My journal last week included the following entry:
“My emotions today are as raw as the razor burn that my dog bares on her poor body. She fell and broke her hind leg this week.
We were at the vet to get our ear checked and to get our nails trimmed.
It what seemed like a “blink”, my dear Sophie had jumped up and fallen and broke her leg. As only God, who truly watches over us, would have it…we were AT the vets.
I praise Him for this, I really do.
It turns out her leg had cancer. We didn’t know that. The cancer had so weakened her bone that a simple fall caused a mighty shattering and break to her bone.
We have elected to have her leg amputated because the cancer has not entered other bones or organs thus far.
It is so hard watching her.
I stare at her and long for the dog that would wag her tail and greet me.
I long for the dog that can follow me anywhere…
Be it upstairs or downstairs, inside or outside.
That’s not her today.
Today she rests. Today she sleeps.
I never in a million years dreamed that I could love a dog the way I do my Sophie.
We’ve been together since she was 6 weeks old.
We’ve been together through poddie training and somersaults (because her little feet would run faster that her little body at times).
We’ve been together through her hiding behind and under chairs because our home had not yet become her home.
It’s been her home now for 7 years. I hope we can add a few more years to that, I really do.
She has been the most gentle and loving dog.
She “tolerates” my grandchildren, who take me away from her.
She understands their place and hers and she takes it like a champ.
She loved my bed. It was our thing to hang together and watch TV until my husband came up to bed. She understood her place then too.
She might hrrumph a bit, but she obediently left the bed without having to be told.
How can a mere animal work her way into my heart like this?
It saddens me because we will never have that again.
Those days are passed.
I don’t want her to suffer.
Right now I need to help her walk and stable herself.
Getting old is hard.
Tears are just falling these days so very slowly and easily down my face.
I long for the day of Jesus return and reign and His mighty Kingdom.
No more death, no more sting.
She seems calm. She doesn’t seem to be in pain.
I need to remember that and to just love on her.
I love seeing the love and compassion that my son has for her.
He has always been extra loving and compassionate.
She has been blessed to call him “Master”.
Our hikes and neighborhood walks are most likely over.
She loved the word “WALK”.
Her ears would prick upward, her eyes would meet yours, her tail would wag, and she’d be headed for the door.
I remember the time she saw a squirrel at a park.
I foolishly was wearing a flip flop sandal as I walked her.
She pulled and pulled and pulled until I had to let go of her leash or land flat on my face. She never ran far though.
She’s always been a homebody.
She likes us. She loves us.
She’d choose us over a million other things.
That’s my Sophie”
Today, my emotions are more stable and I’m able to think more clearly.
God is using even this to teach me.
First off, the book of Hebrews 12:1 tells us to lay aside everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.
My dog did not jump off of a cliff. It was a small bench and not more than a foot high.
God warns us in Hebrews to not be “easily entangled”.
I know I have things I’m entangled in that are not good for me.
I don’t like to feel pain, emotional or physical. My first instinct is to reach for something to numb it.
Sometimes, God takes us through painful times. He desires to expose what He already knows is lying beneath the surface.
I had no idea that my dog’s leg contained cancer, but He did.
He knows what kinds of things I allow to plague my heart and my mind.
They do not lie dormant in His eyes. He desires to cleanse me and heal me and help me to become stronger.
My poor dog is pretty humble right now. She can’t even go outside to the bathroom by herself unless we help her. She wears a harness that allows us to help in baring the burden of her weight.
Sound familiar? Jesus tells us to “take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
God, The Father, is near.
If we allow Him and draw near to Him, He will “hold our harness” and help us to keep our balance and our footing in this life. He is able to keep us from falling.
When my dog came home at first, I just could not stop crying.
Her wound was so swollen and red. Her leg is gone and in its place is this “eyesore”.
I must admit that it gets better each and every day and for that I am so very thankful.
Her wound was ugly to me at first.
I’m sure my actions and thoughts appear very ugly at times, especially to God.
God, in His tenderness, exposes my wounds.
To heal me.
Just as He is healing my dog (from the inside out)…He can heal you and me as well.
Nothing is hidden from Him.
As we allow Him to heal us it might feel as though we are being constrained.
Perhaps He is asking us to “give up” something.
He knows the things that are leading us down the wrong path.
Addictions, being perhaps one, are plentiful today.
I’m sure my dog feels confined right now.
She’s basically on her bed until I help her go outside or take a small walk around the main floor of our home.
At night she has to wear a cone on her head to make sure that she does not lick or tear out her stitches. Confining.
But, it’s for her good.
Confinement can be for our good too.
God is using these days that I am home a little more to teach me.
He is shining His light into deeper areas of my life and showing me where I still need healing and change.
There are things that I believe He is asking me to “give up”.
It feels confining, but I know Him enough to also trust Him.
He has my “best” in mind.
God, the Father is a Father of love and compassion.
He is not a harsh taskmaster.
Just as my dog is pretty weak right now, I might feel weak in the beginning. But, Lord willing I will become stronger each and every day.
I love how only He can take the everyday things and teach us!
2 Corinthians 12:9
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”