Proverbs 12:10 “The righteous care for the needs of their animals…”
Dolly Pearl is our two year old spotted, pit-bull mutt. She is sassy, sweet, curious and wild, and I never saw myself loving an animal as much as I love her. Dolly provides entertainment, joy and even stress at times. One week she’s the “Dog of the Week” with her picture proudly propped up at the entrance of doggy daycare, the next week she’s getting kicked out. True story, she was kicked out of doggy daycare for 6 months for playing too rough. After serving her 6 month sentence, we are happy to report she has since been reinstated!
Today, I’m sharing a story about how Dolly unexpectedly showed up into our lives, and how much I’ve learned about God’s blessings through adopting her.
I am a planner. I like to write to-do lists, plan for the week, write grocery lists – you name it, and I’ve probably tried to plan it to some extent. Kyle, on the other hand, lives life on the fly and can’t remember what day it is. That’s probably why we work well together.
In March of 2016, Kyle and I were roughly two months away from our wedding date. If you’ve planned a wedding or have been a part of one, you know it involves A LOT of time, and a lot of lists. In addition to wedding planning, we were organizing a move. Kyle and I lived separately prior to our wedding, and had to coordinate combining all of the junk we had accumulated into one space. Kyle and I were also planning the finishing touches on our honeymoon. In case you’re keeping track, that’s a wedding, a honeymoon, a move, and becoming one with someone in a span of two months. With all of that in mind, one bullet point I did not have on any list was: rescue an abandoned puppy, tied to a tree, in a Walmart parking lot.
God (and Kyle), had a different idea in mind.
On a cold morning that March, I parked my car in a Walmart parking lot and noticed something strange sitting in front of me. A small, white puppy was tied to a tree with nobody around. I’ve seen some strange things in and around Walmart, but never an abandoned puppy. I thought to myself, I’ll sit here for a few minutes to see if someone claims the puppy.
About ten minutes passed, and nobody showed up. I stepped out of my car and slowly approached the tree. Also, forgot to mention, it was 30 degrees outside. I didn’t know this at the time, but Dolly was only 10 weeks old. She was dirty, shivering and crying. She was tied to the tree with a rope, and had a cat harness hugging her body. I immediately untied the rope to take her to my car, but she was so weak she couldn’t walk without losing her balance after a few steps. I scooped her up into my arms, and brought her into my car to try to warm her up. After a few minutes of holding her close to calm her down, she slowly fell asleep in my lap.
For whatever reason, the idea of keeping Dolly did not cross my mind in that moment. Also, for whatever reason, the idea of not keeping Dolly didn’t cross Kyle’s mind.
After a week of trying to find her a home, Dolly Pearl won both of our hearts and became our “furst” child. I never, ever expected to find an abandoned dog tied to a tree in a Walmart parking lot, let alone end up calling her my own! However, looking back, finding Dolly turned out to be one of the most joyful experiences of our year.
Here are a few things I’ve learned about God through keeping Dolly:
God is unpredictable and brilliant when it comes to blessing us.
I never saw Dolly coming! God’s blessings can show up when they aren’t on our lists, in unexpected packages and at unexpected times, because he’s just that good. His timing is perfect, even when it may seem imperfect. His ways surpass all understanding, and walking with him brings plot twists we can never predict. That’s what keeps life exciting, whimsical and fun!
God can use our trusted friends and family to direct us when interruptions don’t make sense.
Kyle firmly felt lead to keep Dolly from the moment he laid eyes on her. I, on the other hand, did not. However, after praying through our decision, I chose to trust God and take Kyle’s lead even when I didn’t understand the timing.
When we listen closely, and surrender our plans to God, he can open our lives to more; more joy, more freedom, more love, more life! He might just use someone else to nudge us, or direct us, in the direction we are called to go.
God wants to bless us.
Walking into our house each day to Dolly's violently wagging tail reminds me to slow down, tune in and open my heart to interruptions. God’s love was disguised as a dirty, cold, 10 week old puppy that I never saw as a blessing at first, but he did all along! He wants to bless his children.
When God adds or removes a bullet point from your list, don’t be afraid to tune in and embrace it. Don’t be afraid to ask God to reveal what he’s up to. He may be preparing joy for you in ways you never expected. And who knows, it may be in the form of a puppy! :)