Restored Joy in an Unexpected Form

A few weeks ago, in one weekend, two terrible blows came upon me.

The first one had to do with my business, and I was very distressed about it. It was about the worst thing that could happen to a business like mine. It happened on a Friday night, it was a tech issue, and I knew I wouldn’t get any answers until Monday morning.

I said to God sometime Saturday, after I’d done all I could do to salvage the situation, “Lord, I’m giving this to you. But I have lost my joy and my peace over the past three years, and I don’t know how to get them back.”

God knew how.

That weekend, God brought Joy back in the form of a dog.

God's gift of joy--"perfect dog" Chester
“Perfect Dog” Chester

To understand this, you need to know that while I love dogs, and still missed my Bishon, Millie, I had decided not to get a dog “unless God dropped Perfect Dog into our lap.”

That weekend–enter Chester the Cairn terrier.

My adult son, David, was staying in a cabin with his buddies that weekend, and this dog was hanging around the whole weekend, outside in the rain, apparently abandoned.

David called me Saturday morning. “Mom, would you consider having a dog?” (Since he lives with us at the moment, he needed our permission to bring the dog home.)

“Absolutely not!” I quickly said. “I don’t need any more complications in my life. Especially now.”

On Sunday, David called on his way home and said, “Mom, I couldn’t leave him. I’ll find another home for him if he doesn’t work out.”

Fair enough. I told David, “OK, if he isn’t Perfect Dog, you can find a home for him.”

Well, Chester is Perfect Dog.

It’s like God hand-picked him. He is very well-trained. Playful. Doesn’t bark indoors. (That one’s for my husband, who jumps out of his skin at unexpected loud noises–like dogs barking.) Chester loves to walk. (That’s for me. He even loves walking in the rain–like me.)

Chester and Joey during my prayer time
Even our cat, Joey, has taken to him (though he hides it from us and is still dealing with some jealousy). This is miraculous for Joey. He’s only tolerated some of our other animals, and we even had to separate him from our last cat.

Chester is one bundle of joy, and he sparks joy in me. (Did you know we have a Joy Center in our brain that literally lights up when someone is “happy to see us, happy to be with us”?)

God knew just how to put Joy back into our lives.

And He knew how much we needed it, because the very next day, our family experienced a very traumatic loss. As I told David, “This dog is God’s constant reminder that just as terrible things can just happen out of the blue, so can good things, like Chester being dropped into our laps out of nowhere.”

God used Chester to restore my joy. In a few days, He would also restore my peace in an unusual way. But that’s another story….


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