A friend of mine told me something encouraging the other day, an observation from another friend who was comparing spiritual life to physical life. She mentioned how, just before a growth spurt, children will often get cranky and rebellious and just seem “off.” A few days of wondering what on earth is going on, then one morning you wake up to realize your child is a little bit taller or their shoes aren’t fitting quite as well and they’re acting normal again. She made the observation that the same thing happens to us, when we enter a period of spiritual growth. Things often get harder before they get easier. We get stretched, and we go through a period of anger or sadness or hurt. And then we grow.
I must be going through one heck of a growth spurt.
I spoke with the vet today about Lucy, because this morning she tried to stand up and couldn’t. She did eventually get up on her own, but she’s still struggling. He said that at this point, considering everything we’ve done for her and the “limp” I’m describing, it’s most likely nerve damage caused by a tumor and only going to get worse. He advised that we take her to auction and sell her, or take her to be butchered. We can’t, in good conscience, do either.
We plan to keep her here with her family and care for her as best we can, until the day comes when it’s beyond our ability to do so. We will pray healing over her, and if she doesn’t get better, we’ll put her down ourselves, here at her home with the people who love her.
[Insert pause while I take some time to cry… God is answering a prayer.]
Lucy is tied up in my day to day life in a way no other animal here is. She’s provided more for our family than any other animal has, and what I feel for her is beyond my ability to put into words.
And yet, I’m thankful, too. Just the other day, we were wondering what to do about our farm and today we learn that we may lose our biggest contributor. Just the other day, I was grieving over two baby goats I never really got a chance to know, and today I learn that I may lose the animal I’m most closely connected with. And yet somehow, in the midst of an incredible amount of sadness, I’m at peace.
We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.
– 2 Cor 4:8-12
And you know what? I’m not “pressed on every side.” My husband and children are healthy. I have a roof over my head and more luxuries than I have any right to posses. And I may soon have 500lbs of beef in the freezer, Lucy’s last gift to our family.
I am so very, very blessed.