Wednesday, May 30, 2012

If this is a test, I pray to pass it

Every day, and usually several times a day, I pray to know and to do God's will, to His glory. I pray with trust and with thanksgiving. And I guess what I'm continuing to learn is that sometimes responses to prayers regarding problems seem more like lessons than solutions, at least in the short term. But at some point, I can look back and see a blessing. The blessings are there along the way, as well, if I will just stay focused on God so He can reveal them.

Thursday, I will take my kitty to a new vet, in hopes of finding answers to intermittent but increasing litter box problems that are making my sweet, beloved Bridget hard to share a house with. We've tried many things since last August, and nothing has had long-term results. Most just seem to compound the problems.

An example of that is when we finally, at the start of May, banished her from the bedroom. She's slept on our bed almost all of her 8 or so years, so of course this hasn't gone over too well. (It's also been hard for me. I love to have her sleep against me, and it is agonizing to hear her meowing and scratching at the door. I've actually slept on the sofa some nights so she wouldn't feel abandoned!) But if, as many sources suggest, part of the problem to begin with is her feeling stressed, this would certainly make it worse, not better, for her.

And such was the result. So, I decided to board her at the vet the weekend of May 19, so tests could be run to see if perhaps an antianxiety medicine would help. Without going in to detail, I'll say the vet agreed, so we started it. But after about three days, it was clear the side effects were unacceptable. In the process, I lost confidence in the vet. And my poor kitty is more confused and stressed out than ever.

So, after continued prayer and a good telephone discussion with the new vet's office, we will go for a second opinion tomorrow.

I'm grateful that Gene and I both have been willing to keep working together and with our cat on this. I'd be lying if I said it's not extremely frustrating. And the beloved kitty apparently has no clue that she's the one causing the disruptions, which she doesn't like any more than we do.

The process of checking out new possibilities and solutions is going slowly, but I'm grateful to be able to recognize blessings each day:

-- Gene's patience beyond what I could ever have hoped.

-- God continuing to take away my feeling of complete despair (most days).

-- Bridget's delightfulness in all areas except her bathroom habits. As far as we can tell, she's healthy. She's just got this one issue. In fact, I think right now she suspects there may be another kitty in the bedroom, judging from how cautiously she checks everything out, especially under the dressers, when we give her supervised visits to the bedroom.

-- The reminders this brings me of people dealing with much larger issues, including troublesome children or loss of loved ones, and to say prayers for them and ask God how I can help.

-- Continued and growing awareness of God's loving presence and the peace and hope it brings.

I've come across some quotes this week that help me stay focused on God through all of this.

-- This is from today's Denison Forum by Jim Denison: Yesterday I encountered a statement by C.S. Lewis I had never seen before: "You can't get second things by putting them first; you can get second things only by putting first things first." As he famously remarked, "Aim at heaven and you will get earth 'thrown in'; aim at earth and you will get neither." At what are you aiming today?

-- This is from Tuesday's Jesus Calling devotional: I know precisely what you need to draw nearer to Me. Go through each day looking for what I have prepared for you. Accept every event as My hand-tailored provision for your needs. When you view your life this way, the most reasonable response is to be thankful. Do not reject any of My gifts; find Me in every situation.

-- And this was posted by friend Mary Lou Moad on Facebook: "Whether or not it’s a good or bad decision, shouldn’t be determined by the outcome. Sometimes you make a good decision, but don’t see the fruit of it... God is teaching me to make the right decision, because it’s right. Then it’s God’s job to do what he wants about it." (Brian Johnson, worship leader, Bethel Church, Redding, CA.)

Through it all, I strongly sense that God is letting this be a test for me. For all I know, it may be an endurance test! Whatever it is, I pray that I will pass the test and that He will find me faithful. I love Him, I trust Him and I thank Him, and I pray to respond in a way that glorifies Him.

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