My one year old Mastiff Nana tore her ACL this summer and had to have surgery. During her recovery period she must be brought outside on a leash at all times and is not allowed to run or play. We are four and a half weeks into the eight weeks of recovery. Each day is gets harder and harder for us to control Nana on the leash. She is feeling good and wants to run into the woods. The air is so crisp and fresh and the woods have all kinds of animal activity this time of year. She sees the squirrels collecting acorns and wants to chase them. She hears the turkeys and wants to chase them. She sees the family of deer down by the lake and wants to chase them. It doesn’t matter what it is, she simply wants to run.
There are two things we can do to help us all survive this eight weeks. The first thing is to buy a lot of bones and chew toys. Giving her things to chew on help her focus and channel some energy. The other thing we do each day is sedate her with a prescription from the vert. We give her just enough pills to make her lazy and sleepy, but not so much that she is completely out of it. It sounds horrible and I do hate the thought of having to do it each day, but the day we didn’t do it she ran all over the house and showed signs of re-injury. Sedating her appears to be our only option.
Sometimes I feel like my life is in a recovery period. I feel as though I am not free to run and chase after the things that are in my heart. Though I feel like I am strong and ready to run, I sense the leash is still on telling me “not yet”. It feels frustrating and unfair sometimes, and though I don’t understand I simply have to trust that God is still working in me, and preparing me for the things that are to come.
Similar to Nana’s survival plan, I have found there are two things I can do to survive this leash-walk period of my life. The first thing is to meditate, or chew on God’s word. When I meditate on God’s promises I find it easier to focus my energy towards the day set before me rather than worry about what may or may not happen down the road. The other thing I do is my own form of sedation- prayer. It brings me a peace and calm that settles my anxious heart and brings me back to the present rather than dwelling on the past or looking towards the future.
You know, I just realized something. Unlike with Nana, there will never be a day when God suddenly takes me off the leash and tells me to run ahead of him. He will always be my guide and my leader. Maybe that is what I need to embrace more than anything. Maybe instead of feeling as though I am being “restrained”, I need to realize that I am being “lead”. God is not holding me back from my dreams. We are walking slowly and steadily on the path he has set before me. And the best part is, when it is time to run, he will still be there alongside me every step of the way. I will never again be left on my own.
I hope you all got something out of that because I just preached myself happy! I just went from feeling alone and restrained to feeling loved and cared for by a Father that loves us too much to let us simply wander off on our own. God is good, all the time…
Show me the right path, O LORD; point out the road for me to follow. Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you. Psalm 25:4-5
Love, Grace, and a Leash-Walk Day to You All,