Monday, May 2, 2011

What a One-Eyed Dog Taught Me about My Own Personal Weakness

Over the last six months, Foster has lost his vision. After learning last year that surgery would not prevent this, it was only a matter of time. Unfortunately, one of the eyes had an "issue" and had to be removed/

The surgery was this past Thursday and after I picked him up, I thought I might cry all the way home. However, by Sunday, he was back to his familiar routine, even retrieving the Sunday paper for me (which he found by bumping into it).

One of my friends works at the veterinarian's office and has known Foster since I got him at six months of age. He's always been a happy and energetic dog who loves to entertain guests. She was as concerned about this surgery as I was and asked the vet, "What if he loses the other eye?" The vet's response was, "He's got Lynne."

That sounds simple enough, doesn't it?

That night, I had a dream that Foster's surgery completely failed and while I carried him (as a much smaller, weaker and near-death dog), I entered an old house where there were dying cats, dogs and an old man. It was horrible.

When I woke up, in a sweat, I realized what this dream was about. I was the caretaker for my husband before he died eight years ago of ALS, one month shy of his fortieth birthday. My husband was extremely outgoing and loved to entertain every guest to our home. He and Foster were always the happiest creatures in our home.

However, realizing Foster was now even more dependent on me triggered the memory of care taking a very dependent husband. It only felt like a burden sometimes, but the end was inevitable. It seems to be the same for my dog. It obviously weighed on me enough to induce the dream that was about failure and death.

All of us have burdens we've had to overcome. Even years later, those issues can pop up somewhat unexpectedly. It would be easy to give up or give in to the hardships that come our way.

My husband was a wrestler in college and used to bump up a weight class just to improve his skills. His strategy worked as he was a national champion his senior year.

This same idea has helped me get through the years since he's been gone. With my blind dog, and with my other areas of my life, I'm reminding myself to "wrestle up" to more challenges. For me, the only way I can be successful is to walk with God and rely on His greater provision every day. Confidence and strength are the result of accomplishing difficult circumstances.

Rolling over and lying flat on the mat is not an option.

Think about what's trying to get you to quit today. Instead of feeling derailed and defeated, take that energy and turn it into motivation. Then keep doing it. No matter what. Then you'll be a champion!

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