Jesus Wept and God Sees My Sackcloth

**Willow Looking Up

“Jesus wept” John 11:35 (NKJV)

“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” John 15:13 (NIV)


Randy Alcorn, in his book called “Heaven,” believes that animals will be present in the Kingdom of Heaven.  C. S. Lewis, the famous Christian author of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe series also believed that pets go to heaven. I sure hope so!  I have had many wonderful dogs in my life and would love to see them again. Sadly, I had to put down a sweet dog this week and she is sorely missed.

I see dogs as a lesson in unconditional love. Many folks mistreat and abuse their dogs and yet, their love, loyalty and desire to please always seems to remain. I thank God for the companionship He gave us with pets, but for me my heart has always been drawn to man’s best friend, the dog.

Becky Capps from Trust Him Always  made this image for me.  Psalm 30:11-12 means a lot and was the inspiration for naming my very first blog  …. Weeping into Dancing. (Be sure to check out my older posts as there are over 500 to read. However, I now direct readers to my site for more recent posts) I started this blog out of obedience.  I had never read a “blog” and did not know how to start one.  Amazingly, God sent people my way to advise me and readers found the site quickly!

I wanted to encourage folks who had been through difficult trials.  Turning my ashes into joy and glorifying God was my purpose. Encouraging others with His Word became (and still is) my passion. In July of 2011, I lost not only my health, but also my job; dream house, finances, possessions, friends, and a very dear dog named Bubba.  The assisted living facility I was placed in would not allow dogs over 25 pounds.  Bubba weighed nearly 100 pounds. Thankfully, a close friend agreed to adopt him and the life they give him is full of adventures and love.  Still, the loss of his love added to my tears and sorrow.  Sometimes, love hurts.

This week, my sackcloth is back on, but there is still joy in my heart.  The dog I adopted after I moved to Colorado was loving, protective, obedient, and charming. I am joyful for having known my sweet Willow Cake.  I have a hope that God will allow us to meet again in heaven, but I really can’t say for sure this will happen until God calls me home. My sackcloth will come off eventually, and I will once again sing His praises. For now, I am whispering them and He accepts them as precious sacrifices of praise. Even in sorrow God deserves my praise, and this loss was somehow a loving act …..       I just don’t know how, yet. None of the answers to my whys have been answered, but I don’t have to have answers. I trust God. HE is LOVE and He saw it best to take Willow home.

After recovering from my brain surgery and adjusting to the “uprooting” from Oregon to Colorado, I carried a hidden misconception.  I did not know I was carrying it in my heart.

 I have the head knowledge that tells me we will have trouble in this life. It does not say it ever stops. However, since I got through such a difficult challenge in life, I assumed God would “lay off” and excuse me from any further suffering.

In truth, I have had to face a lot more heartache since 2011; there has been no reprieve.  However, the promise that says He will give me nothing more than I can bear has allowed me to persevere and carry on in life.  When the sorrows have been too great for me to stand and move forward, I have rolled over and looked at the stars. I don’t want to drown in the puddles my tears have made. I want to meditate on His power and might.

Trials are used to work out our salvation. They refine us. When we give our hearts to God we are born again and become new creations.  However, the TRANSFORMATION PROCESS takes a lifetime.  God is weeding out my sins and human flaws because I am precious in His sight.  He does not want to hurt me and is very aware and concerned about all of my sorrows.

 My faith tells me that Willow is in a better place and that God will provide another dog for my son and I to love. This new dog will be just what we need……  as Willow was just what we needed when we first moved to Colorado. God did not say running a race would be easy. I am a bit out of breath and weary right now so your prayers would be appreciated. He gave me an extension on life, so to speak, and I am going to carry on using the time I have to encourage and love others for His glory.

I pray you treasure the pets in your home and thank God for sending them your way.  Unconditional love is what we are called to share and should be our daily goal with everyone around us.

Blessings to you,


For He knows our frame; 
 He remembers that we are dust.” Psalm 103:14 (NKJV)

He is despised and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.
 And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; 
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely He has borne our griefs 
and carried our sorrows;
 Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
 smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions,
 He was bruised for our iniquities;
 The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, 
and by His stripes we are healed.” Isaiah 53:3-5 (NKJV)

Wailing:DancingPs 30 v 11-12


  1. I’m so sorry for your loss. I’m sure you provided a happy, loving life for Willow, and I have no doubt you will meet again. Cupcake and I will say prayers for your quick healing from this loss, and of course we will pray that you will soon find another dog who needs your love and care.


    • Cheryl Zelenka says:

      Thank you Ms Genevieve and dear Cupcake.
      I know you understand the precious love of a dog. I hope my next dog lives a LONG LIFE and my son and I get to enjoy him/her for many…many years.
      Blessings to you!

  2. Dear Cheryl,
    I always pray that you have health and are doing well in your job, projects and life in general. Please know you are in my prayers. Thank you for encouraging all of us who read your blog. You are very special and I will pray that God grants the desires of your heart. Many blessings

    • Cheryl Zelenka says:

      Dear Friend…Ms Sandra,
      I cherish your prayers and thank you for lifting me up. Sorrows come, but we are promised there is joy in the morning. I know God will heal my heart the way He healed my brain. He gives good gifts. I trust Him and I know He has good reasons for everything that happens. Blessings to you! Cheryl