Discarded

If you drive down any highway or street in your neighborhood, you can see things thrown in the ditch. Fast food cups, garbage, wrappers, all kinds of things people don’t want any more. Things that they have discarded. Discarded means: “to get rid of especially as useless or unwanted”.

Have you ever felt that way? More importantly, have you ever treated people that way?

There are lots of things in my house (or my car) that need to be discarded. I don’t have a problem throwing away items I know I don’t need…..like a receipt for gas. Mainly because I know in a few days I will have another one just like it! Ha ha!

Other things – like tickets from my boys’ sporting events, photos or special things that have a meaning to me – I don’t want to discard. You may come into my house and wonder why I would keep something. But it is important to ME.

I was unable to really think about this over the last week without being upset. Our family dog of over 11 years was missing. He had been gone 5 days, but just the night before we had gotten a call that he had been spotted a few hours before.

We jumped in the car, armed with flashlights and a huge spotlight and scoured the neighborhood and the one behind it for over an hour without any luck. All the while assuming the cops were going to get called because we were spotlighting people’s homes!

The next morning we decided to go back to the same neighborhood and still couldn’t find him. Then we drove toward the neighborhood behind it.

That’s when I saw him. Our beloved chocolate lab was in the ditch. No! He wasn’t discarded! We loved him! God, please just let him be asleep!

He was gone. That was true heartbreak for us because he had been a part of our family since he was an 8 week old puppy. We had had a few other dogs before in our 20 years together. Some had been given away when we moved and some had to be put to sleep due to illness, but we had never had to bring home a lifeless animal and dig a grave for him.

Pet lovers say that pets are part of your family. Some of you may be reading this thinking that is silly because they aren’t a person. I can assure you that they feel like a part of the family. I’m not going to say it would be the same to lose a human family member, but if you love them you will most definitely grieve for them.

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One thing I’ve relied on this last week are the happy memories we had with him. He grew up with our children and they loved him immensely. We will miss him, but being dog lovers I’m sure we will have another dog. No dog could ever replace our Hershey, but we can most definitely give love to another animal that weaves its way into our family.

God has made me focus more on how quickly things can change. Friendships can be made or lost; people you love can be gone in an instant; life as you know it can change in the blink of an eye.

We should be ever mindful that the words we say have GREAT meaning as do our actions. I want to be a better wife, mother & friend this year. I don’t want to discard people who are important to me!

So, if you get a random text from me or I call you more often, just know it’s because I want you to know I care. Even if you don’t hear from me more and you are a friend, know I am praying for you more often. I am writing my friend’s names down and will be spending part of my quiet time praying specifically for one friend a day.

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Heartbreak hurts. Losing my dog, who was one of my best friends that loved me unconditionally, hurt. God can heal relationships and heal your hurts. Don’t discard Him! Focus on the only thing that can give you hope in this broken world filled with broken people.

I pray that you feel loved today!

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