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Thursday, August 09, 2007

Unexpected Blessings


I just love how the Lord works. He constantly blows me away with his love and mercy, with the smallest of concerns. In fact...there are no concerns too small for God. Today was a lesson in that.

I went to Adoration this afternoon, and ne of the things I prayed about was my dreams involving Fire. I know I did the right thing, I was there, I said goodbye, and yes, I miss him. Jesus and I had a great discussion about that, and he said that he speaks to us in dreams...why am I not listening? I so rarely understand when such cryptic things come to me in prayer, so I just threw my hands up as usual (so to speak) and asked him to reveal himself and what he meant. That part of my prayer was answered today; it is that other people feel as I do when they suffer a loss, and sometimes, we are in the circumstances in which we can provide that answer to another soul. I will explain.

While I was there, I sensed that I should take my dog to the dog park this afternoon for awhile. I didn't really want to go; while I love going there, today is a warm day, it's rush hour, and a thousand other excuses. And then I was guilty for being distracted in prayer. I wasn't sure what I would do, but en route home from the church, I knew I had to go to the dog park. I figured I'd let her chase a ball for awhile, give her water, and come home. And that's what happened...but there's more to the story.

This is where it gets good...

There was no one at the park when we arrived, which wasn't surprising. 4 pm on a Thursday afternoon? People are at work, and it's a hot day. My German Shepherd and I are the only nutjobs dumb enough to be out on such an afternoon.

I was thinking about leaving when a car pulled up behind mine and a woman got out with her dog. I figured my dog could use some canine contact so decided to stay. Sure enough, the new dog made a beeline for us, and the woman who arrived commented that my dog looked just like Sadie.

She asked me where I got her? "The Humane Society", I told her. "A few years ago."

She was insisting that she never thought she'd see this dog again...that was Sadie. I told her that when I adopted her, she was called "Sugar Bear" and I had to change the name.

By this time, the woman was very excited, and I was a little shocked. "That's Her! When we got her, she was called Sugar Bear! We called her Sadie! CAN I HUG YOU? We were heartbroken when my parents had to give her up!"

So this afternoon, that's how I found myself hugging a stranger in a dog park in suburbia.

For a little backstory....when I adopted my girl, the Humane Society gave me her history. First she was brought in by a girl who was going to college, so had to give her up. Then a woman adopted her for her parents, who had recently lost their dog. She had a good home with that couple, but the man was diagnosed with terminal cancer, they realized they could not care for her, so found her a home. Those people couldn't care for her so brought her back to the Humane Society. She was adopted once or twice after that, and then came to me, where she has been ever since.

The woman I met today is the same one who adopted her for her parents! She explained that they were heartbroken; they LOVED this dog to death and always wondered what had become of her. J., the woman I spoke with today, revealed that she and her husband wanted to adopt her but they had cats and "Sadie" was not good with cats. So they, too, were heartbroken because they'd fallen in love with this sweet-natured German Shepherd. J. said that she had prayed to God that she'd found a good home, and was worried she'd gone to some crazy family that ignored her or treated her badly. All she wanted to know was whether their "Sadie" was all right.

She looked at me, then, thrilled. She could see with her own eyes that "Sadie", now Tikaani, is wonderful. She's healthy, happy, and has a good home. I told her how she came to be with me and how she's been...she was familiar with some of her behaviors, asked how that had gone, and it was just an amazing conversation.

And just to make the Hand of God so clear; she was there today with a dog that does not belong to her. She is taking care of her while her relatives are out of town, but they are coming back and today was her last day at the park as she does not have a dog of her own right now.

Can there really be any doubt that my presence there today had nothing to do with me, or my dog, but the answer to a prayer for a woman who wanted a little grace,a little peace, and made her request out of love? I'm not sure which of us was more blessed today:  me, for having a front seat to God's abundant love, or her, for having recieved the answer to a humble prayer?

But there's another facet to our meeting, perhaps a much deeper one. When she pulled up behind my car, not knowing at the time that she was about to be reunited with a favored pet, she took note of my bumper stickers. I have a pro-life sticker from a verse from Isaiah: "Before you were formed in the womb I knew you..." (It says more but I forget the rest.)

She commented, "Oh! A woman after my own heart!" She explained she and her husband are trying to conceive, so abortion really ticks her off. Here they are trying so hard to bring a new life into the world, and others are slaughtering their children. They are now looking to adopt, but still have hope God may bless their marriage with their own children.

I had the sense she is not Catholic, but is a practicing Christian. I asked her if she'd heard of the Pope Paul VI center. It's not based in MN, but she asked if they have something local? She knows people who went through a Christian fertility center, but doesn't know what it's called. Since I'm not married and don't have children, I'm not familiar with local resources, so I just suggested she look into NFP or look for an NFP only doctor...I explained that there is a ton of science behind NFP and couples have used this method TO BECOME PREGNANT when faced with fertility issues. She didn't seem thrilled, so didn't comment and slightly changed the subject.

So I am asking you all for prayers for her and her husband. She seems to be a delightful person, is my age, maybe a little younger and had she not told me she has no children, I would have assumed she was a mother. She SEEMS like a mother, and is clearly a very loving soul.

She did take my email down, so if any of you, esp. from the Mpls.- St. Paul area are familiar with good Catholic and other Christian fertility clinics (read: no in-vitro, no contraceptive chemicals, no tube babies, no surrogate, etc.), please post links. I know about omsoul.org and the Paul VI Institute (I think that's what it's called)and the Couple to Couple League, but is there anything else locally? I'd love to be able to send her some links if she does email me.

Above all, keep this couple in your prayers, that the Lord will bless their marriage and grant them a new life to nurture and offer for His glory.

17 comments:

Ma Beck said...

What an amazing story!
Thanks for sharing - God is good. I love to read a great heartwarming story. I will keep her in my prayers to St. Gerard that he may intercede to God for her that she can become a parent, in whichever way God chooses.

P.S.
...still have hope God may bless their marriage with their own children.

If they adopt, they will have their own children, no one else's.
They will not, however, have biological children.
;)
(I know what you meant.)

mgibson said...

First, I think both your errors in the texts were just typos, but just so you know, it's the Pope Paul VI Institute. And this is their totally awesome fertility care web site, this would be the good link to send to this woman for further details.

Some very good friends of mine had a very difficult time conceiving, at the time, the wife was a Methodist minister - soon as she converted to Catholicism suddenly they got pregnant. Maybe a conversion is all they need (just kidding :) Seriously, I know that my friends would be more than happy to talk to this woman and her husband, and would understand the non-Catholic background (both husband and wife converted to the Church actually). Contact me and I can get you in touch with them.

Another local resource you might mention is the "In His Time" fertility group from the Archdiocese. See their website for details.

Adoro te Devote said...

Ma Beck ~ Yeah, that's what I meant. I am absolutely amazed that out of all the people who could have been at the dog park...it was her. And the bumper sticker that disposed her to first of all assume I was a kindred spirit (which I am), the fact no one else was there, it was her last trip with a dog she doesn't own...and I went there on Jesus' request, just after Adoration.

There are no mistakes...God cares about the smallest things. I love these moments. They mean more than anything else, because they are God in action. It's God, right there in your face, demonstrating his orchestration, but certain things still had to happen...both she and I had free will. Had I decided to do something else, I would not have met her.

I do, indeed, hope she emails me and the emails get through. (Guardian Angel?). She insisted before she left she will keep in touch, and I do hope she does.

God uses all things to connect His faithful...even dogs. Wow. How many times God has used dogs to teach me about Him!

If I am ever canonized (Fat Chance! Ha!), the icon painted of me will have a dog, and I'll be the patron saint of the long-winded dog-and-horse lovers. And probably Claims Adjusters because there's no other Saint for them.
:-P

I just DARE someone to try to paint such a picture. (In jest, but in all faithfulness for I do indeed want to seek God's will so strongly...but fall so short.)


Anyway.....

Mgibson~ Nice to "see" you again! I always mess up Roman Numerals..so it wasn't a typo. I'll take full blame. I stood there talking to her thinking Pope Paul IV, and I told her I wasn't sure that was right.

I will correct the post and include the link. Thanks!

:-)

I do typo..but this one is an actual error. I appreciate your setting me straight.

tara said...

adoro:
There are NO coincidences--God has a plan--he uses us to fulfill His plan--I love this story and will pray to St. Gerard for the gift a child for them.

Angela Messenger said...

Amazing! I will pray for her.

As for you my friend...Jer.29:11

Adoro te Devote said...

Tara ~ I don't believe in coincidences, either. Thanks for your prayers for her. I really like this lady, and she reminds me of a woman at my church. They could be sisters. Apparently she's my sister, too. After all...we love the same dog. :-) Who knew God would use a dog to make people pray?!

Angela ~ Isaiah 44:2. :-)

Divine Mercy said...

nice account!

Ray from MN said...

Adoro, You are one amazing woman. Now is the time maybe that you might be doing some serious writing for publication.

God bless you!

Theocoid said...

Someone else thinks you're amazing enough to translate your post into German. That's what I'm pretty sure the German page is, a translation of your post Surreal Week.

Of course, my German is pretty weak. I took 2 years during undergrad studies, audited and dropped a semester in grad school, and I've never practiced with native speakers. You might check with Gerald at the Cafeteria is Closed.

Adoro te Devote said...

Ray ~ What did I do? I didn't do anything...how can I be amazing?

Theocoid ~ I actually went to Google and found a web page translator, and it does appear to be a direct translation. I just hope it's not as bad in German as the re-translation is to English! LOL!

Seriously, here's a link:

http://64.233.179.104/translate_c?hl=en&langpair=de%7Cen&u=http://adorotedevote.blogspot.com/2007/08/surreal-week.html

It even butchered the comments! I was just in tears reading this, and if you go to newer or older posts, it just follows your blog and gives bad English translations. This is hilarious!

HeyJules said...

Wow...GREAT STORY!!!

What an unbelievable thing to have happened. He's just the most amazing God, isn't he?

Melody said...

What an amazing story! Tikaani is lucky to have found a home with you, after so many false starts in life. Poor thing!
I'll keep your new friend in prayer; that she will find a way to be a mom if that is God's will.

Maureen said...

Thank you for posting this. It's good to see how God is so generous and gentle with us.

Melanie B said...

What a beautiful story. I had a few tears in my eyes as I read. Will definitely offer up a few prayers for her.

Becky said...

You could direct this woman to Dr. Mary Paquette, at Aalfa Family Practice in White Bear Lake - they are an all-NFP practice, and Dr. Paquette goes to my parish, St. Joseph in West St. Paul. I've been asking around for when we start pursuing testing for my own probable fertility issues, and she's at the top of the list for everyone I've talked to.

Adoro te Devote said...

thanks becky!

to all ~ God is so good to us all, what a reminder I got this week.

paramedicgirl said...

That's an amazing story! It's wonderful to be a part of God's grace to another person. I remember it happening to me once. It's a real gift.