Last week was no exception. Our dog of 6 days suddenly passed away in recovery from surgery. I'm normally not a demonstrative person towards any one person or thing, so I felt so gifted by God to have a dog all of us immediately bonded with. It was as if we had years with this dog, not just days. When I got the call I didn't just shed a few tears, I wept. This was and is a loss to us.
In the midst of it though, God gave me such a peace that literally carried me through the ability to pack up all of Cocoa's things, his crate, go to the vet clinic to retrieve his belongings, and comfort my husband and son, who were beyond devastated.
This month I did some traveling, public speaking, and just meeting up with friends and I noticed some folks were going through a lot of things I just came out of, or am still in, but maybe time wise a bit ahead. I was able to encourage and give them a loving message, prayer and blessing because I've been there.
After Cocoa's death, God whispered to truths to me. I'd like to share one with you today, and the second on Thursday. Maybe your situation won't be regarding pet loss, but something else you can cling to Him. I hope these messages give you hope, peace, and comfort.
The first lesson---
"Thanks God because he was so good, whatever you have next will be so much
I first uttered this in 1995. I was a fairly new Christian (read: clueless) who heard suggestions and took them literally. I took a suggestion on a future mate to heart even though deep down I knew at best he would be a decent friend. I pinned my entire life on that suggestion and was completely obnoxious to those around me.
He asked me advice on how to pursue someone in ministry who was off limits at the time because he was in love with her and wanted to marry her. By logisitics, I was smart enough to figure out, this woman wasn't me. You'd think I would have cried buckets and waxed on all the dead dreams, but I did not. I shed a few tears that I admit, were more because I felt I was supposed to and then I thanked God. This was His leading because I truly was an immature Christian. I never would have come up with this concept on my own.
I thanked God for the time I had getting to know that person because he was Godly, kind, funny, smart, and treated people well. If he was not for me and had all those great features, well I announced how excited I was to meet in His time, the one truly for me.
Three months later my husband to be entered the scene and when he announced his intentions, he wasn't playing games. He let me know right off the bat he was a new Christian and that the Holy Spirit showed me to be his wife. Yowsa, what a turn of events!
I don't know how to explain it, but in the evening after sharing our sad news about Cocoa to the kids, the Lord brought that memory back to me. I don't know what is next from Him. I don't know how He could bless us with a dog any better than Cocoa, and maybe He will not. But by faith I'm believing because we prayed immediately, we forgave and were transparent with each other, we'll see the fruit of that someday. I'll tell you, the peace alone feels like a gorgeous present wrapped up all nice and fancy. I'm so grateful for that peace, and the experience, as hard as it was.
So that's my first loving message He gave me in the valley. I'll be back Thursday to talk about how some of us are His 1/2500.
Oh, and mark your calendars. July 14 is the Open House date for http://www.takerootandwrite.com/. I believe each Narrow Gate Girl is going to be a part of this site. I know Kim has a monthly column on adoption, I have a monthly column on surrender, and I think Maria will be writing once a month on special need families.
Julie Arduini is a surrendered writer with her own blog, http://thesurrenderedscribe.blogspot.com/. A graduate of the Christian Writers Guild, she blogs for the Christian Writers Forum Sundays as the mommy blogger. She is active with FaithWriters and has several writings ready to publish in different books and anthologies in 2008-09.
http://www.takerootandwrite.com/.To get to know her better, read her interview by Lynda Schab at:http://www.faithreaders.com/featured-author-details.php?id=33%20
Starting summer 2008, Julie will be a monthly columnist on surrender over at
To contact Julie, please use the e mail provided in our profile.