Tuesday, August 16, 2011


My dog Shine is a rescue pup. She has a torn meniscus in her knee thanks to being kicked by her previous "owner." She had heart worms when she arrived at Hotel Brenda. She was scared to death of everything, but her eyes radiated a glow that spoke to me, "I want to love you, but I'm so afraid."

We set to work making her feel at home. My other two dogs quickly gave her the message, "Look. Nothing you can do is going to make her hurt you. Go ahead, pee on the floor. She'll look at you and say NO, but she won't hurt you." It took awhile, but Shine eventually got the message - she was safe here.

It's weird though how fear will creep back in when you least expect it. Last night I was taking a shower and Shine was fast asleep beside the tub. I was laughing at her because she was howling and moving her feet air running. I reached out to get a washcloth and a drop of water fell on her head.

She froze. The worst sound I've ever heard came from her soul. The best I can describe it is fear, panic and desperation mixed into a tiny painful sound. She covered her head with a paw and tried to get all 70 pounds of her into a ball. Meanwhile I'm saying, "Shine. It's okay. It's me. I love you." She didn't open her eyes long enough to see.

So, I did what I had to do. I climbed out of the shower soaking wet with conditioner still in my hair, grabbed a towel, and sat beside her on the floor. I physically opened her eyes and said, "Hi friend." She melted as her breathing slowed. I pulled her into my lap and held her for at least 30 minutes. Honestly, my hair needed the extra conditioning anyway.

But, as I went to sleep last night I realized I'm exactly in that place with the Lord. Old fears have crept in lately and are leaving me spiritually paralyzed. I understand that place of waiting for the drop of water to fall and then freaking out completely. I'm not so good at putting on a great spiritual front. I've found it's more helpful to just be there, wherever that is at the moment. Settle in and dig deep. I try to lean hard on what I know to be true. At the end of the day, I believe in a God bigger than my fears.

And sometimes the most spiritual thing we can do is pray, "I want to love You and trust You with all of me, but I'm so afraid."

And I feel His sweet peace open the eyes of my soul and whisper, "Hi friend. It's okay. It's Me. I love you."


Michelle Holderman said...

Just beautiful, Brenda! And so true. Thanks for sharing.

Brenda said...

Thanks, Michelle!

Sue said...


One of my self-help mentors brought up an interesting idea to me. What if fear is a lie? What if fear is something that prevents us from being the fullness of what God created us to be?

Just think... we're not talking prudence--like don't walk along the edge of a narrow cliff carelessly, or the adrenaline you get to get yourself out of true danger like a potential assault or car accident.

No--we're talking about fear about something that usually HASN'T HAPPENED YET, what if what if what if... or inflating and putting drama into something.

He said to think about the last time you had a real emergency--did you get focused and sufficiently calm to get through it? I think we've all done that... God gives us strength when we need it.

So what if your dog's fears are a mental construct to allow him to react to potential threats given a history of prior abuse? And what if your own fears, and my own fears, are our minds' ways of preventing uncomfortable growth by limiting us with anticipating the various unknowns and freezing us up?

food for thought...