Thursday, September 15, 2011

hard lessons

Last night, I had to make a tough choice. I told my 6 year old, Vanessa, that we may loose one of our chickens. But this blog post isn't about loosing a pet, it's about the lesson learned in the midst of this event.

Over the course of the last few days, one of our chickens has been acting peculiar. It wasn't until yesterday, that I really noticed that something wasn't right. By evening, she was still 'bristling' when we came near, and she remained in the box all day. After doing some online research, we've come to the conclusion that she must be egg-bound. A phenomenon where the egg gets lodged as it's being laid. There are ways to help the chicken when this occurs, and we tried them, but with no luck. We just couldn't seem to help her. When the kids arrived home after AWANA, I sat down to talk with Vanessa - my self-proclaimed chicken farmer. I lovingly told her that Gabby {that's the chicken} wasn't doing well, and she may not make it through the night. Immediately she went pale and looked panic stricken. I reassured her that we did all that we could do, and that as of that moment Gabby was still alive. That it wasn't a sure thing that we'd loose her, but that I wanted to prepare her.

Did I do the right thing by telling her this? I thought so at the time.

She proceeded to get ready for bed. But as I climbed the stairs to tuck her in, I heard her sobbing in her room. I sat on her bedside and tried to comfort her, and it was then that the lesson came to me. This was her opportunity to learn about trusting God - even when it's not easy. This was her chance to cast her burdens on the shoulders of our Almighty Father. By this time, Zoey had come to kneel by the side of her bed, and Jack had wandered in from his room to lay on the bed with us. Jason was nearby as well. We prayed for Gabby, but mostly we prayed for peace as we awaited His answer in His impeccable timing. We talked about trusting God with his creation. And we talked about how God's answer isn't always something we understand or want. Sometimes His answer is "no".

It took a while for her to settle down through all of this, but in time I could see His peace that surpasses all understanding sustaining her. She was able to quiet herself and rest in the loving arms of her Heavenly Father - literally. She quietly dozed off to sleep, and when I woke her for school this morning, there were no tears. She did, however, ask how Gabby was this morning. She said she wanted to know - good or bad. Thankfully, Gabby was still okay this morning. Still troubled by something. Still staying in the box.

This has been a lesson for me too. It's hard to see something you care about {daughter and chicken} suffering. It's even harder when there's little you can do for them. I had to come to the place of relying on Him, too, in all of this. I have to be okay with the fact that I've done all I can do for my chicken, and trust God to take care of her as he sees fit. And, I've imparted Godly wisdom to my daughter. Something that may be a pivotal moment for her in her spiritual walk. The time when she learned what fully leaning on God felt like.


hollyfarm said...

I think she is "brooding"! The chicken, not Vanessa! It's what good chicken mommies do when they want their eggs to hatch. They stay in the box for about 21 days leaving only very briefly to get food and water. This can be annoying because they don't lay anymore eggs during this time. She's probably bristling to tell you, "Stay away from my babes!" We've had to "break up" brooders (interupt the brooding cycle) by temprarily housing them in a different location for a few days. You can let her rear some chicks, but it's getting to be a cold time of year for fluffy baby chicks. I really hope this is the case. I've not yet had a chicken be egg bound but I've had plenty of brooders. I'd put good money on it being your Buff Orpington, they are notoriously "broody".

Michelle said...

Oh Holly! That would be awesome if that's what it is! And now I feel foolish for assuming the worst. Vanessa was thrilled when I told her that Gabby was most likely trying to hatch babies and not dying :) And you're right... it's one of the Buffs putting up a stink! Thank you fellow chicken farmer!!