Yesterday afternoon, I attempted to give Tea another appetite pill because she was still only eating a few morsels of food here and there. She hates these pills and has had a bad reaction most times I have attempted to get her to swallow one. And this time was the same: more frothing at the mouth and twitching and general discomfort but at least no vomiting (for Tea, that is, not for me). I could feel her bony spine and realised that 4 days after she came out of the hospital, we really had not gained much ground at all. Yes, she was much more settled and relaxed, but also very weak and lethargic and not all that interested in food and water. And I was getting pretty stressed out and weepy, yelling at Dean and God and anyone else in range that "I really could use some help here!"
And an hour or two later, something changed. I don't know what happened, but Tea came over to where I was in the kitchen and meowed at me. I took out the cat treats and placed a few in front of her and after she ate them, I placed a few more under her nose. She ate 12 of them and then a few hours later, she ate 9 more. In between, she went over to the cat fountain and drank for awhile. Then she hopped up on a box and scratched at it, displaying curiosity for the first time in over a week. Later that night, she gave a few playful swats at a mouse. And this afternoon she ate regular cat food - twice - though I still have to feed it to her one morsel at a time and sit with her. She is not totally out of the woods yet, but seems to have found a path heading towards the daylight. And I believe, so have I.
I don't like living under stress - it is counterproductive and apparently played some part in getting Tea into this mess in the first place. I have felt more stress in the past month than I have in the past few years, and I don't like it. I have been asking God to help me get rid of it, and these words that I read in Matthew this weekend leaped out at me: "Change your life. God's kingdom is here,"and a little later God's kingdom is defined: "that beginning right now they were under God's government, a good government!" (Matthew 4, The Message). Last night at church, I clearly saw that my stress is a result of my not submitting to God in certain areas.
There is something about submission and putting myself under the government of God that I am missing. I don't really know what the good government of God looks like. I am used to seeing what man comes up with in the political realm and finding it all very inadequate. And then I somehow project what I know about this world's government onto God's way of governing and figure they kind of look the same, but they do not. It is like comparing apples and sky. So, how do I learn about this good governing? I admit that I sometimes find it hard to believe what he says about me (that would be not submitting myself to his words). I know that I am still tied to the expectations of others, culturally and relationally, more than I want to be (that would be submitting myself to the opinions of others instead of pursuing truthful and uncluttered relationships). I know that I still sometimes find my value in how others respond to me and my actions (that would be not submitting myself to the person of Love). These are some of the things that govern me and I don't want them to anymore.
Last night I told God that I give up; I want to submit to his governance instead of every other governance that has been making demands on me and stressing me out. And that includes those demands that I put on myself and sometimes feel from others. It encompasses the cultural and societal and relational expectations in my life as well. I don't know exactly what I am giving up, but I am tired of the stress it causes, so I am walking away from it. Teach me about governing, God. That was my prayer last night.
This morning I had an email inviting me to attend the national gathering of leaders from the Vineyard Churches of Canada as one of the "critical thinkers and influencers...those that...would be integral to the discussion of how to take our churches and our movement forward." I think I am about to start a course in the government of God.
This is a photograph taken from my bedroom window last week - sometimes we see things through a glass that is not too clear.