I have a dog that is dying. He is losing weight rapidly, will not eat and only drinks occasionally. His medications aren’t working. Last night, he cried for hours.
A hard fall off of our outdoor steps left him with an injured spine several weeks ago, and now his whole body is deteriorating. The doctor does not know what to do at this point. Blood tests are this coming Wednesday. Although we are trying to save him, I believe my pooch is beginning to give up.
“A hard fall.” This is what began my little buddy’s wither. How often we see traumatic falls begin to take hold of our own lives.
I wish that I could write like some professing Christians, where every post is about warm and fuzzy feelings. Strength and perseverance. Not being tossed around because the faith is so incredibly great. Honesty, I think those kind of writers aren’t being honest with themselves or their audience. I’m not that guy. I know the Lord is always with me, but I also know the inevitable pain and suffering that accompanies this journey throughout the life with Him.
We can present anything to the world nowadays. I know that social media, and even WordPress is a great outlet to do just that. A desire to only place the great aspects of our lives in the spotlight is the objective for many. If they didn’t, a number of things could happen. The ego may not be stroked, the self-esteem may plummet or one’s image may be threatened. Some may say, “But Damon, you are only bringing others down.” Well, honesty sometimes hurts, and I prefer not to lie.
Since I’m just being honest, I will tell what a hard fall can do. I will tell what it has done to me. I will tell just what the testing of faith through it all had brought me out of and into.
My personal life has been and is a challenge. I continuously fight a few diagnosed mental illnesses, have a few ongoing problems within the many dynamics of a blended family life, have a parent who also has mental illnesses and I struggle with knowing what to do about the parent. There are times when I wake and almost hate having to face the day. There are times when the labor I have to put forth several days a week is the last thing that I want to do. The way I think is also a constant battle. Over the years, I have built many high walls and boundaries in order to protect myself from what I have found to be damaging in past experiences. Sometimes those walls are much easier to hide behind, even when I know I should attempt to tear them down. I sometimes get very upset and feel like punching people in the throat. Other times, I am like a kid at the candy shop, giddy with joy and on top of the world. Most times these days, I am pretty even keel, thank God. I am just like anyone else: making it. Some are strong in areas that I am not while I am bulletproof in the areas they aren’t. We all struggle.
There has been many hard falls that have left me crippled for long periods of time. The passing of my grandmother, then my grandfather a few months later. Losing my best friend to his drug addictions. The loss of my wife when my mind was in a frenzy from my own drug withdrawals, accompanied by my simultaneous religious fixation. Realizing that I certainly was a drug addict, as well as the realization of being an overzealous religious freak with a very bad understanding of God.
Hard falls, for me personally.
My little doggie relies on me. He waits for me to pick him up to carry him where He needs to go. He takes what is presented to him to eat and drink, granted he receives it. He needs me in order to survive. Unfortunately, within his old age and lack of strength, it seems that he is giving up.
I am not like the little domesticated beasts that we take into our homes, where our services are what sustains them. I am just a man. One who struggles. One who thinks deeply. One who grieves. One who cares and doesn’t, at times. I am also a child of God.
I rely on the Lord. He picks me up and carries me. I consume, when willing, His nourishment and living water. I need Him in order to survive. Within my own withering body, I look to Him for strength.
These inevitable hard falls will continue. God never promised an easy, flawless and perfect life. He did promise to never leave nor forsake me though. That is where my faith lies: in His promise. His promise to walk this hard road with me. To help me to see my need for Him through all of these hard falls. To guide me though these tests in order to build my tolerance for the hard falls ahead. To lead me through dark places until I reach His eternal resting place, full of light!