It’s hard to believe this is the sixth year of my blog, The Passionate Pursuit. This morning I was thinking about the very first blog post I wrote. After reading back through it, I decided to share it again. I had just received an email from an agent who wanted to represent me and pitch my Bible studies to publishers. I was thrilled! But then something happened that changed my joy to tears and prompted this first blog post.

Life is full of mountaintop experiences and valleys. There are seasons when we enjoy the highest of highs; and there are times 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. To my delight, there was an email in my inbox I had been waiting for. But, I was hesitant to open it because the news could either be great or very discouraging. Thankfully, it was what I had been praying for, and I did a happy dance as I read the news! What a great ending to the day . . . 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. A few hours later, I was awakened by her cry of pain as she leapt off the bed and continued to cry in distress on the floor. I knew something was wrong and immediately turned on the light. She was lying on the floor unable to move, with fear in her eyes. I rushed her to the emergency clinic. The verdict—a blood clot which paralyzed her legs. The doctor explained it was very painful and discussed all the options with me.

The survival rate for a blood clot in cats is very low. 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. I held her in my arms as she took her last breath.

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 thankful for the eleven years with this precious cat. I am thankful I was home when it happened so 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 (the mountaintops)? How do we respond when we are experiencing the lowest of lows when our hearts are broken and our grief runs deep (the valleys)?

The same way—we praise God in the good times and in the hard times. That night God reminded me of Job’s response after the loss of his children in Job 1:20-21:

“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 pure delight and joy (the mountaintops). And we will have those days of deep pain and grief (the valleys). May we walk through these seasons of life and say with Job, Blessed be the name of the Lord.

What Scripture has helped you walk through a hard situation?