Saturday, February 25, 2012
Dog Spelled Backward is God
How do you tell your kids that the dog they have come to love is leaving the next day?
I haven't talked about Sam a lot on this blog. He and God haven't really overlapped. But I find myself grieved this afternoon because I know that, tonight, we are telling the kids the news.
Husband and I have searched long and hard for a better home environment for him. Sam is a fearful dog who needs a much different home than we are able to give him.
For the past year, our home has been full of kids throwing tantrums which include throwing things, yelling, screaming, fighting, pretty scary stuff.
Sam is already an "issue" dog. Sadly, he became so much moreso after almost a year with us. He is simply not thriving with us and Husband and I see that and we finally found a wonderful couple to give him a new home. He leaves us tomorrow.
I see what is coming. I see tears, I see grief. I see anger at us and confusion.
I see a 5 year old not really getting it until later, I see an 8 year old getting it more at bedtime, and I see an already angst-ridden 13 year old completely breaking down and feeling like her whole world is being taken away from her.
How do you protect your kids from this kind of pain?
Maybe you can't at all. Maybe that's the point.
My mother tried to shelter me from any pain I didn't have to feel. In doing that, I grew up emotionally stunted and unable to take care of my emotional needs.
I can't keep pain from these children.
See? I can overlap this into God:
God does not promise us that he can remove all pain from our lives. He does not say that we will never hurt if we follow him, if we love him.
Being a Christian does not exempt us from struggle.
Christianity is not for those who claim they need no help. Who have it all together. Who are not broken and needy.
Christianity is for the broken, for the down-trodden, for the weak. For in our weakest moments, those times when we feel the most separated from God, we are actually the closest to God.
When we bow in pain
God lifts our chin
to look at him
and in God's strength,
we rise -
a new creation.
So in shielding these kids from the pain of what life can bring, isn't that stealing their own opportunity to bow in pain, bow to God?
I know the pain of tonight is going to happen. But Husband and I have to share the news in the right manner as well as lean on the strength of God to help us through.
Without God's hand to help us, we merely hop over obstacles; we never get through them. We hop over, we avoid, we distract.
But we never face it in the face. We never face the enemy in the face and say,
Get out of here. You do not tell me who I am; I know who I am.
I am on God's team.
The enemy tells us we can just hop over the tough times. We need not deal with it.
God holds our hands and urges us to walk through the obstacles...all the while knowing God's promise to never leave or forsake us.
So I say this prayer for my family tonight:
I pray that Husband and I take your hand, O God, and that you lead us through this difficult time. We know if we teach the kids to simply hop over icky emotions and situations, they will never learn that you are their ever-present companion -- during the hard times and after.
I pray that 13 year old stepdaughter does not take this as another abandonment, another reason to pull back from us, from you, God, to retreat to her own bedroom and self-destruct.
This house is so full of pain; enter into it, enter into us and create in us a clean heart.
Infuse us with your presence, your comfort.
As a nurturing parent holds his or her child and coos,
"there, there....it's okay....this will pass...."
bring us close to you
and say those words.