fighting but caring.
To be honest, she is the mama I want to be. She’s loving and gentle, all the time. She constantly cares and protects her flock while also nurturing her children (or puppies).
And this sweet mama lost her babies today. So, I had the choice to sit in the house and pretend in comfort that she wasn’t hurting, or I could head out and grieve with her.
So, I found some awesome leftovers in the fridge, pulled up my Muck boots, and headed down to the field…. (hey, I like yummy foods when I’m sad….thought she might like it too).
And, after she scarfed the leftovers, we took a walk in the field together. I thought it was going to be just her and I. But, I turned around to find our two bottle babies goats trailing right behind sweet Bonnie.
My heart just about exploded with the mix of joy and sadness again. I was so struck with emotion and felt thankful that God gave me the opportunity to feel wholeheartedly in this moment.
I sat down in the grass with these precious animals and really reveled in the beauty of how sweet Bonnie, who lost her babies, found comfort in these babies who had a mama that didn’t want them. And, the sweet babies found a new mama in her.
And of course, there were tears….lots of tears…..(really only mine, let’s be honest).
But, as we all sat there (see pics below because they’re actually kind of funny and not at all professional), I took a minute to thank God for the farm, for these precious animals we have the honor to care for, and His wisdom in offering life experiences that allow us to grow.
The Bible tells us that:
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.John 10:10 NIV
And, with this in mind, I learned an invaluable lesson today…. that while feelings can be scary, and maybe even unsafe because we don’t always know what to expect, God wants to give us life to the fullest through them.
When we numb or push away things that might be uncomfortable, it is like the thief stealing our potential for joy and growth. But, trusting the Lord in faith allows us to experience life to the fullest…which includes emotions of both joy and sorrow.
And as we wrap up these reflections and travel this road, please know that we are so thankful you have joined us. And we’re sending you