November of 2020, my family and I decided to add a special addition to our family … a dog. While I’ve always loved dogs, Jeremy and I decided early on in our marriage that we did not want a family pet. Fast forward, mid-2020 we began tossing around the idea of a fur-baby and on November 20th we made it happen and brought home an 8-week-old Shih Poo puppy who we named Kobe. Kobe was absolutely perfect, and my entire family was in love. The joy he brought to our family was amazing! Unfortunately, Kobe unexpectedly passed away on New Year’s Day. His veterinarian believed that he may have had a heart condition that went undetected but couldn’t be sure. We were left with “it just happens sometimes”. As you can imagine, we were devastated. Kobe passed away shortly before midnight in my husband’s arms. Jeremy, Madison, and I sat cuddled on the sofa and wept while Kobe’s lifeless body lay wrapped tightly in Jeremy’s arms --- and note, my hubby is not a weepy guy---which attests to how special Kobe was. The following week felt like a twilight-zone. Kobe’s absence left us all with a hollow feeling in our hearts. The day after Kobe’s passing, we immediately put away all of Kobe’s belongs … we knew the physical reminders would only add insult to our injury.
On the evening of January 3rd as Jeremy and I were settling in for bed, the thought of getting another puppy crossed my mind. I hesitantly asked Jeremy what were his thoughts about getting another dog. I was hesitant because I wasn’t sure if I was even ready, let alone him. Surprisingly, with relief in his eyes he replied, “Kita, I want another dog. I want us to give it another try and not give up on our desire for a family pet.” The rest is history, we immediately began our search for another Shih Poo puppy, in hopes we would find another fur-baby with Kobe’s beautiful temperament. On January 4th, we were introduced to a beautiful 3 ½ week old Shih Poo puppy, whom we’ve adopted and named Bailey---she will be united with our family in just one more week. You can only imagine; our home is buzzing with the excitement and anticipation of her arrival!
I share this very practical story with you because often times after we experience loss or extreme disappointment, we dare not try again. Yet, the courage to try again sometimes opens doors to new beginnings, unexpected blessings, and healing to a shattered heart. I am reminded of a woman in the Bible referred to as the Shunammite woman. She was a wealthy and kind woman who offered lodging to God’s servant Elijah, who frequented her town from time to time. Elijah was a prophet, whom God often performed great miracles through. One day, Elijah, after reflecting on the generosity and kindness this woman had shown him, asked her “What can I do for you”? She immediately expressed her contentment and the lack of need for repayment. She withheld her deepest desire from him. Elijah’s servant later shared with him that she was barren and could not have children. Armed with this information, Elijah knew this was an opportunity for him to solicit God on her behalf for a child. When He told her that God would open her womb and she’d be holding her son the same time the following year, she immediately rejected the thought because she had been disappointed so many times before. Despite her initial resistance and fear, she received his prophecy and God opened her womb. She had a child the following year. She tried again! In 2021, I pray that you would have the courage to try again in times of fear, disappointment, and even failure.
Elisha said to him, “Tell her, ‘You have gone to all this trouble for us. Now what can be done for you? Can we speak on your behalf to the king or the commander of the army?’” 2 Kings 4:13