The April Rain…

You know that old saying, “April showers bring May flowers?” I’ve been thinking a lot about it lately. We’ve had quite a bit of physical rain here in Texas over the last several weeks, and our family has also seen a lot of emotional rain so far this month as well. 
As I posted a few weeks ago, the last few days of March were hard. SO HARD. We got the referral call we’d been praying about for over a year, and then within a few hours, we were crushed to learn that the precious boy we had learned about was not meant to be ours due to a clerical error. He was too old for us, and that was crushing. 
Was it the right decision to pass on this little boy’s file? Yes. I don’t doubt that, in the grand scheme of our life, this was the right decision. Adopting a little boy just three months younger than Kate was not in the best interest of our family. I know this logically. She needs to be the big sister, and the social worker agreed. But my heart hurts, and his precious face has haunted me for the last three weeks. How much longer will this boy have to wait for his forever family to claim him? He deserves every good thing the world has to offer, and yet, we had to say no. And that’s hard. 
The rain is still falling.
The very next morning, April 1, a new storm began. Our precious Boston Terrier, Emma, jumped up into bed with me first thing in the morning like she always does and cried out in pain. She has thrown her neck out a few times in the last few years, so this wasn’t highly unusual. She has always recovered after 48-72 hours of crate rest with a little pain medicine, so I wasn’t too worried just yet. She wouldn’t eat or drink the whole day Friday, so I took her in to the vet on Saturday concerned about dehydration. They gave her some fluids, prescribed steroids, and I assumed she’d be back to her normal self by Monday. No biggie, right?
Well, the April rain wasn’t quite over yet.
Over the next ten days, Emma continued to decline. She would show signs of improvement for a few minutes, and then she’d be back in pain. As her steroids began to run out and she had no consistent improvement, I began to get worried. I called the vet to see if we could extend her round of steroids, and she hesitantly said yes, but she emphasized that Emma may need to see a neurologist and potentially decompression surgery if more time didn’t correct this. 
By the second week of April, our precious girl was just in complete and utter agony, and she began to show signs of giving up. She didn’t want to come out of her crate anymore, she refused all food and water because chewing and swallowing became so painful, and the reality that we might be losing her began to sink in. I cried my eyes out for the next 48 hours and hesitantly posted a prayer request on my Facebook page. I knew my husband and I were not excited about the financial and emotional toll putting her through neurosurgery would take, but I hesitantly called the specialist to see if they could see her. I was devastated to learn that their first available appointment was not for six days. I took it, but at that moment, I knew in my heart that she would not be around for that appointment.
I called our regular vet back and asked if I could bring her in that afternoon to discuss our options and see just how dehydrated and weak she really was. We went in at 3:30 that afternoon, and the vet’s face dropped as he entered the room. I knew right away that this wasn’t going to end well. He was too nervous to even give her a full exam because she was shaking in pain and had lost the ability to control her legs. He said in all his years working as a vet he had never seen a spinal cord as compressed as our precious Emma’s was. On a scale of 1-10, he rated her pain level at a 10+ and took her back to the back to see if she could walk and eat anything. We discussed our options a little more, and he basically advised me that he wasn’t even sure a neurologist could fully correct Emma’s spine. We made the gut-wrenching decision to go ahead and take away her pain, and we tearfully all said goodbye to our precious Emma girl at 4:15pm that afternoon.

At this point, it was just pouring on me.
Emma was a college graduation gift I gave myself nine years ago.  She was my partner-in-crime, room mate, protector, and shadow for nearly a decade. I don’t really know how to exist without her, and my heart is breaking every day when the realization comes back that she is no longer here. Dogs have such a funny way of finding their way into the deepest and most special parts of our hearts, and there is just such a void in our house without her. I truly had no idea just how attached I was to her until she was gone.

So, we’re in a rainy season around our house – physically, emotionally, and, honestly, a little bit spiritually. It’s been hard for me to lift my hands and give thanks and praise the One who is walking me through a season of hard. I want a referral that fits our family. I want to see our son’s face. I want my dog back. But, that’s not the season we are in. God has said a lot of “no” this month so far, and that, well, sucks.

But I realized I have two choices. I can allow myself to get drenched in the rain and wallow in it, or I can remember what comes next. The rainbow. The blooming. May flowers. Whatever adage you choose, the rain always has a purpose. The rain creates the rainbow. The April showers bring the beauty of the May flowers.

The refining of the rain creates the beauty of the rainbow.

I don’t know why God caused all of this rain to happen in April so far. I don’t understand why we had to be sent a referral that wasn’t actually a match for our family. I don’t know why He chose to take Emma from us at just 9 years old. I’m not privy to any of that knowledge, and there are days when that absolutely sucks. I’m sorry, but there’s just no other word for it. It sucks. It’s okay to say that.

One day, I have no doubt that I’ll look back at this rainy season and understand it all. I will “get it” one day soon. But today? Today, I’m going to feel the rain and understand that it has purpose. God doesn’t lead us through trials because He likes to see us in pain. He leads us through trials to refocus our hearts and minds on Him and His purpose for us.

So, today, I’m feeling the rain. Are you in a rainy season? What purpose do you think it might be serving for you? Leave me a comment!

One thought on “The April Rain…

  1. Hugs my friend! We will all miss Emma! That is one of my favorite passages in Romans, it's so hard to see what God has in store for us, but these verses help us to try to keep focusing on Him.


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