"Walk By Faith, Not By Sight" 2 Corinthians 5:7
Its another Tucker Tuesday, it seems. Who’s Tucker? Oh, he is just my adorable, yet sometimes pain-in-the-butt black mouth cur mix. Tucker has been a part of my family for about a month and a half now. The Red Cross here in town had a blood drive awhile ago in relation to the Tallahassee Animal Shelter. The Red Cross held a blood drive in which your donation would result in a fee waiver for adopting any animal at the shelter. I had never owned a dog before, and love cats, but found out last summer when I tried to adopt a cat that I was severely allergic. My college graduation was a week away, so I knew that I would have the time for a dog now, and thus headed off to the Animal Shelter with my boyfriend in tow. I am not a fan of blood, hospitals, needles, doctors…the list goes on. It was this revelation that had me change my major from Exercise Science to English my freshman year. I figured that it would be worth it, though, because I would be saving a life by donating and also another by adopting.
Josh and I had visited the shelter earlier in the week to look at the dogs and had met Tucker, immediately falling in love with him. We had been earlier on in the month and had met other dogs that we had wanted, but they had already been adopted, so we headed out early to be the first donors of the day and adopt immediately. Our plan panned out and we brought a happy Tucker home.
Tucker is always a happy ball of energy. Sometimes he can be overwhelming, and we have to hold him, while telling him to calm down. But, he never fails to look at you with those adorable puppy eyes and perked ears, as if saying, “I love you so much, human!” He has definitely helped with reliving stress and increasing exercise and outdoor time (hip hip hooray!)
This past weekend, though, I was feeling rather down and lonely. Many of my friends have moved out-of-town since graduation, and many of my other friends were not available this weekend. Josh had to go play Navy and drill, so I was left at home with Tucker. We typically don’t let him on the bed because, well, that’s our sleeping space and not his. As I went to bed, though, Sunday night, Tucker wanted to cuddle. I relented, but soon told him to get down after he tried attacking my face with his tongue while I was reading my bible. He stayed on the floor like he was told to. But, in the middle of the night, I realized that Tucker isn’t just a black mouth cur, but a sneaky little ninja dog! I woke up to have a snoozing Tucker snoring in my ear on the pillow next to me! I was baffled because I had slept through him jumping on the bed, shifting around to find the most comfortable spot, and probably licking himself until he was clean enough to sleep. I couldn’t help but think of how cute he was, wanting to be near his mama, while Josh was gone.
The following morning, Tucker proceeded to follow me throughout the house, like he always does (we have to practically push him out of the bathroom when we need to pee). He tried climbing in the shower with me, which is usually okay, except when getting ready for work on a limited time schedule. He then lay at my feet while I tried to use the sink
counter, making maneuvering around him very difficult. You would think this gets extremely annoying and sometimes it does, but instead of being annoyed, I heard God whispering to me and teaching me a lesson. Whenever I feel lonely, or I feel abandoned, God is there for me, just like Tucker. He is with me when I shower, when I eat breakfast, when I sleep, which I have written about before. Though I may feel lonely, and often beside myself, lacking in love or support, I am reminded of the love of Christ. He died on the cross to build a bridge for our souls essentially. Because we were and still are so wrought with sin, and God is the definition of righteousness, He could not possibly be with such evil without sacrifice, hence why we read about sacrifices on alters in the old testament. But, Jesus paid the ultimate sacrifice so that we could have a bond with God, and never be without Him ever again. He will never leave us nor forsake us; he will never forget us. Just like Tucker, He follows me wherever I go, and that’s pretty stinking awesome.
Later that day, after work, I took Tucker out back to play fetch with him and burn some of his crazy energy. There is a little dog that lives in the complex that likes to start yipping whenever it sees anything that can move. It is rather annoying and, honestly, I just don’t like it. Well, of course it started barking yesterday, and Tucker took off because he wasn’t on a leash (remember we were playing fetch?). Because I live in an apartment complex, there isn’t a fenced in area, so he can run anywhere. He has run up to this little dog before, tail wagging, and it has gotten scared because it is about the size of Tucker’s head. But, Tucker has never ever bit this dog or any other dog for that matter. Yesterday, he didn’t go near the dog, and didn’t bark at it (he never does). Instead, he stopped when I told him to, for the most part. He stopped running, but wouldn’t come near me (I ended up having to pick up all 50+ pounds of his wiggling self). The girl proceeded to give me a lecture, saying that Tucker needs to be on a leash because he always attacks her dog (he has never attacked it). I explained that we were playing in the backyard and apologized and she said, “I’m sorry, but he really needs to be on a leash.” She didn’t care, and I was furious! I honestly still am. Last night, I had to meditate to calm myself to sleep. God knew that I was still struggling with it come this morning, when I woke up in a bad mood. I put on the Christian Contemporary Pandora station and the first song that came on after buffering was ‘Forgiveness’ by Matthew West. The song talks about how it is often the hardest thing to do in life to forgive, and asks God to teach us how to forgive like He has. It really spoke to me, and I heard God saying, “Let it go.” I am still rather upset about the incident, but I know that God is trying to teach me how to forgive, whether it is even a small incident, like what happened last night.
I have been extremely taken away by how God uses the most unlikely things that we can think of as humans to teach us lessons. He has sent me Tucker for a reason, and I have been hearing him. I’ve noticed that I have had a more open heart to Him since I have been actively seeking Him out. It reminds me of the verse that tells us to simply ask: “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” Mark 11:24. Also, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” Matthew 7:7-8. I find it amazing that all we have to do is simply ask and believe and God will speak to us.