Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Seeing the Son Through the Rain

Warning: If you aren't a pet-lover, this post will be nonsensical to you. Then again, if you're a lover of God, you might be able to apply it to your own life. If you're both, then read on.

Today is overcast. The clouds seem to be bordering between hope of the sun peeking out & letting out a drizzle or full-on deluge. Just like my mood.

Ginger's cancer is back. And the chemo doesn't seem to me to be working this time. Certainly not as well as previously. It most assuredly is not side-effect free like every other round has been. Watching her suffer last night with deep non-stop panting, trembling, & obvious discomfort was unbearable. I broke down all evening long & went to bed with tired, puffy eyes & a stopped up nose. I knew this was coming, but when the chemo's working & she's in remission, it's just easier to push that knowledge away, you know? Out of the few devastating emotional events in my life, this ranks right up there.

Even so, I'm bordering between hope of the Son peeking out & letting out a full-on deluge (drizzle isn't an option). I've seen evidence of Him, even at my lowest points yesterday:

     -Our vet staff took such great care of Ginger, not letting her be alone during & after the chemo administration;
     -My husband & mother were so supportive, loving, & concerned about both Ginger & me;
     -God heard my cries for help & took pity on me, giving me strength when I felt that I just couldn't handle this;
     -God heard my cries & took pity on Ginger, giving her comfort & peace last night intermittently through the evening & then throughout the night;
     -Ginger seems to be feeling a little better this morning, which is a gift from God as well.

Ginger's really done amazingly so far. This cancer (lymphoma), if left untreated, can kill a dog in 6 weeks. Chemo has been effective (another evidence of God's graciousness), & December 24 will be 2 years since her diagnosis. She's responded well with each treatment, just being really tired for a couple of days. Until now, her lymph nodes have retreated with steroids & chemo. Now they're not. My greatest fear is that she will suffer. Michael experienced this cancer with his dog years ago, & her suffering was traumatic. I don't want to have to put her down - here comes the rain again - but I don't want her to suffer either. We're not to that place yet, thank God, & I hope we won't get there. I think God, in His wisdom & love, has said "no" to healing her here, so my new prayer is that He will take her peacefully without suffering while I'm there to hold & love her.

I'll tell you one thing this trial makes me do. It makes me hate this world. Not in a rage sort of way, but in a longing for heaven sort of way. And it makes me want to slap Adam & Eve. And it makes me hate sin. If it weren't for the Fall, none of us would suffer. But because of the Fall, we don't reflect the image of our Maker well (to put it mildly). So, suffering is the means intended by God to refine us, to sanctify us, so that we become more like His Son. And you know, when I look at it like that, even pain like this is worth it. I want to be more like Jesus. I want my hold on the things of this world to be loosened so that my grasp on Him can't be. This is a time for strengthening my faith in God, for deepening my trust in & relationship with my Father. When I realize that He's doing just that, that He's drawing me to Himself through this suffering, I have peace. He only does what's right & good, & He will see me through this.