My dog was lost. I left him secure in my home, turned the key and would return in the afternoon, to greet him again. At least that is what I thought. A phone call had come to share he had run away, my heart sank, and I went into action mode. I didn’t care at the time how he went missing but only how to find him.
When out-of-the-blue messages come, you have only two choices; fight or flight. I made a choice to fight. I had a problem I had to solve but I could not do this on my own. I needed help, and I needed it now.
In this year, I have had many battles in which I literally felt surrounded. Unemployment, marriage separation, becoming an empty nester, selling my home and learning to live independently. I thought I was fighting a war many days, but they were daily battles. This just may be ‘life’, but it can be overwhelming as if you are surrounded and a test of who you are and what you believe.
Lately, and not so ironically, my arms have been aching from moving boxes and lifting things that are heavy. I would be so tired of going back and forth with boxes, I would stack more and more weight to get them inside my house faster. I would multiply the weight and increase the stress on my muscles that were not ready for this impact. As a result of this strain, I could barely pick up another box, much less a coffee mug. I know it wasn’t very smart and I couldn’t continue doing this. It appears every little thing I carried became too heavy. Whether it was in the form of boxes or personal battles, I was getting tired, and the news of my dog being lost was what broke me. I remember saying out loud, ‘not my dog too.’
Overcome with tears I headed back toward my home, and I needed to get there but safely, so I pulled over and prayed. God says, he gives us a remedy for when we are broken down and it goes directly opposite of what we feel like doing or even believe would help. The remedy; praising Him.
He gave me an opportunity to put faith into action. I began to pray and praise God. Pray, yes. But praise, really? Yes. I knew I couldn’t ‘do’ one more thing alone. I decided to trust God, not my own feelings of desperation. I looked up, asked for help and I began thanking Him. Praising God can take on many forms. For me and my current circumstance it was to focus on God’s provision and thanking Him by faith for what I asked for, as if I already had it.
I have never lost a dog, and didn’t know where to begin, I called 3 people that I knew could help me. Don’t ever think you are fit to fight alone, we are not created to be isolated, we need each other. It is vital, in order to win battles, big or small that we ask for help. To be vulnerable and admitting the need for help is only a sign of courage and bravery. I didn’t want to bother anyone on a weekday afternoon, asking them to leave work and help find my dog. However, I was convinced this is what I needed to do, and I asked for help ‘to carry my boxes.’ Boxes filled with many cares and burdens too heavy to carry alone.
God heard my prayer, the SOS was made, and my dog was found without a scrape or hair out of place. If I were to end the blog here, you would not know the deeper lesson or miracle of what God does when we ask for His help. He always gives much more than we can ever imagine or hope. God blessed me with finding my dog in a relatively short amount of time and I will be forever grateful. However, what I hadn’t sowed much of lately was faith in my bigger battles. So, what God did was to show me a glimpse of HIS faithfulness, and I don’t want you to miss this lesson I learned because I almost did.
I called one friend and asked for her help, she asked her boss if she could leave work given the circumstances, her boss said, absolutely, go and help your friend! She trusted.
I asked my daughter to leave work early and use her PR talents to send out alerts into the community, she did that and more. She recalled a time when she found a dog and returned it to a local veterinarian hospital; hoping this may be true for her too and eventually doing the same, she delivered fliers to local vets with information about our dog. Eventually, my daughter and my friend met and joined forces circulating neighborhoods to look for our dog. She didn’t stop, she persisted.
My third friend didn’t hesitate to come to my rescue and would not rest until my dog was found, and I was okay again. He provided sound advice, physical help and assurance and drove many miles, so I didn’t have to, he cared deeply and knew the heartache of sudden loss. He endured with empathy.
My dog was found at a gas station 3 miles from my home by a local vet tech that worked at one of the local vets that my daughter visited earlier in the search. The tech wasn’t working that day but contacted the vet to let them know she found a missing dog, my dog. All my rescuers had a purpose, each were vulnerable by answering the call for help – risking to perhaps upset a boss by leaving early or trusting that it would be okay, to be persistent even when first attempts failed, another willing to help someone else that was hurting and yet another doing a good deed. Each one was used by God to show me how to trust Him with the bigger obstacles I face. The miracle of how God works on our behalf was demonstrated to me by His infinite love, care, persistence and empathy to strengthen my faith, and I would have missed this if I had not asked for help. This is faith in steps.
2 Peter 1:5-7 New International Version (NIV)
5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.