Saturday, August 27, 2022

Understanding the Way God Sees Us

Anybody who knows me knows how much I love my dog. Her name is Honey, she is a redbone coonhound, and she is beautiful. She has reddish-brown fur, with white “shoes” on her front paws, white fur on her chest, on the end of her tail, and on her snout. Her eyes are beautiful as well, and her nose is light brown in color. She is the sweetest dog that I have ever owned, and the sweetest dog that I have ever seen or heard of. Many people will claim that their dog never bites anybody, but my dog has never bitten anybody. I can honestly say that Honey is so peaceful that we have never had to worry about her hurting anybody in the family, nor hurting an animal or damaging furniture. She is incredibly well-behaved, and my family loves her more with each passing day. Honey is part of the family, and we really love her and care about her.

When we took Honey to the veterinarian, we were told that she had some kind of growth on her side. Honey is almost three years old, so it should not be too big of an issue if the growth is removed before it can get worse. If you are not following what I am hinting at, I will make things very clear: the veterinarian was concerned that Honey may have cancer. Now, I do not believe that the concern about Honey having cancer was too serious, but when the concern involves something as serious as cancer, even a small worry is an incredibly serious concern. As a result, my mother scheduled an appointment for Honey to have the growth removed. Yesterday morning, the operation was successful, and Honey was home with us again.

I was really sad to see her when I got home. I am always happy to see her, but I felt so sad seeing her wear a cone. She hates wearing the cone, but she was supposed to wear it so that she would not bite or lick her sutures, as her doing so could easily reopen the wound that she has from her surgery. What made me even sadder was seeing the little patch of fur that had been shaved, and how there was a sewn-up cut in her side. Her beautiful reddish-brown fur had a spot missing, and I felt so sad when I saw the missing fur.

I tried helping Honey feel better. My mother told me that Honey would not have to wear the cone if she could have a small shirt to wear, so that her wound would be covered up. My mother followed me downstairs, in order to search for a small shirt that could help Honey be more comfortable. We found a package of unopened undershirts that I had in my room. My mother opened the package, removed a shirt, and went to put the shirt on Honey. Honey was not very happy, or perhaps she did not understand what my mother was trying to do. After a few minutes of my mother trying to get Honey to relax, my mother was able to get the shirt on Honey. Honey’s paws had been put through the sleeves of her shirt (it was my shirt, but it now belongs to her), and she looked really cute, but we could tell that she really did not like wearing the shirt. Normally, we would not put clothes on her, since she really does not like wearing clothes, but this situation required that we put a shirt on her, or else she could really hurt herself.

She seemed to be a bit more comfortable, and her tail was wagging again, but she would try and take the shirt off. It took a bit, but she was eventually able to get used to wearing a shirt. She picked up one of her toys and brought it to me. My mother reminded me that we cannot play with Honey in the same way that we normally play with her, as Honey could hurt herself by jumping around and moving too quickly. I felt really bad for Honey, but I could not do anything to help her. My mother went upstairs and called Honey. At first, Honey looked like she was going to go upstairs, but when she tried to get up, she stopped moving. She sat down on the floor and looked at me. It did not take very long to realize that Honey would not come upstairs because it hurt her. She still had a wound from her surgery, and it was really hurting her. My mom tried calling Honey a few more times, and I tried to get Honey to go up the stairs one step at a time, but we could not get her to move. Eventually, my mother tried to get Honey to come upstairs, using one of the few words that Honey knows: “cheese”.

When my mother gives the dog any kind of medicine, she will wrap the pill in a small amount of cheese, so that Honey swallows the medication. It is not the healthiest of methods, but it is healthier than not giving her the medication. As soon as she heard that word, Honey went upstairs. She usually runs up the stairs, often jumping over steps (she is a pretty big dog), but this time was different. She tried to go up the stairs as she normally would, but after a single step, her body twisted around. She felt pain again, and it meant that she could not go up the stairs as she normally would. It took her a bit longer than usual, but she made her way upstairs, where (presumably) she got some cheese to eat.

I went to rest for a bit, since I had been out all day. When I went upstairs again, I saw my mother eating something while Honey was walking around. She was still wearing her shirt, and she was whimpering. She does not whimper when she wants food (usually), but she does whimper when she wants to go outside, when she needs something, or when she wants attention. She has the mental capacity of a very small child, so she can only do so much when she needs help. I asked my mother why Honey was crying, and my mother said that Honey was probably feeling pain from her surgery. I asked how many doses of medication Honey had been prescribed for her pain. We found out that she had five pills. There was a short discussion about what to do, with the two of us settling on giving Honey one of her pills. She was given her pill using the aforementioned “cheese method” (patent pending), which worked perfectly. Soon after she had taken her medication, Honey wanted to go and rest. I had been told that Honey would need to sleep in her cage for a week or two, since the movement required to get on my parents’ bed (where she usually sleeps) could hurt her. Honey tried to go to my parents’ bed, but she could not get up on the bed. My mother took the footstool from our couch and put it next to the side of the bed, so that Honey could use the footstool as a step, but this did not work as well as my mother had hoped. Honey put her front paws onto the footstool, but then she stopped. She could not get up on the footstool by herself. My mother saw that Honey needed help, so my mother gave her some help. With my mother’s assistance, Honey was able to get on my parents’ bed and rest.

Why am I telling you about my dog? Since I arrived home yesterday, I have felt the Lord put something on my heart to share with others. I realized that there were similarities to the way God sees us and how I see my dog.

Honey did nothing wrong (at least, nothing deserving of an operation being performed on her). She woke up on my parents’ bed, and she was going to do what she would normally do. She was led to my car, not knowing where she was going, but she was happy to be going on an adventure with my mother. She learned that she was going to the veterinarian, which she usually realizes when she reaches the doorway of the veterinarian’s office. She really dislikes going to see the veterinarian, the veterinarian scares her, but she goes inside the office because my mother is with her. My mother hands Honey off to the veterinarian, who proceeds to put Honey under anesthesia. Honey wakes up a little while later, but her body hurts, and she is wearing a cone around her neck. She is taken back home by the same mother that took her to the veterinarian, and Honey is still required to wear that cone. She had trouble leaving the veterinarian’s office, as the cone kept bumping into the wall. That cone was making it hard for Honey to lie down, and she had a hard time seeing people. My mother told me how Honey had been avoiding her, and how Honey was not very happy. Honey could not do much anymore. She could not play, she could not rest, she could not get on the bed, she could not go up and down the stairs, and she could hardly see anybody because of the cone in her face. She was able to see people again when we put a shirt on her, but even then she was uncomfortable. Despite being uncomfortable, Honey was so happy to see me again, and she was happy to see my mother again. She woke up with her life being the same as it always has been, but she went to sleep with her life being completely different. She had no idea what had happened to her, nor did she know when things would change. She did not even know if things would change at all. For all Honey knew, she would be in the same pain for the rest of her life. She had trusted my mother, she had gone with my mother, but my mother took her to a place where she was afraid, and she came home with pain in her side. Every time she felt like things were back to normal, she would feel that pain come back, and she would remember what had happened to her. In Honey’s eyes, she had been betrayed, she was in a situation that was very hard on her, and nobody was helping her.

In reality, Honey was taken to have a procedure done, so that Honey would live longer. We all felt really bad for her, but we love Honey, and we want her to be around for as long as possible. It really hurt to see Honey suffering, but we knew that it was for her own good. She had no idea when things would change, or if they would change, but we knew that she would only have to be like this for fourteen days at the most. Honey did not want to go up the stairs, but she needed to go upstairs. We tried to get her to follow us, but she would not come until we offered her something that encouraged her. She persevered through the pain as she walked up the steps, and she was rewarded with something that makes her happy. She had no idea, but her owners were really sad about how she was suffering, and they desperately wanted to help her, but there was only so much that could be done at the time. There were some things that would take time, and there was no way to speed things up.

I experienced a similar situation. I was not taken to a veterinarian, but I did have a part of me taken away. A part of my heart had been removed, and it hurt me deeply. Nothing felt the same, nothing brought me comfort, nothing brought me happiness, and nothing brought me peace. I tried to do things that I enjoyed doing, but they did not make me happy anymore. I had woken up, thinking that I would be going through a normal day, and I went to bed feeling like my life was over, which was an idea that I had welcomed. I felt like nobody cared about me, and I felt like I had been betrayed. However, God was with me (as always), and God never left me to suffer on my own. It was incredibly hard at first. I spent every day for several months, crying my eyes out. I wept as I drove to class, as I went to work, as I tried to sleep at night, and throughout most of the day. I felt like nothing was changing, like nothing was happening, like nothing would get better, but God was watching over me. God began to speak to my heart, and He gave me certain things to look forward to. I would ask God, “how long?”, but I did not receive an answer. All I knew was that God had told me what to do, what to look forward to, and given me peace for the first time in a long time. I made several attempts to continue my life as it once was, but every time I made such an attempt, my heart hurt again. That pain in my heart would return, and I would be reminded of how I need God to help me, how I could not have peace unless I trust in Him, and how I would not be able to survive without His help. It took a long time, but as I continued to seek the Lord, I felt my joy and peace increase. Day by day, I felt the presence of the Lord grow stronger, and I began to hear more from God. I began to learn what I had been put through, I began to learn more about my situation, and I began to see how I had been allowed to suffer in order for God to lead me to a better life. As with Honey, the goal was not to make it so that nothing would be the same again. The goal was to lead me through some hard times, guide me towards what God has for me, teach me how to know Him more, help me trust in Him more, and then I would be able to have the parts of my life that I had been praying for. There are many things that God has told me to prepare for, many things that God has shown me, and there are many opportunities that God has told me to look forward to. I do not know everything about my situation. In fact, I know very little. However, God has been guiding me toward what He has planned for my life. When it gets difficult, when it seems like I cannot continue, God reminds me of what He has spoken to my heart, and I am given “cheese”. I am able to persist and seek the Lord, by His grace, and by His guidance. Whenever I feel confident, or like I could just go do something else and skip the journey that I have been on, I am hit with the pain in my heart again. Whenever I feel like giving up, I feel the pain return, and I remember that I need God, and that He is the One who gives me relief from my suffering. He is the One who gives me peace, He is the One who strengthens me, it is from Him that my hope is derived, and it He Who will lead me to the place where I can see the blessings that He has told me about.

I know that, for somebody going through a difficult situation, hearing somebody tell them to seek God and everything will work out can be incredibly frustrating. If you are frustrated by my attempt at encouraging you to hold on to what God has promised you, I would like you to know something that you may not know already:

My writing may lead you to believe that I have already been through a tough situation, but that is not true. I have not been through a tough situation, I am going through a tough situation. I am writing this as I await the fulfillment of several of God’s promises. I have already seen some of His promises come to fruition, but there are several promises that I have been waiting a long time to see. I do not know when I will be given the opportunities that the Lord has told me about, but I do know that God can, and will, do what He says He will. If God promises you something, you can have confidence that it will be so. I am able to encourage others to hold onto what God has spoken to them, not because I have been through it already, but because I am still in a season of waiting on God, yet I have joy and peace that surpasses anything I have ever experienced before. I trust the Lord completely. Some people think that I am crazy, some think that I have been fighting a losing battle, some tell me to give up, but I know that I have heard the Lord speak, and I trust Him.

That being said, you should be sure that you have heard from the Lord, and that you have not been hearing from yourself, or from the devil, but that is another topic, for another post.

It may feel like you have been forgotten, like you are all alone, and like things will never change, but I want you to know that God sees you, He loves you, and He cares about you. If you seek the Lord, if you obey His commandments, if you seek first the Kingdom of God, God will bless you.

God bless you all!

- Daniel Teberian

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful story! Brought tears to my eyes as I read and began to understand what you are going through. Hang in there! God has many blessings for you. Hope Honey is feeling better. Thank you for sharing!


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