Jubi as a young dog at Carmel Beach (a favorite spot when we can visit).
Jubi has been gone for over three months, and our girl wants another dog something fierce.
For the past month, she searched online at different rescue groups looking for a dog. She wrote lists for what she wanted in a new dog.
Every meal, she talks about the dogs she found: Scarlett, cute puppy but already adopted, Teddy, same story after we applied, and then there was Bruno, and then Peanut...more about those last two.
She has laser-focus. Can you say persuasive?
My heart was torn. Originally, I told her we would not get a dog right away because we needed to grieve Jubi.
My reason was based on H. Norman Wright's book, Recovering From the Losses of Life, and how we can bypass the necessary and hard work of grief by immediately looking for a replacement. You know, the sudden jumping into a new relationship because loss is so painful.
Then a friend said each person's process is different, and I know our girl's grief differs from my deeper grief. So I gave into her desire to look for another dog.
All the while, I kept telling her we were praying for God's leading to bring the right dog into our lives.
We passed several phone interviews, and we were granted a visit with Bruno (a 10-11 month yellow lab rescued from a shelter) about two weeks ago.
Before we met Bruno, our girl kept asking me, "Is it God's will that we get him because we've gotten so far in the process?"
I get where she is coming from: we all want certainty. Control.
Like a broken record, I replied, "I don't know. I don't know what God's will is. I just know we are to pray, and God will do what is best for us."
Was she happy with my answer? Probably not, as she kept asking the same question over and over, and I kept giving the same answer.
After what we thought was a great 15 minute visit with Bruno, and encouraging words from the rescue rep, we waited for a reply.
About 3-4 days later, we learned Bruno was given to a family with teenagers because the trainer, who evaluated Bruno, thought he should not go to a family with younger kids.
We were disappointed as all signs seemed to point to "yes." Secretly, I was relieved. Bruno was a little frenetic, and required much time to train and exercise. Moreover, on the days leading up to our visit with Bruno, and afterwards, tears kept surprising me as I missed Jubi.
Then, there was Peanut (a shepherd/retriever mix). Another rescue group said, "yes." We spent Saturday afternoon preparing the house for her arrival as a foster-adopt.
We planned to pick Peanut up on Tuesday as instructed.
On Sunday, we were told the shelter had made a mistake and given Peanut to another rescue group. No Peanut. Our poor girl was very sad.
She became convinced that God would never give us another dog. She doubted God's goodness. All understandable.
We acknowledged her disappointment. We listened as she talked.
Then I reminded her God intervened, and said "no" because He had another dog in mind for our family. We had prayed. If we had gotten Peanut, then we would have missed out on the dog God had for us.
We must trust God's timing and provision. I learned this truth the hard way, and I still need to relearn it sometimes.
We will either trust God to provide what we need, or we will trust ourselves to provide, and miss out on God's best provision for us.
Then we went to church, and the message was on Genesis 1-11; it dealt with trusting God to provide.
Adam and Eve didn't trust God with what He had provided (Gen. 2:9.15-17). They wanted to be like God without God.
Because Adam and Eve didn't trust God to provide what was best for them, they grasped for what looked best to them. And they discovered: there is no God's best apart from obeying God.
This runs so counter to our human tendencies, and popular cultural views.
So Eve, then Adam, listened to the serpent's lie (Gen. 3:1-6), and they ate from the one tree, God told Adam not to eat from. And the consequences of their choice unfolded: they felt shame for the first time, hid from God, blamed another, competition between brothers, murder etc.
Yet, we also see God's grace, as He begins the restoration process with the promise of a Messiah hidden at the end of Gen. 3:15.
If we're honest, we can all relate to Adam and Eve. The desire for control, and taking what we think is good for us. There are the obvious sins: lying, murder, and adultery to further one's goal.
But what about the subtle grasping for identity and self-worth instead of trusting God's provision through relationship with Him? If I have a child, or if I get married, or if I obtain this job/accomplishment, then I will be satisfied.
These are good dreams, and I am not disparaging them.
But if any dream, no matter how good, causes you to seek for life apart from God, then it ceases to be good for you. Why? Because your hope is now in that dream's fulfillment rather than in God's love for you.
God designed us to find our fullest life (or soul satisfaction) in relationship with Him.
I don't think we sinned by looking for another dog. But I was becoming concerned over how our girl's desire for a dog was affecting her relationship with God.
After my man and I talked last night, God showed me that I wasn't ready to open my heart to another dog. He cared more about my heart than I did. (Getting teary, here.)
Life is all about relationship with God. He surprises me by what He will do for relationship with you and me. He will send His only Son to die on a cross for us. Crazy, huh?
He loves you and me that much.
Questions to mull over:
Have you ever wanted a dream so bad that you didn't care what God said, you were going to forge ahead?
When has God said "no" to a dream, and in hindsight, you can see His love and grace in His "no?"
What dream are you trusting God to provide? A relationship? A job? Strength to deal with health issues? A new life vision?
Thank you for exploring with me during my dream series. I don't have a clear agenda. Just following where God leads.
Giving thanks with Ann:
-Our girl and a friend turning our living room into a "tent city" with cardboard boxes, fabric, and creativity.
-For how God pursues communication and relationship with you and me.
-How the failure to get Bruno and Peanut caused my hubby and I to have a talk, and for me to acknowledge that I wasn't quite ready for another dog, and that was okay.
-Learning to value my heart the way God does. Still learning...
-After writing this post, we were told that Peanut was available again....long story. For now, we will wait.
-God always has our best interests.
Linking today with sweet and gifted friend Laura,
and giving thanks with wise Ann
and the amazing Jen
© Soul Stops/Dolly Lee 2012.