I adopted another dog

You may or may not have noticed that since my beloved dog Ziggy passed away last August, I’ve barely been writing on this blog. I’m not sure if the two correlate but their timing matches up.

Earlier this year, I wrote about how we really ought to be forming new year habits rather than new year resolutions. Well, one of my new year habits is to write more.

Back in November, I adopted another dog. His name is Capone. He resembles Ziggy in his stature and coloring, but his personality is quiet different.

Capone is fearless. He spent the first few months of his life transferring hands from adopters to shelter employees to foster families, before finally arriving to me. He loves all people. At the adoption events, he became used to many different sounds and smells, all sorts of other animals, and humans both young and old. He’s a joy to take out in public because he makes everyone he meets feel like the most important person in the world, smothering them with hugs and kisses.

He doesn’t require much exercise at all or even training. For one, he’s a low energy dog and much prefers snuggling to running. For two, he’s extremely sensitive to commands and thus picks up quickly whenever I’m teaching him new ones.

In short, Capone is everything I could have ever hoped for in a dog. He’s perfect for me. And when I look at him, I can’t help but be reminded of God’s grace and goodness. That no matter how devastating a loss, God turns all things for good. And often, for better than we could have even imagined.

A Story of Redemption and Experiencing God’s Grace

Redemption

 

1 Peter 5:10 “And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.”

I have suffered for a while. These past two years have been the most difficult times of my life, with one thing piling upon another. I wondered when I would see the light. But perhaps most importantly, I never doubted that this light would come. I never doubted God’s love for me and His goodness. I knew He had a plan and purpose for everything that was/is happening to me and I never stopped trusting Him. Probably clinging to Him tighter now, than ever before. Exactly, how He likes it- completely, wholly, even desperately dependent on Him.

This is a story about my restoration, about the light returning to my life. It is a joyful story and certainly not a complete one. But more importantly, this is a story about God and His grace, which never fails.

It was the Thursday night before I was scheduled to film my debut music video that Saturday. After a frustrating week of nagging my producer for details with no feedback, I was having a breakdown. I was furious. The shoot was Saturday and I had planned my whole week around it. The producer wasn’t holding up his end of the bargain. Where were the location lists, call times, wardrobe, crew names ect? Even if he sent me this information on Friday, I didn’t feel that one day was sufficient time for me to prep. I wanted to call him and scream at him! But can I? Is it right for me to bring my emotions into a work relationship? How much power and say do I really have in the matter? If I tell him how I feel, what will be his reaction? Will it change anything about the situation? Would it be worth it? If I don’t tell him how I feel, am I disrespecting myself? My feelings? Am I undermining our relationship and the honest, open communication that forms its base? These were all questions that were tormenting me that Thursday night. I struggled with them even as I fell asleep. I don’t like confrontation. I don’t want to confront him.

Friday morning, I had a meeting with my therapist. As usual, she asks me if there’s anything I want to talk about. I couldn’t think of anything “serious” that I felt I needed to talk to her about but because this music video situation was still on the forefront of my mind, I decided to give her a briefing of it. I figured at the least, she would be a good ear for me to get it off my chest. Maybe she would have some good advice on it, too. Boy, did I underestimate how God planned to use this frustrating situation and my time with the therapist that morning to work in miraculous ways.

Long story short, the therapist and I spend the hour “working” on the situation. We end up clarifying and defining my fear of confrontation as the root for why this situation was causing me such distress. Further, we even pinpointed specific events from my years in elementary school as stems for this irrational fear, which all revolve around my being unjustly shamed.

My fear, then, was not just a fear of confrontation, though it was that too. It was more a fear of being shamed. A fear of people making a big deal out of something in response to my actions. All it took was my pinpointing this fear, defining it, finding the cause of it, and rectifying that event within myself.

Before I knew it, the fear and anxiety was gone. By the time the session ended, I was no longer tormented with questions of what to do in response to my producer’s lack of follow through. I was eager to call him! Not to yell or vent but simply to talk about the next steps. It is what it is, I thought. And this is no confrontation. He and I will work this out and I’m excited to see when we can reschedule and start preparing for the new shoot date. Done and done. No anxiety. No fear. Suddenly, it wasn’t a big deal at all anymore. It was almost laughable that I let it torment me to begin with… It was never that big of a situation that I should lose sleep over it.

A huge weight was lifted from within me that Friday. Surely a day I will always remember and a blessing for which I’m indescribably grateful. The very thing I perceived as a mess the night before, had suddenly become a treasure to me, because it helped me to grow and to heal a part of me that had been carrying this burden of shame deep inside. Is God amazing or what?!

I share this story today in hopes that one of you, my readers, will relate to it. If you are feeling frustrated, anxious, or scared, I urge you to seek the cause behind those feelings within yourself. Everything you need to move forward awaits inside of you. God will take care of the details.

Workaholics

I am an admitted workaholic. My drive to succeed is relentless, compulsory, and at times unnerving. I have noticed that I am never satisfied. And I don’t think that I ever will be. As soon as one goal is accomplished there is instantly another higher goal in its place. By work alone, I will never be satisfied, I realize. While this focus and drive is perhaps a strength of mine, it is also by far my greatest weakness. Work can be a distraction from the Real Satisfier if we aren’t careful. For the workaholics among us, may we always aim not to worship our work but to instead use our work as worship.