Strength & Peace

So I have been having a bit of an emotional week. So this 3-day weekend is SO needed. Considering I'm not THAT emotional of a person (I tend to stay more on the pragmatic spectrum of things), my emotions have me a bit exhausted. This week alone, I've probably felt every major emotion one could feel and of course, the straw that breaks the camel's back for me is Fitzgerald being sick. 

To know me is to know that I am obsessed with my dogs. Any pup mom will tell you that having dogs is like having children, and naturally, you notice when something's off. Cue Thursday during our morning walk I noticed that Fitz was taking his time going up and down the steps and was even dragging behind me and Noire, but I chalked it up to him being tired (it was 4 am so he gets a pass). Fast forward to around noon when I come home for lunch and he's laying in his kennel as if he's had a long day. If anyone's seen this dog when I walk through the door you know the reunion party we have each and every time. It doesn't matter if I've been gone all day or 5 minutes, it's a celebration. He's jumping on the couches, running from room to room, knocking over things, he's legit excited to see me and I live for it every single time. So for me to walk in and only get a slight tail wag, I know something's up. Something's wrong with my dog and I don't know what it is, don't know how I can fix it, if I can even afford to fix it and what I need to do next. 

And in that moment, I lose it. I'm sitting on the floor in tears and I feel like a complete failure. It doesn't matter how many people I have encouraged to just have faith in God, I don't even have enough faith in this moment concerning the health of my dog. I've let my dog down, I've let myself down, I've let people I don't even know down, I've let God down. Every mistake I have ever made that got me to this point is rolling through my head and my lack of ability to really do anything other than sit there and cry has me feeling pathetic. 

Dramatic, I know.

Thankfully, I had enough sense to call my Dad and lean on Kat, my CF sister, when I didn't have enough faith for myself. Thankfully I had a community around me that could support me in those moments, but even then, sometimes you need more than JUST community. 

As I was praying Friday morning, I, of course, was praying for my dog. I know God loves him way more than I ever could, so it's well within His power to heal him. Yet for some reason, I felt a slight correction or conviction that my prayer needed to be bit bigger than that. In a world full of pain and suffering, it felt really silly to be praying for healing for my dog when there are people literally praying for the healing of family members from life-threatening situations. Things like disease, addictions, and cancer. That's not to say that God isn't concerned about poor Fitz or even my requests that seem small, but it put things in perspective for me. In that moment I was reminded that if other people in the world are dealing with pain, then I, too, will go through pain. At some point in this life, I will go through pain unimaginable. Pain that will leave me wondering how I can possibly go on. Pain that will have me questioning if God abandoned me. That sounds grim and a bit pessimistic, but that's reality and no one is exempt.  

Generally, when I go through a tough situation, my prayer has been: God take this away from me. Obviously, it's worded a bit differently considering the situation, but in some way, shape or form that has always been my request. I believe that God is a God of miracles and it is well within His power to do the miraculous in every area of my life, so if He can perform miracles for others, He surely can do it for me. Yet my prayer needs to shift from: God take it away to God give me endurance. 

It's funny how, at the beginning of this journey, I prayed for God to refine me and to build my faith. Yet when it came time to have faith in this quick moment of my pup being sick, I realized I'm not ready. If my dog being down and out for a day and a half has me balled up in a corner crying, how am I supposed to deal with the real pain that will eventually come? As much as I would like to be immune from pain, as much as I would like to avoid the hard moments, unfortunately, I can't. I can't avoid the pain that will come when a friend betrays my trust. I can't avoid the pain that will come from me failing at something that I really want to be successful. I can't avoid the pain that will come from losing a dear friend or family member. 

Because I'm breathing, pain is inevitable and I can't avoid it.  

Unfortunately, I can't escape pain and instead of naively thinking I can pray the pain away, I need to embrace that pain happens and that I'll need strength and peace to endure. Strength to weather whatever storm may come and peace in knowing that everything always works out in the end. 

Because it always works out in the end. 

I'm happy to say that while writing this, Fitzgerald is back to normal, running around and knocking things over. And though I'm elated and I'm so grateful that this situation wasn't as serious as I hysterically made it out to be, it's just a gentle reminder that I need to prepare myself for the moments that will be serious. The moments that I can't avoid. And I need to prepare myself to know that my prayer no longer needs to be: God take this away, but God your will be done in this situation, but no matter what, Lord give me the strength and the peace to go through it.