Friday, December 01, 2006

A Miracle in the Flesh...

Last night was seriously one of the worst nights I've ever experienced. I was sitting at Sonic, drinking a diet coke and waiting for my kickboxing class to start when I get a phone call from my husband. Our dog (a black lab named Samson) was out.

He stays in the backyard (he's 90 lbs and our house is on the small side!) and it had never been a problem before. He had jumped the fence one day several months back but we rearranged some things and it was fine. But he had never gotten out and not come back. Our neighbor had called my husband informing him that he'd been missing for some time, because they had already been combing the neighborhood, calling for him.

I skip kickboxing, my husband skips his night class, and we go home and start to search. Last night was a wind chill factor of around 20 degrees. The weather was miserable, yet my husband walked around town (not just the neighborhood - but TOWN) for literally four solid hours, blowing his training whistle. I rode around with my sister for awhile, hollering out the car window, while my mom did the same in a different neighborhood.

No sign of Samson. Every time a dog barked my heart would skip a beat, but it wasn't ever him.

I cried for four hours, literally. Samson is a dog, yes, but no matter how cheesy this sounds, he's like a child to us. He and my husband have this really special bond, and if Samson didn't come home, it was going to cut deep, possibly beyond repair. I was a wreck. But I kept praying.

Last night was a faith journey. I kept thinking "God knows where Samson is. Why won't He show us where?" I finally pushed away the doubts and prayed that God would not only bring Samson home safely but that God would do it in a way that was nothing short of miraculous. "God, show off." I prayed through my tears.

Around 8:00 my dad and I made signs on bright orange poster board and hung them all over town with my phone number. At that point, we were hoping someone had seen Samson wandering around, taken him in, and would call us when they saw the sign. I was trying so hard to have faith and not think of the hopelessness of the situation. My writers imagination was about to do me in. Meanwhile, my husband is still walking the streets miles away, whistling and calling. And my heart was breaking.

At 10:00 we gave up. It would be up to God. My husband was already home, and my dad was taking me home from hanging up the signs. We paused at the stop sign at the corner of my street and my dad said he wanted to pray with me, outloud. So we pulled over and prayed. I thought at that point my tears were used up but they kept falling! My dad prayed and asked God for a miracle. He told God that we had done all we could and ultimately, only God could bring Samson home safely. He prayed that God would put Samson in our driveway when we turned the corner and went to my house. He said "We don't want to not have this because we didn't ask." At those words, my faith started burning, literally burning deep within my heart. I could feel it, stretching, growing. It gave me this fiery hope like nothing I've ever experienced. There we were, two Christians, praying together and agreeing in God's name, and believing in the impossible.

We pulled up in my driveway. No Samson. I tried to not be disappointed. God doesn't always give us what we ask, when we ask for it. I knew that. So we go inside, my dad gives my weary, worn out husband a hug, and said "We'll have good news tomorrow. Don't worry." We force smiles and nod, and my dad leaves. I lock the door, then turn toward the kitchen, when my husband is searching for a painkiller. He's so exhausted! Mere seconds after the door closed behind my dad, a sudden pounding scared us half to death. Someone was beating on the front door. I flung it open (yeah, I know, should've looked out the peephole first) and my dad and Samson were on the front walk. Right there. I saw Samson and screamed. Loud. My husband almost fell over. My dad was actually jumping around, almost as much as Samson. He was right there. Safe. Happy. Fine.

A miracle in the flesh.

My husband and I fell on the ground with Samson, hugging and kissing him. We were totally covered in dog drool, sitting on the frozen ground, our front door wide open at 10:15 at night, but it didn't matter. Samson was home. God had given us the impossible, because we believed.

The even stranger part was that Samson wasn't that cold. It was literally freezing last night, for hours. When it's chilly outside, Samson's fur gets cold on the outside. He wasn't cold at all. He was clean. No mud, no dirt, nothing.

Personally, I think God beamed him from whereever he was to our driveway, kinda like He did to Paul after Paul witnessed to the eunuch in the book of Acts.

Either way, we brought Samson inside, fed him, and loved on him for a good half hour. Then my husband fixed the fence outside where he had escaped and we put him in his doghouse, with his warm hay.

And checked on him during the night like we would a baby! =)

This morning he was fine, nestled in his hay, looking pretty worn out.

A happy ending. A miracle. A faith booster if I've EVER seen one. Glory to God. He deserves ALL the credit for this one.

Here are some pictures from last night.


Anonymous said...

Precious pictures! I'm thankful for your happy ending, and for the faith the God raised up in you! Hang onto that!

CHickey said...

Thank you, Lord. Yes, we do get attached to our four-legged family members.

Dineen A. Miller said...

Hey girl! So glad Samson is back home. You're recount brought tears to my eyes. What an awesome family you have, and what an amazing God WE have. :-)

Trish Perry said...

Really sweet story, Betsy, and the pic of your hubby and Samson is especially dear, knowing how worked up he was at losing his buddy. I take it you didn't let anyone photograph you after all those tears? ;-)

Thanks for providing an inspiring break from today's work!

Betsy Ann said...

Thanks for the comments, you guys! You're right Trish - I was in NO shape for a picture. haha I appreciate the support, you guys are great!

Anonymous said...

Yep, not a sparrow falls that God doesn't notice. I imagine He loves His critturs even more than we do, and cherishes our love for them. I'm convinced they're like a class of angels. Angels do not have to be saved, they just serve God and live in Heaven. I'm so glad yours came home to you.


Ane Mulligan said...

A sweet reminder how God cares for all the little things in our lives. I'm glad Samson is home safe. I know all about being attached to pets. :o)

Jenny Marie said...

Sissy!! I'm boo-hooing my eyeballs out in my office reading this! Thanks alot!!

I'm soooo thankful for a happy happy faithful ending to last night!

Also thankful for not being sicker from screaming & driving around in the 20degree weather with the windows down!

I love you!

Gina Holmes said...

SO glad your baby's home. That's scary. Been there. He's a beautiful dog btw.

angela meuser said...

God, show off...I love that. And I have to admit that I'm so not an animal person, but your blog almost brought me to tears. You can write, girl. And I'm glad your story has a happy ending.

K.Michelle said...

Don't you just love it when God shows off. I'm so glad He did for you guys last night.

You are a wonderful and caring person and the other day your comment really touched my heart.

You wanted God to do something fantastic for me this year, and He certainly did. I think I felt my faith increase from just reading your post.

God bless you, sweet girl!

Malia Spencer said...

What an awesome God! I was so encouraged by this even if I wanted to cry reading it! I knew he was safe but I could still feel the pain. I know what it's like to lose a dog who's a family member. It cuts you wide open but sweetie you do recover, even if you think you won't. It hurts for a long time, and it might never stop hurting completely, but you do heal. It took two years before I could get another lab after our last one died but I'm so thankful I did. My little Angelo is the light of my life. I'm so glad this worked out. I was feeling for you, especially since 'Gelo is a black lab too.

I love the pictures, now I know exactly what Angelo is going to look like when he's bigger. He's got the same furry face that Samson does. Hugs and kisses to you and Samson. :)

Janice said...

I'm so glad you have Samson back. I've been-there-done-that with my own dogs.
Coincidently, I spent an hour on Thursday night looking for a friend's dog. We feel blessed that we "accidently" bumped into a neighbor we didn't know, who told us the dog was at the Humane Society 30 minutes away in the inner city. We never would've though of calling them. We got the dog back Friday morning.

Rejoicing with you!

Camy Tang said...

That is so sweet!!! I'm so glad you got him back safe! I can totally relate, because Snickers is like our baby too.

Cathy West said...

What an awesome story, Betsy! With a very God ending!!
Poor Samson. I wonder where he went! I'm sure he was walking around with an angel beside him.
Thanks for sharing the story!
God is GOOD!