It’s been a little over two week since we put our sweet 19 year old beagle down and man, nothing can really prepare you for saying goodbye to your four-legged friend. We got Abby when I was in 5th grade and it was love from the start. She had our entire family wrapped around her little paws. Her ears were bigger than her face, her eyes were the prettiest shade of green, and she was the of the queen of the castle & our hearts.
Sure sure, she chewed up everyyyyyything, howled at nothing like beagles do, and had her fair share of accidents in the house but she was our girl and we loved her more than we ever knew was possible. And she loved us no matter how many times we tripped over her or scolded her for getting in the trash again.
She was & will always be our very best girl.
She licked my salty tears after every heartbreak throughout middle school and high school. She slept by my feet any chance she could get. She always licked our yogurt cups clean. And she still lit up every time I walked through the front door, even when she could barely see in her old age.
She knew who her people were and she loved us unconditionally throughout her 19 years.
As our sweet pup got older, she started growing lots of benign tumors on her body and got warts all over her little face & ears. To the common eye, she was pretty pitiful looking and honestly sometimes her appearance could make you wince every now & then.
But she was our girl and her “flaws” never phased us. If anything, it made us love her all the more. They never stopped her from being her playful, fun-loving self. She knew she was loved by the people that mattered the most to her and that’s all she needed in her life to be happy. That & her cozy bed and treats, of course. ;)
I started thinking about this and thought to myself, “what if I lived like that too?”
It’s so easy for us to get down on ourselves when don’t look exactly how we wish we did. When the scale says a number we’ve never seen before or our favorite dress from last summer doesn’t zip anymore. It’s easy for those things to set us back and keep us from enjoying the life that’s right in front of us.
But what if our joy & confidence was truly built on knowing that we are loved for exactly who we are, not what we look like. What if the contentment of our hearts was fueled by knowing that the people that matter most in our lives don’t care about our love handles or the break outs on our face.
The way we loved our Abby girl gave me such a glimpse into the heart of Jesus and the way he sees and loves me. He doesn’t see my lumps & warts. He sees my spirit and he loves it. He knows who I am and has loved me from the very beginning. We will always remember our Abby as the precious puppy we got for $75 at a random farm who put a love in our hearts we didn’t even know we were missing and that’s how God loves us too. He forever sees us as his precious children who he knit together in our mother’s womb and was captivated by us from the start simply because we are His. Plain & simple. We don’t have to perform or strive or earn His love. He loves us simply because we’re His just like we love our puppy girl simply because she was ours. No questions or hesitations. Unconditional.
So if you’re anything like me and are kicking yourself that you aren’t in your prime “summer bod” as you find yourself having to wear swimsuits more & more with summer being upon us, let’s try and let that insecurity go.
Because, friends, at the end of the day all that matters is knowing you are deeply loved just for who you are. Losing 5 inches in your waistline isn’t going to change the minds & hearts of the people that already love you. There are no pretenses when it comes to that kind of love. Their love is already sealed for you simply because you’re theirs.
Flaws & all, you are theirs and that’s more than enough for them.
“When a beagle loves you it is a forever kind of love.” Yep, that is so damn true. But so is the love of God, all the more so actually. I love so much how God gives us four-legged besties to give us a peek into His heart for us.
Unconditional love. It’s one of the greatest gifts and joys we’ll ever know.
Thank you, Lord, for giving us 19 years of knowing that kind of love through our very best girl.
We are forever & deeply grateful.