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Come Home, Cricket.

It’s been ten days since I last saw my sweet Cricket.  Ten long days.  I can’t even pinpoint when he ran off or in which direction he could have gone or anything!  All I know is that I wasn’t prepared to have this happen to me again after losing Soul Patch only 5 months ago.  And to be honest, I still cry at least once a week over losing that sweet buddy of mine.  I just miss him so much.  But Cricket?  I’m holding on to the hope I have that he’ll hear the sound of our voices screaming his name and finally make it back home to our wide open arms.  I just really need Cricket to come home.

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Here’s the reality, though- If, if, IF, (and I mean IF) Cricket is no longer alive on this earth, then I refuse to let his death be meaningless and in vain.  In fact, I want some good to come of it.  Otherwise, it will be a shame and an insult to that gorgeous, sweet, and loving cat who may or may not have left this earth for the purpose of helping mine- To help grab my attention so I can grow and deepen my faith and trust even during the hurt, in order for me to fulfill the calling for which I was even born.  But that can only happen if I humble myself and listen… and respond.

My natural response is to scream and cry and retreat like I did when I lost Cricket’s best friend in the springtime, and really… I want to do just that.  But I know I can do better this time around.  During seasons of life like this, I usually spend a day or two with a migraine from crying every ounce of fluid out of my body (and this time was no different) but then I typically stay indoors, pace around the kitchen, eat sweets (like that’s going to help the situation any)… then I quit exercising because I just want to stay on the couch in my ugly, paint-splattered, hole-in-the-crouch sweatpants as long as I can throughout the day, and then I only go outside to run to the farthest corner of my land and scream and cry into the cornfields until it’s safe to come back in and show Nadia my tear-streaked face.  Oh yeah.  I’ve got this whole grieving thing down, huh?  Not in the slightest.  Cause becoming a recluse and getting angry and allowing the enemy to berate me is a messed up way to grieve. There’s always a better way.

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I don’t want Nadia to only see me praising God when things are great.  When life is easy.  No way.  I want her to see me thanking God even when things are rough and life is hard.  I don’t want her to see me self-absorbed and having a pity-party when I’m down.  I want her to see me serving others and thinking of their needs when I’m in the dumps, too.

I don’t love God because he keeps my life cozy and painless-  I love Him because when He allows suffering and pain to come into my life, I know it’s because He has a purpose for it.  I’ve never gone through anything hard without later realizing that it was because of those times that there was significant growth- spiritually, emotionally, even physically.   And you know what else? He doesn’t have us walk through our heartaches alone.  I learned that firsthand while I was mourning Soul Patch in May.  There were moments where I’d cry out on the name of Jesus and in an instant my tears would literally dry up on my face and not a single one would be left in my eyes.  And if I even TRIED to squeeze more tears out, it had the opposite effect.  I’d start LAUGHING.  Laughing!  Under no circumstances was I laughing at the situation… I mean I was completely devastated!  But He literally turned my tears into JOY.  And let me tell you, my friends, I got to experience joy in the truest form.  It was joy in the midst of extremely unpleasant and hurtful circumstances.  Joy that taught me and reminded me that He is  r.i.g.h.t.  there in the mess.  Joy that showed me that even when I’m unhappy, I can be joyful in Him.  Cause that’s just God’s way.  Jesus came down to be the atoning sacrifice & bring us joy and peace in abundance and invite us into relationship with Him for all of eternity.  And when you let Him in, the Holy Spirit inhabits you and is there to ease your pain and bring you joy… and quite frankly, really mess with your life- in the best way possible, of course.  I wanted that, I got that, and I still have that.  Even when circumstances just flat out stink to high heaven.

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So my sweet Cricket, I’m going to keep searching for you.  I’m going to keep calling your name every day, and yes, I’m going to let out my tears when I feel them welling up.  Because you are loved and your life is cherished and I’m not ready to say goodbye to you.  But I’m also going to get dressed and put on pants {that you haven’t torn to shreds with your sharp tree-climbing kitty cat claws}, and I’m going to go out and love on others.  I couldn’t wait for Sunday so I could go to church and worship our ever loving God despite me not wanting to be seen without my big sunglasses masking my I’ve-been-crying-for-a-week-straight puffy red eyes.  But you know what?  I’m glad I got out yesterday and sang and laughed and yes, cried (but seriously, when don’t I cry at church?! )- because it really fed my soul.  And I’m going to keep exercising and sweating my emotions out and stop tempting myself with delicious baked goods.  I’m going to hug your brothers extra tightly and keep taking good care of them and your mama and ALL of our furry family members.  And if I have to give you a place in our “Soul Patch,” I’ll give you a beautiful spot next to your BFF, and I’ll be sure to plant some Tiger Lily’s… because you’ve always been my little tiger.  But most of all, I’m going to continue asking God the questions that matter and listen to His leading and calling in my life… because sometimes I think He does the things He does to snap me out of my contentment and get me moving in the right direction again.  And although I’ll keep praying for your return, I believe wholeheartedly that if I never see you again here on earth, I’ll still get to laze around with you in eternity.

Just please don’t keep me waiting till then.  Come home, sweet buddy.

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4 Comments

  • Reply Kimberly

    God bless you MaryBeth! I hope your sweet kitty comes home.

    October 11, 2016 at 1:19 am
  • Reply Carolyn Wall

    MaryBeth, I am so sorry about your kitty…I lost my,16 year old cat, Sam about 3 years ago and I am still looking for him to come home every day. Not too long ago, I saw a kitty in the back of my house that looked like him…I called out to him but he ran off….I have since
    adopted another kitty, named Minnie…she is a brown tabby and is strictly an indoor kitty..I told my husband just the other day, that I still grieved for Sam…he said actually, he did too…Minnie is a wonderful, playful little girl that has taken up the empty space in my heart but I still miss my Sammy!! I pray your kitty comes home!!

    October 11, 2016 at 2:37 am
  • Reply Tina

    I’m being honest here, I usually don’t comment on much because I have
    never been good with words, but your blog post has touched me so deeply
    today. I’m going through a lot of crap & if I just keep praising him
    through this storm he will bring me through it! I’m praying that
    your precious lil buddy comes home to you ( not soon) TODAY! That is my prayer!
    All safe & sound! Thank you for this beautiful post! God Bless you & your precious family Always! Tina

    October 11, 2016 at 6:20 pm
  • Reply Nancy

    Ohmygosh, Marybeth, my heart is breaking and rejoicing all at once! You are such an inspiration and I so admire your ability to get out of your own way and go out and serve others in your grief. I need to learn to do that more … and better … as I have always had a tendency to curl up in a ball and wait til the paralysis eases. I think I will always be searching for strength in difficult times, despite the fact that I try, I really try, to continue to praise Him no matter what. Praying every day for your sweet boy to find his way home. xx

    October 21, 2016 at 3:57 am
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