Today, I turned 37. I probably shouldn’t admit that, but at this point in my life, I’m ok with it. It’s who I am, and I’m exactly where God planned me to be at this moment. I may not be where I thought I’d be, but God’s plan is perfect.
Today has been a day full of reflection and blessings. And as I lay here on my couch, snuggling up with my sweet pup, I keep thinking that she is a perfect example of how God knows is better than we know ourselves.
Five months ago, I was perusing Facebook and ran across a rescue group’s post about a sweet, gray, scruffy puppy named Leroy who needed a home. And I just had to have him. I blame my recent break in dogsitting and the Netflix NCIS-binge I was on at the time (hello – Leroy Jethro Gibbs!) my landlord graciously agreed to a change in my lease, and I convinced my mom to go meet Leroy at Petco while I was out of town. Well, Leroy was adopted by another family. I was disappointed but figured it wasn’t God’s timing.
These two sweet girls, Kate and Pippa, named after THOSE famous sisters, were rescued from a hoarder and then placed in a rural, high-kill shelter. I mean, they definitely weren’t the the cutest with the bad skin conditions, but the white one – those eyes… Something about her drew me in.
Three days later, as I walked up to Petco with all the big dogs outside barking in crates, I saw a tiny little white dog, shaking in a cage ON TOP OF the big crates. My heart broke for her and all I wanted to do was comfort her.
Meet Kate. They put us in the cat room of the store, with soothing music playing the background. And she shook the whole time, and stood so stiffly on her skinny legs, and fur barely growing back. I picked her up to try and hold her, and she wouldn’t bend her legs, and clung to me… My heart broke for this little creature who hadn’t known what it meant to be loved and cared for, who didn’t know who she could trust. I knew at that point, even if I didn’t adopt her, she was coming home with me until she found her forever family. She needed quiet and love. And lots of it.
And so I picked her up the next Saturday from the foster mom, wrapped her up in a blanket and brought her home. It was a weeklong test to see if she could recover from the neglect and craziness she experienced the first 11 months of her life. She shook the whole way home -so scared, she pooped in the blanket I wrapped her in. It wasn’t going as well as I hoped. But even as she shook, she had a different look in her eyes – one of hope and relief as she leaned on me, waiting to she where we were headed.
That first week was hard – I had to take her to the vet 3 times for a general check up, possible worms and then I thought she had eaten something that made her sick. Seriously. But we survived.
And that weekend, four months ago today on what was probably her first birthday, I made it official. I signed the papers and put her name around her neck.
One of my favorite artists, Leigh Standley, has a piece featuring her own sweet dog, that says it perfectly:
You see, as Kate learned to trust me, God was slowly using her to heal my heart. My 35th year was full of some of the hardest days of my life, and my 36th year was just recovering from them. I mean, as soon as I turned 36, I was diagnosed with high blood pressure. Likely from stress.
Having this sweet, timid, playful pup at home has helped me get back my time, put down the electronic devices at home, forced me to exercise (bored dogs are bad dogs!) and no longer feel so alone at home.
So at 37, I’m thankful that God knows EXACTLY what I need, when I need it.
“Yahweh your God is among you, a warrior who saves. He will rejoice over you with gladness. He will bring you quietness with His love. He will delight in you with shouts of joy.”
Zephaniah 3:17 HCSB
Even if it’s a small, scruffy, white dog who sheds on everything, chews my favorite shoes and expects long walks in the freezing rain. I never thought I’d appreciate rain boots and lint rollers as much as I do now. I may have adopted her, but she has rescued me.
Happy 4th sweet Kate!