“…walk joyfully and confidently in the plan God has for me.” (Pastor James Sunnock)
When we were together last, I talked about how our family was presented with an adventure not of our choosing but an adventure nonetheless. As I made the choice to step out and “do” the adventure God’s way, He reminded me of a similar, yet smaller challenge our family had passed with flying colors not 30 days earlier.
I mentioned last time how our dog died suddenly on December 16th. He was older and had some medical issues, so I think subconsciously I’d been preparing my heart for about six months, knowing the probability of being forced to say goodbye within the next few years was high. I also knew that I hated living in a house devoid of four-legged family and would eventually want to welcome another member. However, this is when fear would creep in. My sister is the one who chose Max for our family so many years before and he had turned out to be a great fit. The dogs I had attempted to bring into our house, except for one, were NOT! One dog we attempted to adopt lasted only eight hours as he held my then-pregnant self and our two-year-old son hostage on our own couch!
I remember feeling dread at the thought of starting over, trying to find another forever family member, afraid we would end up with one we could barely tolerate. Ten to twelve years of potential torture loomed ahead of me, adding to the grief I already felt from saying goodbye to a beloved friend too soon. Then I remembered how much God loves me and my family and how He never changes. If He’d been willing to give us a great dog in Max 12 years ago, why wouldn’t He be willing to give us another great dog for this phase of our lives? Right then and there, I asked Him to take over and find the best dog for us. Almost immediately His peace came. We hadn’t even started looking, but I knew that as wonderful as my sister was in picking out four-legged fur balls, God’s choice would blow me away.
Within a week of burying Max, our Father led us to a wonderful new family member. We prayed a lot that week as the opportunity presented itself quite quickly to begin the adventure of pet ownership. Despite the nervousness of training a puppy and inevitable sleep deprivation, God’s underlying peace remained. I knew that I could trust Him with even the little details of our lives. After all, buying a dog isn’t the same thing as battling a disease or relocating to another state, but it showed me that God cares about every aspect of His children’s lives. Our new little one has now been with us only six weeks but he continues to be such a blessing! Anyone who has ever owned a family pet knows it’s either the right fit or oil and water. He fits! While he has the boundless energy that only a puppy can, he has an “off” switch and loves to cuddle with whoever will shower him with love.
That memory, combined with the sweet fellowship from the night before with my Father, allowed me to make the choice to trust when faced with no income in 26 days and no job prospects. Adventures don’t have to be scary. They can be exciting when looked at from the right perspective.
© Cheri Swalwell 2015