Puppy Love

Puppy Love Picture

Puppy love is officially known as a “temporary love of an adolescent.”  My definition of puppy love, however, has to do with how I feel about certain furry animals. Growing up, my family had a dog named Prissy.  Every year she would have a playful litter of puppies. Each time, I watched her labor and give birth with great anticipation of cuddling every one of them.   As a young girl I have to admit that the process was both disgusting and breathtaking at the same time.  Her labor made me wince as I watched and cheered her on.  On the other side of her pain offered a remarkable thing for me.  It was good. It was a special kind of “puppy love.”

As an adult I often reflect on Prissy and her puppies.  These were my happy thoughts.  These were thoughts that reminded me that good can come out of pain.

Sometimes we are in a painful situation and cannot even dream that it may result in good. I suppose we become so consumed with the pain that we lose hope and cannot see beyond it. One such occasion from several years ago affected me in this way. In the mid-1990s, I had an allergic reaction to a prescribed medication.  The reaction caused my lungs to partially deflate and close up (atelectasis).  It was painfully difficult to breath and every deep breath resulted in coughing that was reminiscent of a “dog barking.”  The prescribed treatment for my condition…breathe deeply (in spite of the pain) in order to reopen my lungs. Should I choose to not face the pain…they told me I could anticipate living with an oxygen tank for the rest of my life.

At first I could not see any good that could come of this, but then I noticed the following:

  • It was bringing my family together and my friends together around a common desire.
  • I was grasping what genuine trust in the Lord looked like.
  • It was causing me to lean on God and allowing Him to be in control.
  • It was an opportunity to share my faith.
  • It caused me to see that the very breath I am given is a gift that cannot be taken for granted.

Good was rising up out of a difficult situation.

With Gods help my lungs were restored and I was delighted to not sound like a “barking dog” with every cough.

While I would not have chosen this condition for myself, I grew from it, was matured by it, and saw God move in it.

 “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

I pray that whatever pain you are experiencing at this time, that you would take a deep breath (in spite of the pain) and ask God to show you the “good” He intends “through it.” You may never know the reason for the pain, but God is faithful to see you through it and to strengthen you by it.

Prayer: Lord, I don’t always understand what you are doing, but I choose to trust You no matter what comes my way.  Help me see good in my pain and help me accept Your way even when it does not make sense to me.  I pray for peace in the midst of the storm. In Jesus Name. Amen

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Letting Go To Embrace The New

We raise our children with care, love, protection and prayers for a prosperous future.  We bandaged skinned knees, wiped runny noses, and kissed away hurts and tears.  We looked in on them at night as they slept peacefully while quietly considering what they may become when they grew older. We hoped to always be a part of their lives.  We disciplined them to teach them right from wrong. We held them tightly to remind them they were loved.  We taught them to brush their teeth, comb their hair, and give them tickles to know we care.  We labored over homework wishing we had the answers and stayed up late working through astronomy, biology and English projects.  The walls in their rooms were filled with pictures that displayed a little of who they were.  Early on, it was the treasured hand paintings, but as their personalities and interest changed over the years so did the pictures.

When our oldest son left home, he left behind that “one picture” that has been his from the earliest of days. It was the one picture that said to me as his mom, “I’m still your little boy.” What a treasure!

Picture of boy

I sit here in tears as I think of how he has grown into a man, and I am beaming with pride! It’s been a few months since he graduated from college, married (she is an answer to my prayers) and moved some 1,600 miles away for training in his new job, but he wasn’t “quite” yet gone. The room was still set up and his things (many of them) were still in place. I gladly looked past the stack of wedding gifts piled up in my dining room and the boxes in the garage.  I rarely noticed the car parked out front or the bedroom full of his and his bride’s belongings.  During these last few months I have walked into the unoccupied bedroom and stared at the pictures on the walls that spoke of life: past, present and future.  I soaked it all in.  I would bask in the memories of the little boy who is now a grown man.

It is now time. Time for the pictures to come down. I labor to hold back the tears as I realize this season is here. It is a season to let go. It is a season to bless the next chapter that these two precious people will spread their wings as husband and wife.  What is a mom to do with empty spaces that were once filled with a sweet presence? She must choose to look inward to revisit them deep in her heart.

In these moments I must remember that God entrusted him to me, and I did the best that I could. From my many mistakes, he learned to forgive and love anyway.  Because of the many times I have prayed over him, he now knows who the Source of life is.  He knows the Lord and his heart is bent toward Him. For my son and his bride I know the Lord has plans to prosper them and not harm them so I extend my arms and open my hands to let them fly. Now they soar into the future full of hope and promises with a God that will never leave them or forsake them and is always for them.

Now I know this season may feel like an eternity but it is a short one. A new season is knocking at the door. One of new beginnings full of hope, new adventure, new memories, and new depth with the Lord. I praise God for His goodness!

Is God doing something new in your life, but you need to first release something to embrace it? It is hard but what God has that is new is good. Trust Him!