Our family grew by 1 more and I don’t mean by another human. We rescued the sweetest pup today for my 31st birthday. I’m thrilled, I’m ready, I’m excited with how God will use this sweet pup to lighten the weight of grief a little while we wait for Heaven and earth to collide- to see our Zekey boy again.
Receiving healing from a dog, after loosing Zekey-zoo-zoo seems silly, but the grief we have to carry without him in our lives needs some extra tender-loving care. The hearts of my other three children will be a little lighter after bringing in a puppy to love after loosing a brother they adored so greatly. This puppy will not fulfill a place in our hearts only our heavenly Father can, or a place Zekey’s memory and life hold, but I do feel he is a gift from God. God has shown us His desire to be present in our lives, living with heartache as He drops hints of Zekey here and there, to help carry the load until we see him again. For this, I am eternally grateful and I cannot help but know God’s love a little deeper each time.
There has been much asking, from our children, to get a dog over the last 6 months. I would just smile and let their wishes go as I felt maybe it was a phase. I also knew, they had a father who would sternly (but with a smile) say, “No, we are not getting a dog.”
I pursued getting other things. like MUCH NEEDED new flooring for our main floor. Having people over with 15+ year hand-me-down furniture is humbling. I tell myself, “Well, at least they will know they can kick back and relax!” Ha!
Oh, the drama. It’s okay, God sweetly spoke to me one day. He graciously showed me a better area we could spend that money and it broke me a little, in a really beautiful way. My heart was made right when I followed through with obedience and not stomping my feet in bitterness. That’s another story but I’m thankful I didn’t get new floors or furniture yet!
During these last 6 months, I had a stirring in my heart about wanting a dog myself. I grew up always having a dog and I really wanted that same experience for my kids. Rationally, getting a dog any sooner than now would be unwise.
I prayed for months,
“Lord, you know better than I, if we shouldn’t get a dog, please make that clear. If we should, would you show us which one would be perfect for our family? Also, you know you’ll have to work on Andy’s heart.”
Tears sting my eyes. A simple prayer, a very earthly request- a dog. He cared. He really did. The final straw for my heart which urged me to bringing up this idea to get a dog for our family to Andy (up until then I had mostly only prayed, not talking with Andy much) was when a friend posted about a dog she found on a FB page I follow. I immediately messaged her something like,
“I really hope you find the owners but if not, we may be interested!”
Then I totally shared this story with her, and I want to share it with you, too!
When Andy and I were first married, living in cold, dark, snowy Boston (Ipswich, MA) as he finished his final year at seminary, we were driving in our black truck and I told him how much I wanted a puppy someday. I already had baby fever, actually I had baby fever since I was 4 years old and we soon found out we were pregnant!.
Surprisingly loud, I told him I would say,
“MOCHAAAA COME HERRRRRRE!!!!!!!”
and we both laughed at my obnoxiousness.
And it’s been a joke over the last 10+ years in our marriage ever since!
Fast-forward 4 babies, 8 moves, 4 cities, 2 states, 2 church plants, Andy pastoring at Hope Church, my ethical clothing line, Garment Collective growing, and a sweet boy who we loved on and lived with but then suffered for many years before going home to Jesus, it was time….
After finding out that lost dog found his owners (The dog had a hard time using the iPhone to dial, but eventually figured it out and called them up)….
I can’t stop laughing right now- It must be a birthday giggle!
Anyway, that pushed me to start looking into rescues. I knew I wanted a Medium to big dog and I already knew his name of course, but I was floored one day when I saw this:
A sweet puppy named ‘Zeke’
Yes! His name was ‘Zeke’! Could this really be?! I may have cried. I snapped a photo and stared at my phone in between working. I wondered, “Was this our Mocha?! I think it is!” God has been using Zekey’s story and life to take us to places he wants us to be. Every time it is a sweet gift.
When talking with Andy about ‘Zeke’, soon to be ‘Mocha’, I truly made sure not to convince him as in the end, he would have resented getting a dog. Instead, we talked through the pros and cons. We made sure we both truly felt this was a gift from the Lord. And then we went to visit him!
And the deal was done! We fell in LOVE! He had been fostered by a family through Rescued Ohio and they only live a few minutes away! Keeping this a secret from the kids for over a week just about killed me!
It’s finally time for the story of Mocha to come to life. We have been through a lot, and God has graciously walked with us every step of the way. Mocha is a gift and every one of us, Andy included, feel so blessed to have him. The best birthday gift, but I doubt I can claim him as mine;) I know Zekey would have loved him. I bet he smiles with joy in this gift, too.
We really love this pup named Mocha!
Meeting Mocha for the first time!
They are smitten!
Kisses after his first bath!
Here is the video of Mocha coming home…