Monday, April 12, 2010

Prayer

Funny, when you try to completly wipe all the Christian shannanigans from your life, it still creeps back in through little ways. In some ways, wiping it all away gave me enough quiet to maybe be having....dare I say.....a personal relationship with God. If he is up there, and many times I doubt that, I think the only way to hear/feel anything is to block everything else out and regain perspective. Its funny because although I wasnt raised Christian, I developed a pretty good prayer life and when I tried to turn from it, I found myself still doing it A LOT out of habit. I actually willed myself to stop it on many ocassions, telling myself I was loosing it. I was on my way to my first u/s and found myself begging God to let there be a healthy baby with a heartbeat and only one. I know well that twins would not be a good thing with my heart condition. I then stopped myself and tried to get back into control by telling myself that this is a simple matter of science and if there was a baby, the sperm and egg met properly and hormonal aids did their jobs as they were supposed to and if that wasnt the case, well the sperm/egg collision was wrong, no big deal. It didnt feel quite right and I went in very uneasy. Obviously everything was okay, at least at that point and I felt empowered telling myself, "see, you didnt need prayer, its fine." I know this must sound crazy to most people. Anyhow, a few days ago, my house held a horrific scene. Kayla came in hysterically crying telling Nate and I that one of the puppies was dead. I couldn't beleive it. I ran out and tried to pick up this pup, but he was so limp, I got freaked out and put him right back down and began screaming frantically for Nate to come help him. The pup was dead. He was lifeless, not breathing, wet all over and looked to have drowned. Well I begged Nate to do CPR and try anything. He did and the pup opened one eye barely, but still couldnt get any air. Nate continued and he patted his back pretty hard and water came flowing up. The pup came back, but he was completely stiff. His legs were stuck at his sides, back legs were stiff behind and his breathing was erratic at best. He was pottying all over nonstop. His neck and head were bent back and sideways stiff. It was horrific. I felt horrible for saving him because I knew he couldnt survive in the condition he was in anyhow. Nate asked if he should put him out of his misery. I told him I couldnt let him. I asked him to wait through the night. The pups gums were gray and he just didnt look good. The kids began praying and I once again found myself pleading that if God was up there to do a miracle and heal this poor baby whos life had only begun 5 weeks ago. This time I couldn't stop myself. I prayed and prayed and prayed without ceasing, with the kids and without. I was devastated at the possible outcome for this puppy. Within an hour I had massaged his head into a more normal position and it was a little looser. Within two hours, he had started flopping around using one leg erratically. It was so awful to watch. All we could all do was pray and cry. It was one of the saddest sights I have ever come accross. I was really really regretting making Nate do CPR at this point. His breathing was still very strained and he was now flopping and pooping himself and his gums were still gray. I attempted a few upside down cradle swings to get more fluid out of him. Within four hours of this, we decided to wrap him snug in baby blankets and put him in a laundry basket to sleep and stay warm. I woke up at midnight and checked on him, this time praying that he would just be alive. I walked in and he was very out of sorts, still struggling to breath, BUT he took two steps with his back legs dragging and his front paws knuckled over. By 3am, he took 4 steps, this time his breathing was a tad better and his back legs coordinated with the front, although the fronts were still knuckled over. By 6am, I walked in and he lifted his head like he knew I was there and I brought mama in to see if there was anyway he could nurse and HE DID!!!! He actually coordinated sucking and swallowing although I had to knead her teet for him because his front paws couldnt coordinate yet. That milk give him strength and he walked a little more. That afternoon, just 24 hours after his initial accident, he was walking slowly, still straining to breath, but his gums were pink and he was nursing with vigor. He fought and he won. He was still tripping every few steps and it was hard to watch, but we knew with how quickly he made so much recovery that things were looking good. Its now been 3 days and he is running with his siblings, playing, pouncing, chewing, eating and is great. We named him Sparky cause you would have to have an extra spark to make it through something like that and fight so hard. Taking a few steps back in the story, what actually happened to Sparky......well Tanner(5yo) was swinging and decided to take a puppy on the swing. Apparently he lost grip and Sparky fell. When he stopped the swing, he said the pup was just laying there (he was likely in shock) so he thought the puppy fainted and decided to put water on him. He took the hose and put it in Sparky's face and realized that was not working so he got scared and put him down and ran and told Kayla. Tanner got into a lot of trouble and although it was an accident, he should have told us right when he dropped the puppy and he didn't. The whole situation could have been avoided. He watched and cried with us as we dealt with Sparky during such a scary time when we didnt know whether he would live or die. He had to look on as this puppy flopped helplessly while defacating on himself. I hope this terrible lesson is one all my kids remember and I hope they will take away from it the ability to love and care gently for animals and the knowledge that they need to come to us immediately if an accident occurs without taking it into their own hands. So where am I going with all this......I don't know but I guess I am more comfortable with prayer than I once thought I was. I sure as heck and not comfortable without it. While I refuse to shove our family back into some boxed religion, I guess I still have faith. Thing is, I'm me, I'm comfortable with me and I won't let any religion tell me something is wrong with me or that I am not acceptable to God because of the way I am hardwired.

13 comments:

Jennifer said...

Wow, that is an incredible story. I'm so happy for your puppy. Funny because I feel God has given you an invitation to seek him. He can't always give us what we want, but he is there and listening. He has has given us the freedom of choice to believe or not. Honestly I don't want to believe there is nothing out there..and that all the miracles we receive daily are just coincidental.

metrofuture said...

People always turn to prayer when they are in danger or really want something to happen that is not guaranteed to happen. This is a normal reaction for everyone, probably even for atheists.

You should've taken the puppy to a vet, though.

Melissa said...

I have followed your journey for some time and I have never commented before, but I had to now. Something about this touched me deeply and I had to say something.

I believe in the power of prayer. I believe in a loving Heavenly Father who does listen to our prayers and answer them. I believe that as His spirit children, we do recognize our need to to connect with Him. I know prayer is real and very powerful. I have seen it work too many times to deny. I have felt it's power in my life. I know that the Father in Heaven we pray to is very real as well, for I have felt His love, guidance, and strength.

I hope that you find what you are looking for. All the best, and I'm glad your pup is okay.

Melissa :)

Cindy said...

what a story so glad that the puppy is ok!

Deanna said...

Cool story. It sounds like you developed a habit of praying whenever you are in a tough spot and it sounds like it gives you comfort, so I say go for it. However, you may have still had positive outcomes regardless of your prayers. I believe you had a post a few months ago that focused on the ineffeciency of prayer and cited examples where it hasn't worked for you and your family.

I think there is nothing wrong with continuing to pray as it is obviously a coping mechanism that you developed at an early age and helps you manage those stressful times. As long as you recognize that the prayer may not alter the outcome. Puppy and baby would probably still be fine without the prayer.

Desirea said...

As you know, I grew up going to church with my grandparents. I don't go so much now but still have faith and pray and everything.
Even if you don't believe in God (which I do) sometimes just talking about your problems, getting them off your chest, will help you feel better. Sometimes there are things you can't talk to another human about so you find yourself either praying or talking to yourself.
Even if you don't think you're "praying", I know He still hears :)
As long as it makes you feel better, that's what matters.

stillhotwithalot said...

I have no idea where all my comments have gone, but to the person who said the pup should have went to the vet. We considered it, but honestly felt there was nothing a vet could do and thought he would be more comfortable living out his last breaths here.......to our surprise though, they werent his last breaths so that ended up being very amazing. It was evening when all this occured so I would have had to pay huge bills to take him to the emergency vet and whatnot so I just felt it wasn't something we could/needed to do financially. Had I felt the vet could have done something for him, I would have paid it on a credit card and taken him though.

heidihim said...

I'm glad you have found a way to connect with God that you are comfortable with. Prayer is such an interesting topic because the perception of the person praying matters as much as the actual outcome of the situation. Either everything is a miracle or nothing is. Believing in the power of prayer feels true to me although I can't say exactly why! I guess it is a choice for everyone and I am choosing to believe. Best of luck with your cute family!

heidihim said...

I also wanted to say I always wish I was ballsy enough to talk about real topics on my blog the way you do. Even if our opinions differ your blog is a breath of fresh air in the world of rehearsed, rosy-posy blogs out there (mine included!)

The Winkelman's said...

Janis,
Obviously you have a lot of people on here with many different opinions when it comes to God and prayer and religion. But I just want to let you know that I know God answers prayers when it is HIS will. That's probably so confusing and frustraiting to understand because sometimes when we pray we feel like our prayers aren't answered. But if everyone were to get what they wanted when they prayed, that would be crazy. Everyone would be millionaires and healthy and it wouldn't be a test as to whether or not we had faith in a supreme being. God is more real than anything and He is going to love you and your family forever. Please never give up on Him. And Janis, please know that I love you and your family and I hope that I never make you feel uncomfortable. I know all of this stuff has been really hard for you and I want to be your friend no matter what happens.

Cat said...

Janis, this post of yours leads me to direct you to my *other* blog, one that I've not advertised at all but I have posted a few things on. As you may know, I too have gone through a lot of strugles with church and faith, and I've come to terms with the fact that church and organized religion just don't mesh with me and my beliefs. In fact, there are references in the Bible that say that God's temple is in our hearts, not in a building (I'd have to go look them up, I don't know exact verses right offhand). I strive to live my life following Mathew 5:13-16, letting my love for God and His love shine through me to show others the truth. That is how it works, not through going to some church and following their doctrine and their rules and expecttions. Don't fear prayer and faith, embrace it if you have it. Don't push it away and call it silly if it is there. Only YOU know the truth in your heart, what you believe to be true. I am a doubter as well, I question many things. But I know my truth and my belief. I call myself a Christian, yet I am not one according to the standards of many. Don't listen to others and what they say is true, listen to YOU. It appears that your heart is speaking quietly to you, and telling you what your path may be. Don't hesitate to listen to it, no matter how scary and outside the box that path may be. If your path leads you to singing hymns in a church do it. If it has you dancing naked around a fire at the full moon, then go for it. Many may not agree with me (ok almost everyone will lol) but I do truly believe there is no one right path, there are many and they are all right as long as we keep our eyes planted firmly on God (or whatever you want to call Him)

Feel free to e-mail me any time, and don't feel like you must approve this comment. It is meant purely for you and your heart. I hope you will take a moment to go read my other blog www.my-mind-my-life.blogspot.com and feel to drop me a note at catpeterman@roadrunner.com any time.

Beth.. One Blessed Nana said...

I am praying for you sweet one. I pray that God spoke mightily to you during this incident as He showed you the power that He has over life and death. Even the death of little puppy. Our God is awesome and sovereign and He is mighty and powerful. He is mighty to save and He is full of mercy and grace.

I will continue to pray that God will continue to draw you and speak to you. And that He will show Himself glorious in your life.

God is real my sweet friend. He sent His Son to die for us and He took our place on the Cross. He will never leave you. Never forsake you. He will always be there.

Captivated by Him,
Beth

Vicki said...

When I read that you had given up on God I prayed for you! I've lurked on your blog off and on for about a year watching you grow and discover God for who He really is, not what religion sells him as. I will still pray that you find HIM everyday. Start with the Word and prayer, right? He will guide you into fellowship WHEN ITS TIME. Blessings on the Doggy and Your new baby!
Vicki