The first part of this was originally written in 2016. Sweet Buddy, in his old age, has since crossed the Rainbow Bridge.
Our older dog Buddy is an outside dog. He always has been, even though housebroken he prefers outside. Out there he can see what is passing by, he can smell all the wonderful odors, and he can hear the sounds of all the woodland wildlife as they cross the backyard. Out there, he has the whole outdoors. (He also has not one but two dog houses filled with shavings and fabric doors to choose from.)
The thing is, outdoors also has something called thunder and thunder (and gunshots and fireworks) frighten Buddy. When I know there is going to be someone hunting or target practicing, I bring Buddy in. When it is the time of year for fireworks, I bring Buddy in. when I hear a storm approaching, yes, I bring Buddy in. He prefers our small bathroom with the exhaust fan and the radio on covering the noises from outside.
Last night around midnight, I heard Buddy trying to move one of the doghouses to get to the window to my bedroom. I tried to ignore it at first thinking he would quiet down and go to sleep. When he didn’t I heard what the radio playing behind me had been covering, thunder. Not loud, not close, but still thunder and Buddy was frightened. I pushed the pile of blankets off and rose from the bed. In bedclothes and slippers I went out into the rain and got Buddy and brought him inside. He made a bee line for the bathroom, turned and gave me that “Thanks, I’m good now” look and settled in. I didn’t even have to turn anything on, he was inside out of the rain and away from that scary thunder and he knew he was safe. He could now rest in peace, (and so could I)
Where do you run to when you’re in a scary situation? Where is your shelter, the fortress that protects you from harm? Who rescues you to the point that you can turn, and smile with that, “thanks, I’m good now” look? Where, is your place of peace?
The following, was written in 2019.
Day 47– page 47 in faith
If you’ve read much of what I share on here, sooner or later you will see that I am unashamedly Christian. While it has never been my intention to be -in your face- or shove it down your throat, but I won’t hide it either. There have been times, when I have had people tell me they aren’t religious, but then, neither am I.
Religion is rules and laws and you must and must not. I walk in faith. I walk, knowing that no matter what, I am not ever alone. I am human, I will have those moments when I feel alone, when I feel abandoned, when I hurt from the sadness. Even then, I know, all I need do, is reach for the hem of the robe, of the One who died for me. Besides that, being Christian means being indwelled by the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, Helper, Guide.
There have been times in my life, that when I look back, I see how I should not be here, but am. At twenty something, I was electrocuted. The doctor gave mom this list of things that had I come into contact with them, it would have killed me. Every, single, one of the things on his list, were within reach. I was in a very bad relationship before I met my husband. I don’t discuss that one. I’ve been in a couple of automobile accidents and there have been many near misses.
Months after I turned fifty, I was diagnosed with cancer. This I’ve shared many times. Every day, I walked. I walked the same path every time. Every day, there was something different waiting on me. Every day, when I felt tired to the point of giving up, when it was all I could do, to keep moving. The strength and peace came.
But that, was eleven years ago, what about now?
Some know, some don’t. Almost two years ago, I lost my husband of thirty-two years. He was a long haul truck driver who was out of state when he was called to his heavenly home. From the moment I got the call, during the battle to get him home until now, it has been a frustrating, lonely, painful journey. One that I couldn’t have done,without my walk in faith. It has sustained me during the worst of times, helped me grow during the best.
My walk, isn’t a long list of do this, don’t do that. My faith, teaches love. My faith, my walk, teaches and practices compassion. My walk, my faith, shows me, that I am no better than any other, nor am I an lower. I am never alone. Even, when the human side of me, feels alone.
Every walk, is a personal walk. There is one central belief, that Christ is the Son of God, born and died, yet rose again so that we may be free.Just as every person is individual, so is their walk. Each seeking the Lord in their own way. Each learning and growing as they go. We are all just travelers making our way through life. We all travel a road, it is up to us, to decide which road.
I don’t walk a religious walk, practicing rituals and rules. I walk in prayer and peace. While I do not smoke or drink alcohol, that doesn’t mean I don’t have any fun. that doesn’t mean I’m sitting up here judging others, I’m not, its not my job..my job, is to love and share love.
Presently, I can stand back and look at my life and the places in which I have grown and the parts that still need work.
I am a fifteen year cancer survivor. The fact that I had cancer no longer frightens me. I no longer live with the, what if it comes back worries. God has brought me this far. My health is relatively good for my age. While I try to do the best I can to take care of myself, I still offer praises for God Who has brought me this far.
In just over two weeks, it will have been six years since my husband was called to his Heavenly home. In this time of being on my own, I have learned much about what I am capable. I have cut my own firewood. I am currently painting rooms inside the house. I am slowly becoming more comfortable speaking with customer service folks on the phone. I have learned how to live in this unexpected early retirement, no job status.
As time has passed, I have learned what I should and should not share on social media. I have learned how to see things I don’t care for, and simply scroll on by, realizing there is no need to add fuel to a fire.
The one thing I still struggle with, are my fears. They are the devil on my shoulder, the thorn in my side. While I know, God did not give any of us a spirit of fear, it is one I battle. While I know, He is with me always, no matter the storm, no matter the battle, fear lingers and stifles me. There are times, when I feel that I hang onto those fears because they are the ones I know. Change is not easy, to let go, to trust, to move on to the next thing, can be anxiety inducing. God knows this, and He is ever patient with me.
There is also the fact that even as I am content in my single status, there are some things I don’t care to do alone. But, I am slowly doing better. I realize that a large part of my feeling alone and somewhat friendless is my own fault. I am too often content to sit here in my solitude. I cannot have friends who wish to visit, to spend time, to be friends, unless I am willing to put in the effort first. I have to leave this comfort zone, and be with people because they are out there, not here. Stepping out there, will ease and even rid me of those feelings of being lost, alone, forgotten, ignored..name the adverb and adjective of choice. Feeling as if you are forgotten and no one cares is something no one should feel. The thing is, Jesus knows every one of these emotions I feel. He understands and does not care less for me because of them. He felt alone in the Garden of Gethsemane when his disciples fell asleep. He felt abandoned while He hung on the cross and God turned away because He could not look on the sin that Jesus took upon Himself. Jesus understands, and He opens His arms to me, letting me know, even at my lowest, He is with me. He is my shelter, my stronghold, my place comfort and strength.
I will get better, or I won’t. This thorn of fear, may give me the words to share that show that even in my lowest and most afraid, He is always with me. Now and until the end of the age.