Life is full of ups and downs. There are seasons when we enjoy the highest of highs; and then there are those times when we feel the lowest of lows. I experienced both this past Tuesday night within a few hours of each other.

Before turning in for the night, I checked emails one last time, and to my elation, there was an email in my inbox that I had been waiting for. I knew before I opened it, that the news could either be very good, or very discouraging. Thankfully, it was what I had been praying for, and I jumped up and down as I read the news! What a great ending to the day. . . or so I thought.

God allowed me to enjoy those moments of exhilaration and joy, but only for a few hours. Something happened that night that brought me from the heights of joy to the depths of grief in a few short hours.

I went to bed; my cat Little Bit curled up beside me with her paw on my arm, making sure I was there. About 1:20 a.m. she cried out and jumped off the bed, continuing to meow from the floor. I immediately knew something was wrong. I turned on the light and she was lying there unable to move. I rushed her to the emergency clinic, and the doctor explained that she had thrown a blood clot, which paralyzed her legs.

We discussed all the options, but the survival rate for a blood clot in a cat is very low. She told me the kindest thing to do would be to let her go. I went in to see her, hoping it would help me make the right decision, and it did. As soon as I saw her, I knew… it was time to say goodbye. At 3:20 Wednesday morning, Little Bit breathed her last breath on this earth in my arms.

We don’t realize how many memories our pets make in our lives until they are no longer present. I miss her greatly – but I am so thankful that I had 11 years with this adorable cat. I am thankful that I was home when it happened so that I could be with her in her final hours. I am thankful for the lessons she taught me in life – yes, God used my cat to teach me many lessons.

So how do we respond in those seasons of highs, when everything is going great? How do we respond when we are in the midst of the lowest of lows, when our hearts are broken and our grief runs deep?

The same way – we praise the Lord in the good times and in the hard times. I am reminded of Job’s response to God after the loss of his children. Job 1:20-21 reads: “Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head, and he fell to the ground and worshiped. He said, ‘…the Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.'”

We will have those days of sheer delight and joy; and we will have those days of deepest pain and grief. May we walk through those seasons of life and say with Job, Blessed be the name of the Lord.