Friday, March 1, 2013

Remembering God's Faithfulness

Twelve years ago this past Wednesday, I performed the last act of love towards my precious 12.5 yr old dog BJ.  You might wonder why I would want to remember that.  Well, firstly it was a traumatic day for me so I remember it not necessarily because I want to but because I just do.  But it was also very significant in the bigger picture of what God was doing in my life in the beginning of 2001.

I graduated from Christian college in 1995 and between then and 2001 I had slowly allowed myself to be led astray by the people I chose to associate with.  My heart was no longer focused on my Shepherd and because of that, I know longer yearned for His voice.  I filled that void with all sorts of things, some that were healthy and mostly those that were the furthest thing from.  I came so close to sheer evil I still shudder at some of the thoughts and things that were going through my head at that time.

But God is faithful.  And even when one of His children is being willfully disobedient and defiant, He will not allow Satan to snatch us out of His hand, and my life is a great example of that.  The morning of October 2, 2000, I woke up in a mental facility for the 2nd time in 3 months.  That was my spiritual awakening and God's grace giving me my chance to turn back to Him. 

It was as the Psalmist says in Psalm 18:19, "He brought me out into a spacious place; He rescued me because He delighted in me". 

That morning in the mental hospital I made some life-changing decisions that led to a long, hard road back to where I needed to be in my relationship with the Lord.  He was so gracious and faithful every step of the way.  One of the things He called me to do - not audibly, but as close as can be to that - was to move 1400 miles away from where I was in MI to Dallas, TX to go to seminary.  At the time I really didn't know what the end result of going to seminary would be.  I just knew every man and woman I knew that really knew God's Word had studied at that school, so that's where I knew I had to go.

There were several obstacles to uprooting my life in MI and moving sight-unseen to an apartment 1400 miles away from all I knew and loved.  One of which was selling my old mobile home, which God took care of quickly.  Another was sweet BJ.  I knew he would not survive in the horrible heat of TX and I would be working and going to school and I didn't see how that would work.  I didn't even have the nerve to pray about it because my heart was so sad about what I knew had to happen.

It came very suddenly.  At Christmas 2000, he was just fine.  In January, he had developed something very painful to where he could barely walk.  He was on pain pills-doggie Vicodin if you can believe it!  Then, on the morning of February 27, 2001, we were on our morning walk through the snowy mobile home park, and he stopped.  He looked and me and I knew he could not go any further.  I picked him up (he wasn't light-weight!) and carried him back home, speaking tenderly to him the whole way, becaue I felt certain he was scared.  I know I was!  Walking was his absolute favorite thing to do, aside from snuggling on the sofa.

Once we got back into the house, I tried to give him his pain pill with peanut butter, but he wouldn't take it.  I knew then.  All day I planned for the appointment at the vet, setting up for someone to drive us, because I knew I would be in no shape to drive home with his collar by myself.

Looking back, the vet thought that BJ probably had developed a tumor on his spine, for the pain to develop and escalate that quickly.  I don't know.  I know, though, that the Lord got me through the hardest, saddest days of my life after that Tuesday afternoon through the support of friends.

One of my prayer partners said, when I sent out an update (at this point, I had a group that was praying my way towards moving to Dallas and seminary) - "looks like the Lord is gradually pulling away all the strings that are holding you in MI".

Yes, yes He was.  That "string" on February 27 was a very painful one.  But I praise the Lord for the 2.5 years I had with that sweet furry child of mine.  The Lord rehabilitated my soul through that dog's unconditional love.

Less than 5 months later, on my 28th birthday, July 7, 2001, my Mom and I began the 1200 mile journey from their house in OH to my apartment in Dallas, TX.

Eleven and a half years and half a seminary degree later, I still don't exactly know what God has planned for me here in Dallas.  I have so many blessings.  But He's been so faithful.  Through the hard times, the good times, and all the mundane days in between.

1 comment:

  1. You know I've been hoping a pug would come up in the paper to coincide with our trip down there...

    You are God's workmanship, friend, and He makes beautiful "stuff"!!!! Hugs!