Faith

          Originally my husband was not at all happy I brought home a puppy. In fact, for about the first week, he resented anything that had to do with her. There would be moments of happiness, followed immediately by frustration when thinking of the responsibility that came with her. See, to him, the puppy was a packaged deal. A little bit of happiness, a whole lot of responsibility. And he simply didn’t think the happiness could possibly outweigh the daily tasks of keeping up with her. The two pieces didn’t even out in his mind. Some days during the first week we had her, he would look at her and say something like, “You’re a heck of a lot of work, you know that?” She would just look at him and wag her tail, happy that he had taken the time to finally acknowledge her presence.



She stuck around as puppies do, still loving him and wagging her tail every time he succumbed to her love. It seemed as if every new day she was still around, barking for us to bring her food and pay attention to her, he broke down another piece of the wall separating the two of them. I would watch as he became frustrated with getting out of bed when he wanted to sleep, or when her barking didn’t allow him to watch his show or write his papers. She existed in our lives but she wasn’t content with being tended to on our schedules. Now that she was truly a part of our family, she had a schedule of her own. And (surprise!) her schedule didn’t jive with our do whatever you want, when you want type of existence. We had to work together to figure out what our new way of life would be, puppy included.

Eventually the love grew in my husband’s heart for this little puppy. Now she is no longer a responsibility but instead a completeness. She is the missing piece of my husband’s puzzle, when he thought his puzzle was finished.


Now the flipside.


Originally I was not at all happy when my husband brought home God. In fact, for about the first week, I resented anything that had to do with Him. There would be moments of happiness, followed immediately by frustration when thinking of the responsibility that came with God. See, to me, God was a packaged deal. A little bit of happiness, a whole lot of responsibility. And I simply didn’t think the happiness could possibly outweigh the daily tasks of keeping up with Him. The two pieces didn’t even out in my mind. Some days during the first week we had God, I would even look at God and say something like, “You’re a heck of a lot of work, you know that?” God would just look at me and smile, happy that I had taken the time to finally acknowledge His presence.

God stuck around as He does, still loving me and smiling every time I succumbed to His love. It seemed as if every new day God was still around, nudging us to bring Him our problems and pay attention to Him, I broke down another piece of the wall separating me and God. My husband would watch as I became frustrated with getting out of bed to read my Bible when I wanted to sleep, or when God was nudging me so strongly I couldn’t focus on watching my shows or writing my papers. God existed in our lives but He wasn’t content with being tended to on our schedules. Now that God was truly a part of our family, He had a schedule of His own. And (surprise!) His schedule didn’t jive with our do whatever you want, when you want type of existence. We had to work together to figure out what our new way of life would be, God included.

Eventually the love grew in my heart for this grand God. Now He is no longer a responsibility but instead a completeness. God is the missing piece of my puzzle, when I thought my puzzle was finished.

 [[ Isn’t that how we treat Him sometimes? He doesn’t fit into our schedules. We talk down to Him when something doesn’t go according to our plan. Once awakened inside of us, the Spirit will ask for our attention. Thankfully the Spirit doesn’t bark, but the concept is the same. Life with God and on His terms doesn’t jive with our human do whatever you want, when you want type of existence. We have to work through the struggles with God to find our life in Him. ]]


Because of the way we found her, we weren’t comfortable naming the puppy for quite a while. (The story of how we found her will be saved for a different post, because it’s interesting enough in itself. We searched for her owners, posted her picture on the local websites and checked the paper. No luck. Later we would discover she was most likely from not only a puppy mill, but one primarily focused on raising aggressive attack dogs.) Being uncomfortable naming her, I gave her as much love as I could from a distance. It was difficult to love from afar, constantly being afraid of getting too close only to be hurt when we found her real family. We needed her more than she needed us.

Ultimately we named her Faith.


We didn’t want a dog. We thought we didn’t need a dog. Now we have Faith. 

And we needed her all along.


We don’t want God to complicate our lives. We don’t think we need a ton of guidance. 

But a little Faith helps us uncover how we’ve needed Him all along.

 

A special acknowledgement on this post goes to a friend who reminds me that the unfailing love of God can be seen in everything even, if not especially, our dogs.

  • Jill Hartline

    I can’t even tell you how this touches me since we have our sweet Gracie! And, quite appropriately, she does quite often remind me of how much the dog-human relationship mirrors that of ours with God, and how much I do, in fact, need his grace.

  • Joni Byrd

    Very well-written, Hayley! And sweet, too!  🙂