Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Sometimes God says no

The night we got Ava
Hi Everyone, Danica Favorite here, and I have some sad news to share. For those of you who have been following the journey of our horse, Ava, I'm sad to report that she colicked and passed away as a result earlier this month. It's been a difficult month for us, in a lot of ways, and Ava's loss had been harder on us than I would have thought.

The morning of her passing, Hubby went out and found her struggling. He got our daughter, and they quickly realized it was colic. She was rushed to the vet, and the vet did everything she could, but sadly, Ava did not make it. To make it more difficult, we had to leave Ava at the vet to take my husband in for a routine medical procedure. I had to make the decision about Ava as they were taking him in for anesthesia. Neither of us got to say goodbye. But I did call my amazing father-in-law, and he picked up the girls and took them to say goodbye. The extra blessing in it was that a dear friend, who'd been there with us during Ava's leg injury, was the vet tech on duty all day, so he was with Ava the whole time. And he was there for my girls to say goodbye.

I have been so touched by the outpouring of love and support for our family during this time. I still get weepy from time to time, and I still dream about her. Who would have imagined that the horse I jokingly told everyone was "the last horse before the divorce" would steal such a big part of my heart?

When hubby took Ava to the vet, I prayed for her, as I did before. I asked my friends and loved ones to pray for her. But God said no. I don't know why. And I don't know why, after all we've been through with this horse, and all the miracles we've been given, why we weren't given another one. But I still choose to trust in God, and I still choose to believe that God is good.

Ava in the pasture with the others. 
Our vet tech friend told us that when his horse colicked and died, his boss told him that the only way to never have a horse colic is to never have a horse. Colic happens, and it's one of those crazy things that sometimes has a reason, and sometimes doesn't. It's nothing you can predict, and even if you do everything right, your horse can still colic and die.

It's a good reminder of how fragile horses are. They seem to be these giant, tough beasts, but they are actually very delicate and require special care. When something goes wrong with a horse, it can go really wrong, really fast. And get really expensive. We'll still be paying off Ava's vet bill for months to come.

And so, you might wonder again, "why?" I've thought a lot about this, because it's been such a struggle, such a hard season, and after so much hope, for it to all be lost. But God knows, and it goes back to trusting God and believing in His goodness and love. Just as importantly, I've looked for the good that has come from our tragedy. We have been surrounded by a lot of love and a lot of compassion from the people around us. Ava was surrounded by love. In her short life, and the short time she was at our house, I know she knew we loved her. I can still picture the love and trust in her eyes all the times I sat with her and loved on her.

Maybe that is the point. Choosing to love, knowing that at any moment, something totally beyond your control can take whoever or whatever you love away. But that is life. And for me, faith is about believing and loving God even when none of it makes sense.
Ava back in the corral after her leg healed.

Matthew 5:4 is a verse that spoke to me years ago during another painful time of grief. "Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted." I have found great comfort, not just from the amazing people around me, but also from God. Ava is not the only loss I've suffered, and I know she will not be the last. But I am grateful for the time she gave us, for the miracles God showed us, and for the chance to be part of her life.

Thank you all for being part of Ava's story. The love and support you all gave our family has meant a lot to us.

About Danica:

A self-professed crazy chicken lady, Danica Favorite loves the adventure of living a creative life. She and her family recently moved in to their dream home in the mountains above Denver, Colorado.  Danica loves to explore the depths of human nature and follow people on the journey to happily ever after. Though the journey is often bumpy, those bumps are what refine imperfect characters as they live the life God created them for. Oops, that just spoiled the ending of all of Danica’s stories. Then again, getting there is all the fun.

You can connect with Danica at the following places:

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  1. Hi, Danica. What a powerful post. I was praying for Ava and I'm so very sorry she didn't make it. I know how tough this has been for your family. It's always hard when we pray and God doesn't answer a particular prayer. It's confusing. I've struggled with this concept a lot and I've even stuck it in some of my books. I know that you and your family loved Ava so much, and it's made you so much richer in so many ways. I'm praying for you because I know it's a process. Blessing.

    1. Thanks so much! You are so right, and that is where I have to keep my focus... the way our lives are richer for having loved Ava.

  2. Our animals become such an essential part of our lives. I'm so sorry for your loss. I love what you said, "Maybe that is the point. Choosing to love, knowing that at any moment, something totally beyond your control can take whoever or whatever you love away. But that is life. And for me, faith is about believing and loving God even when none of it makes sense."

  3. Danica, prayers for you and your family. Death is always hard. So many of us enjoyed getting to know Ava through your blog posts and on FB. I'm sorry about the outcome. As you mentioned, we might never know why, but we always trust in the Lord.

    1. Thank you. I think that is the real blessing, knowing how many people also loved Ava. She touched a lot of lives.

  4. I'm so sorry to hear about Ava's passing, Danica. Your stories of her made her special to me as well. Somethings are hard to understand. Only God knows the reason. It's amazing how much are animals become part of our lives. We grieve their passing, but put our trust in God and know He has a reason for everything that happens, even the things we don't understand.

    1. Thanks. And yes, they are so important in our lives. <3

  5. Losing a beloved animal is so hard. They become parts of our families, and they take such big chunks of our hearts when they go. My thoughts are with you, Danica.

  6. Hi Danica,
    I loved this post, even though I know it is heartbreaking to lose an animal. When our prayers aren't answered in the way we wish, we have to keep moving on, but that is sometimes difficult. Some prayers we find a reason why later on and some we never understand why they weren't answered. I pray you will find a reason why your prayers weren't answered in the way you would like.

  7. What a beautiful tribute to Ava and what a great way to turn to God and allow him to comfort you. We love you, Danica!

  8. Oh, Danica, I'm so very sorry to hear this. I thought everything was fine with Ava. How hard this must be for your family, especially your daughter. You are right about sometimes we don't know why. It's hard. My love and thoughts are with you.

  9. So sorry you and your family had to go through this. I have spent many a hour walking a horse hoping and praying for the best. I still remember each of my horses, more so than some people. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  10. I am so sorry. That definitely wouid have been hard. I know how hard it is to lose a furbaby. They are so special.


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