More Time…

“What do you mean she didn’t make it?”

 

“Sir, her family is in the room, would you like to join them?”

 

What are you talking about? Dead? Tammy ain’t dead! I just spoke to her this afternoon. Where is she?

 

Sir, I can take you to the family. You just didn’t make it in time. I’m so sorry. Why don’t you follow me?

 

Jared felt cold…as if he was completely uncovered. The hallway the doctor started down looked white, barren, and long. My legs won’t move. What’s wrong with my legs? “Uhhh ma’am…, doctor? Suddenly Jared felt the floor under his throbbing head. If two people clanged cymbals on both sides of his head, the noise would be less deafening than the throbbing he could hear in his ears. The light above him looked like a huge flying saucer, now it was becoming blurry, and he could feel tears running into his ears. Where is she? Tammy, where are you at? Wait…. [Darkness] Let me just lay here and catch my breath. I just needed more time. I just needed more t….

Days like today are what life is made of. Nikki Rodgers wore my Starter jacket during the whole lunch recess AND she saw the kickball game. She saw me kick the ball over the fence… she SAW me! B+ on my spelling test, my Louisville cut is fresh, AND we’re headed to the coliseum for the Warriors game tonight. This might be the best day of my whole 8th grade. I might even ask Uncle Luke if I can wear his other pair of Cazal’s tonight. I’m feeling lucky- like ANYTHING is possible! Maybe that’s what Gramma means when she says anything is possible with Jesus. Maybe she means days like THIS!!!

 

Jared fakes a dribble up the walkway, and shoots a jump shot with his invisible ball as he opens the screen door.

 

“Boy! What I tell you about letting my door slam!”

 

“Sorry gramma! It’s me, I’m home.”

 

“Hey baby. Come gimme my sugah. How was school? You get the test back?”

 

“Yep, B+ gramma!”

 

“Well, alright now! I told you anything is possible if you only believe!”

 

Hmmm…that’s what she was talking about? I thought it was a miracle Nikki wanted to wear my Starter. That seems bigger than a spelling test.

 

“Gramma, I’m hungr….”

 

“Boy, I know. You’ve been hungry since you been alive. I made you a roast beef sandwich with the meat we had left over from last night. Just like you like it. Sit down so granny can feed you.”

 

“K. Gramma who’s that outside?”

 

“Oh, her name is Tammy. Her parents moved into the house across the street. I’m gonna be watching her every day until they get home from work. So, she’ll be here during the afternoons with you. She starts at your school tomorrow. I told her parents she can walk home with you after school……I said, I told them…”

 

“I heard you…”

 

Gramma spins around with her hand on her hip. “You say something Jared Daniel?”

 

“Yes ma’am. I mean no ma’am… I mean, yes, I’ll walk her home if I have to.”

 

“Of course you will because you’re a gentleman and it’s good to be kind. (Gramma’s voice fading in the distance) “It’s godly to be hospitable.”

 

Man, she’s pretty!

 

“Jared, do you hear me?”

 

“Huh gramma? Ummm yeah. Sorry, who’s in the hospital?”

 

 

I guess we would’ve been like brother and sister if we hadn’t always loved one another. I’ve loved her since I was 12. I took her to her prom. She didn’t speak to me for months after I didn’t take her to mine. The other girls at her catholic high school did things she didn’t do. Tammy was different. I just had to protect her.

 

She’s been right about every girlfriend I’ve had. And as far as I’m concerned, none of her boyfriends have been good enough for her either! She’s always been different. Even after we were grown she’d go sit and talk with gramma. Like she was an old lady trapped in a young woman’s body. She’s just always felt like home.

 

I keep dreaming about her. I see her face at the oddest times. When I envision her smile, I catch myself smiling. I don’t like the way that makes me feel. I don’t like not feeling in control. And her mouth. No other woman talks back to me like that! Why do I let her get away with that? She ALWAYS has something to say! I CAN’T STAND that!

 

I’ll be thirty-five next month. Mom keeps telling me I need a covering. I keep telling her she covers me just fine! She told me last week that one day somebody’s gonna snag Tammy. Where that come from? Uhhhh ok. Like I told mom, as long as he does right by her, we’re good! I felt nauseous when I said it though. But Tammy scares me. She doesn’t really NEED to get married though. I can’t even think of who could really handle her. She’s always wanted to be married and have kids though. Tammy… (he nods smiling) She’s sharp. She’s beautiful. She’s trustworthy. She’s LOYAL. (Stomach flutters again) Yeah, he’d have to be…. I wonder if she ever thinks about us. She acts like she never has time to hang out anymore, but I see how she looks at meI just don’t know if I can...(phone vibrating interrupts Jared’s reverie)

Answers phone clearing throat“Good Afternoon, Jared Sinclair…”

 

“Jared, it’s Christine.”

 

“Hi Mama Christine! You don’t sound like yourself. You sick? You okay?”

 

“Jared, it’s Tammy…there’s been an accident.”

 

“What’s wrong with Tammy? Where are you? She okay?” (grabbing keys off his desk)

 

“They brought her to Highland. Are you close? Oh my God!!! I have to go Jared. Get her if you can!”

 

(Jared frantically dials his mother) “Umm Mr. Sinclair, you have a client at 2:30… Mr. Sinclair!”

 

“Not now Janine! Family emergency! C’mon! Why is this elevator so slow!…. Yeah, mom? Where are you? I need you to pick up. Meet me at Highland. Something happened to Tammy…”

 

(driving frantically, weaving in and out of traffic) I’ma tell her. I’m just gonna tell her how I feel. Wait, how do I feel? What am I supposed to say, you feel like home? You make me think of my gramma? I can’t even think. God, just let her be okay. I know you’ll tell me what to say. Just let her be ok, okay? Please? PLEASE! I just need more time.

 

 

(gasping for air, looking around) What is that?(chest pumping) Where am I? I’m in my room. That’s the alarm. Jared moves his left arm to grab his cell phone and feels the tear soaked pillow against the side of his face. Let me catch my breath, MAN! I was dreaming. [exhale] The clock reads 5:05am.

 

 

“Yeah gurl, so let’s just meet up at Kincaid’s after work. I want to hear ALL about it. You’re giving me something to look forward to while I’m at work all day. It’s gonna be CRAZY. I have four c-sections scheduled.”

 

(Loud knocking at door)

 

“It isn’t even 8am. Who is that banging on my door!”

 

“Oh my goodness. I can hear it over the phone. Keep me on the phone while you go check sis. People crazy.”

 

“Gurl, it’s Jared.”

 

“Tammy, what he doing over there so early?”

 

“That’s what I’m about to find out! I’ll call you back.”

 

(opening door) “Jared, why are you popping up at my house and knocking on my door like you’re the police? Do you know what time it is? And why do you look like that? (straightening head scarf and tightening the belt on her robe) I’m looking all crazy… Jared? What is it? You alright?”

 

“You look beautiful.”

 

(side eye) “Jared, what’s wrong with you?”

 

“We need to talk…”

 

© 2017 Kelsi Marie

What a Difference a Year Makes…

“He slapped me! I know I’ve put up with a lot of things, but THAT I cannot deal with. I can’t be with anyone I’m afraid of!”

 

“Wait, what? What do you mean he slapped you?”

 

“Just that! I walked up to him when he was up in arms about something with one of the counselors. When I approached him to ask what was wrong, he looked at me with some deranged look on his face and hauled off and slapped me!”

 

“Okay, wait…. Did he say anything? That just doesn’t sound like him. What did the counselor do? If this wasn’t you telling the story, I wouldn’t even believe it. I want to say are you sure, but I know you’re sure you got slapped. I’m so confused.”

 

“I just left.”

 

“Wait what? Where are you?”

 

“Home.”

 

“You mean in your cabin?”

 

“No, HOME. As in seven minutes from your house. I came home!”

 

“Wait a minute… something isn’t right. Elyse, this doesn’t make sense! This is bothering me. He didn’t say anything…you just left the village?”

 

“They were trying to stop me, but I just ran to my cabin to pack. I’m DONE!!! I was on the next bus before he even knew I left. He didn’t even come to my cabin to try to stop me from leaving! He doesn’t even care!” (bursts into tears)

 

“Have you heard from him?”

 

“I blocked him.”

 

“Oh GOSH! Elyse!!!”

 

“He hit me! Are you defending him?”

 

“No, I’m saying something isn’t adding up.”

 

“Right! Like me agreeing to go on that missions trip with his youth and I don’t even like camping! Then getting humiliated.”

 

“Noooo, I mean his actions don’t make sense. Something isn’t right. And you’re not giving his consistent behavior a voice at all! ”

 

“Anyway girl, I’m done with this city. I had plenty of time to think on that 12 hour flight home. I told Synergy Inc. I’d have an answer for them upon my return next week. I called and told them I came back early and that I’m going to take the assignment. I’ll be gone for 12 months. Unless he gave me a reason to stay, I was prepared to leave. I feel like this opportunity is timed perfectly. I fly out tomorrow morning.”

 

“Wait a minute… I think you’re rushing a major decision. You don’t even like cold weather and you’re going to move across the country over a relationship not working out? You need to think about this.”

 

“God provided an opportunity that’s right on time!”

 

“I don’t sense God in this. I sense confusion! Don’t put my Papa in this!”

 

“Gurl, I’m tired. I was already thinking about going. You know that. He was the only reason I would have stayed. I need the change. I need to get my mind off of everything. I love you gurl, and thank you, but I have to finish packing. I gotta be in a car to the airport at 6am. I’ve got 11 hours to finish packing for a year and setting up my bill pays. I’ll call you from the airport.”

 

“Elyse, wait!”

 

“It’s a done deal girl! I docusigned my offer letter. I’ll call you in the morning, pray for me! And if you come over I’m not gonna answer the door. I’m doing this!”

 

“Elyse!”

 

Meanwhile, in the Philippines…

 

“What do you mean she left? You let her leave? You slapped her and let her leave?”

 

“I didn’t slap her. I killed a mosquito.”

 

“Okay, but you didn’t even tell her that?”

 

“I couldn’t! She went crazy! I was trying to calm her down and she said something about being done with abuse and ran off. I was due at the other end of camp to introduce the new students and thought I’d head to her cabin and explain later. But when I got there, they said she had packed up and caught a ride back to town on the supply bus. She told them she was headed back to the States man!  My calls are going straight to voicemail. She’s crazy man. But I can’t have her thinking I just slapped her. I was yelling about the vaccinations being late when she walked up. I don’t even know if she knows what I was upset about. I was gonna ask her to marry me tonight, but I’m sitting here talking to you and she’s God knows where. What happened? Gary rubs his hands over his face, what am I going to do?”

 

“Hey man, there’s nothing you can do. You’ll be on furlough in two weeks. You’d better head to Phoenix and straighten this out.”

 

“And what, she just gone keep her phone off?”

 

“Nah man, you got blocked! Straight to voicemail when you call?”

 

“Yeah!”

 

“Did your text messages show as “delivered”?”

 

“Nah…”

 

“Yeah, you blocked homeboy…”

 

“What is all that? I’ll go crazy thinking about this while we’re seven thousand miles apart. I gotta get a handle on this situation with these malaria vaccines. I’ll deal with that when I take my time off. I just can’t believe she’d think I would hit her. I can’t believe she’s shutting me out. I’ve never been violent towards her…never! WOMEN!”

 

….

 

I’ve got it all lined up! Janine is flying in Tuesday, and we’ll pick you up at the airport Thursday! I can’t believe I haven’t seen you in almost a year! And FaceTime doesn’t count!

 

“I know girl, I can’t wait to get home! I’m done with snow. I’m done with New York traffic. I’m done with 14 hour work days. I’m ready to get back to the desert. I’ll never complain about Arizona winters again. As soon as y’all pick me up, the first place we’re going is Spinato’s… matter of fact, y’all can have a medium pepperoni waiting in the car!”

 

“Gurl, we miss our friend, and our friend misses her pizza! Anyway!”

 

“No shade, no shade. Well, I gotta get things wrapped up here. And I have to meet with the owner of some charity or non-profit we’re committing funds to this year. I’m on my way out, so I don’t why I have to be the one to meet with them, but whatever. Tomorrow night I’m on a plane back to the west coast! Yayee, yayee, as Ice Cube would say.”

 

“Gurl, you crazy! Bye!”

 

“Bye gurl.”

 

“Ms. Robins security just called from downstairs. Your 3 o’clock is on his way up, should I just show him to the main conference room to wait for you?”

 

“Yeah, I just have to run down to HR to sign a few documents. Just tell him I won’t be long. Make sure he’s comfortable.”

 

“Will do.”

 

Elevator dings…

 

Elyse steps in only to freeze mid-stride as her heart turns to a rock in her chest. Oh God…Oh my God. What is he doing here?

 

New York? She’s been in New York all this time? “Elyse…”

 

“Hi… you’re the representative from the non-profit? I hadn’t even looked at the name of the organization, or else I would’ve…”

 

“It was a mosquito.”

 

“Huh?”

 

“There was a mosquito on your cheek. I had just been made aware of a malaria outbreak in the village. A few people were really ill and we didn’t have our vaccines yet. I just reacted when I saw the mosquito. I was worried. I’m so sorry…”

 

“I…”

 

 

**Moral of the story… Often times, it isn’t the act itself that scars you. It’s what you believe about the act. Don’t allow your past to narrate your present.

 

What if she’d allowed him to explain about the malaria outbreak?

 

What if he’d been a few minutes late to his meeting to explain?

 

What if they’d come home from the missions trip engaged after having a moment of clarity about “the slap”?

 

What would things have looked like these 12 months later?

 

What if…

 

© 2017 Kelsi Marie

 

 

 

Guilty!!!

I’m guilty. I don’t just mean in the past, but lately. I’ve been guilty of frustration. Guilty of impatience. We do know that patience isn’t waiting right? We’re going to wait regardless when it comes to what only God can release. Patience is actually waiting with the right attitude. We can murmur, complain and pout while we wait, or we can trust, praise and rejoice in the promise that is on the other end of our wait.

I became frustrated, because I couldn’t understand the point. I couldn’t understand why He has revealed some of the things He has, if CLEARLY some of the things aren’t coming to pass any time soon. Sometimes, when hope hurts, you’d just rather not know. Ignorance can be bliss at times. But when He reveals His plan and purpose you have to deal with the burden of conforming to His divine schedule. So I ask questions like… why did you show me if I was just going to remain irritated by the process? Why did I even have to know?

He had a talk with me today to remind me that it isn’t about my conveniences, but His purpose. And He also reminded me that cooperating with Him during the process is the same as cooperating with Him for the plan itself. A sous chef doesn’t get the credit, but certainly has responsibilities and must take orders and execute as the meal is prepared. The longer a sous chef works beside an executive chef, the more they learn, and the better they become.

So AGAIN, my heart has been restored. I needed it restored AGAIN. And I told Him tonight, that I commit to his purpose AND His schedule (ARRRGGGGHHHH it’s KILLING ME…. I guess that’s the point). I desire to execute my role in His plan with complete synchronicity, virtue and excellence. I am walking this out WITH Him. It’s His plan., so it will be accomplished in HIS time. Inhale… Exhale… Inhale….. Exhale…

Psalm 119:133 is my anthem right now. No iniquity!!! No iniquity tied to doubt, fear, frustration, impatience, bitterness, intolerance, pride….. NO INIQUITY!!! (If you read the scripture you’ll get what I’m saying)

We should feel honored to have a role at all!

Perspective is key….Selah

Sow Intentionally…

Everything we speak and do is a seed we are sowing. When we bless others, it’s a seed. 
When we hurt others, it’s a seed. 

Sin is a seed. 

Obedience is a seed. 

Sharing is a seed. 

Hoarding is a seed. 

Giving is a seed. 

Taking is a seed. 

Speaking life into others is a seed. 

Cursing others is a seed. 

At a time you leave a person’s life, for whatever reason, what will you leave them to remember you by? Gifts? Heartache? Smiles? Love? Encouragement? Pain?

Will your presence be missed, or your absence celebrated? 

Be glad you gave even if you receive nothing in return. 

You won’t always reap in the same place you’ve sown, but you WILL reap. 

No matter the seed, you reap. 

Sow carefully. 

Sow intentionally. 🙏🏾❤️

#kelsimarie

Seasons Change…

Seasons change. I have loved people that I’ve had to release, whether because of death, marriage, miles or just the expiration of a season. As life shifts, sometimes configurations change. You’ve heard it before, you have some relationships for a reason, some for a season and some for a lifetime. Not all endings are bad and bitter.
That said, I cherish the moments, use my words, write letters, send messages and give gifts. I know I mustn’t hold on and prolong anything beyond the season for which it is purposed. I must yield to His plan and respect His course. My endeavor is to make sure that when one reflects across the miles and memories, the sunsets and secrets, the gifts and gains, when a person remembers me and thinks of our time and season of doing life together, they remember honesty, safety, laughter and loyalty…and they simply remember being loved. ❤️❤️❤️ #kelsimarie

Missed Opportunities…

I remember one day at church many years ago, the Holy Spirit told me to go ask an older gentleman…a seasoned elder in our church to lay hands and pray for me. I came up with every excuse imaginable. I was embarrassed to ask. I was afraid of how I would sound. What do I say? Then I said, “Okay, next Sunday…I’ll ask next Sunday.”
God knew, but I didn’t know that would be the last time I saw Him. You really never know when an opportunity will expire…when your season with a person will end.
I’ve repented. But that doesn’t change the fact that I’ll never know what he would have imparted. I’ll never know what God’s intentions were. I’ll never know how my obedience would have affected my life. My flesh would love to believe I didn’t miss out…that it’s all good…that somehow, some way, SOMETHING has made up for it. But I know God and I know He ALWAYS instructs with purpose.
Years later, I stopped by my parents’ house and my father surprised me and wrote a check. I looked at the amount and said, “Thank you Daddy!” I was in a rush!!! I got to the door and had a fleeting thought to run back and kiss him and tell him I loved him. I didn’t. I was running late. I told myself I’d just come back in a few days. It was the last time I saw him. He passed two days later.
My lesson…there ARE missed opportunities!!!
Sometimes people know what they can’t tell you. Some time later I told my mom I wished I had turned around and run back. What harm would 90 more seconds have done? She told me she asked him what prompted him to write me that check that day. His response, “It’s the last gift I’ll ever be able to give her.”
Friendships expire. Seasons change. Doors close. People die. Folks move away. Life carries people in different directions. Winds of change are often unexpected…. The BEST we can do is maximize moments, make sure people know we love them and that they’re appreciated. Leave a good mark, something that makes people smile when they think of you or remember you.
And WHATEVER He is telling you to do. DO IT!!! Sometimes we’ve only got ONE SHOT to get it right and divinely timed for purpose. Mediocrity and settling present opportunities all day, everyday, as long as you’ll take them.

A Sowing Assignment…

I remember someone who broke my heart told me later that he was engaged. He said after seeing the pain on my face when he hurt me, he committed to never hurt a woman like that again. For a long time, I wondered why I had to be the “sacrifice”. With time, I realized he wasn’t for me. And if our interaction and my pain helped him become a better person, and contributed to a woman being treated well, then it wasn‘t in vain.
I had a crush on someone once and the Lord told me he didn’t belong to me.
I put my feelings aside, and helped him see the light in someone else. They’re very happily married now.
I had an ex (we were able to salvage our friendship) call and ask me to go ring shopping with him, because he wanted to propose to his girlfriend and trusted my taste. I did. And I picked out a ring I would have liked for myself.
I could go on, but sometimes you just have to plant seeds and expect God to water your garden. He doesn’t forget any of our labor. He bottles every tear. He sees every desire.
The ONE who is for you won’t walk away and will not risk losing you. He’ll see his future in you, and hopefully some people will have poured into him, preparing him for just you!!!

Jesus IS the middle….

The truth for a Christian, whether you’re ready or not, whether you like it or not, is that Jesus IS the ministry of reconciliation. He is SUPPOSED to be the CENTER of EVERY relationship you have, whether it’s marital, friendship, parental, sibling or otherwise. He will allow EVERY relationship you have to suffer and fall apart, just so that He can reconcile it and be the center of it. No, not to be mean, but because only through Him….only by Him being at the CENTER of the relationship, can you experience the FULLNESS of the blessing the relationship is intended to be. He HAS to be the center!!! I’ve been ruminating this revelation for about three months.
Here’s an example:
Isaac was a promise for Abraham. Sometimes we desire a promise so much and wait so long that when it manifests, we idolize the promise. We serve it and have a greater affection for it than we do God. Sound familiar? God desired to be the CENTER of Abraham and Isaac’s relationship. He has to be the middle, the reconciler. And when Abraham lifted the knife, he proved his faithfulness to God. He chose God over his son, therefore God gave his son back to him (provided a ram in the bush). At that point God became the mediator, the CENTER of the relationship, His rightful place. With order established, every future blessing God intended for Abraham to have through Isaac, could be given. He HAS to be the CENTER!!! Make Him the center so that He doesn’t have to SHOW you He’s the one keeping it together!!! (One of the many things I’ve learned from Bonhoeffer ❤️)

Accountability is Freedom…

God taught me a lesson a LOOOOOONG time ago that I’ve never forgotten. I, Kelsi, I (emphasis on me) injured a sister at my church and in her pain, she basically yelled it from the mountaintops. Some of what she told people was the truth and some of what she told people were lies. C’mon she isn’t the only one to ever embellish a little due to the sting of pain. In my pride, I was appalled. I began to tell others….”How dare she go around telling people these things!!! She is ruining my reputation! It is so mean for her to tell others what is between she and I- and now she’s started lying!!!”
One day in prayer, the Holy Ghost impressed upon me to STOP and He showed me my fault- my fault alone. At that moment, I realized that the genesis of ALL of it was my transgression against her. I basically overlooked what I had done, to be angry about how she “mishandled” it. With my own sin illuminated before me, I sincerely repented and didn’t look towards her faults anymore. And guess what? In return, for my [now] clean hands, the parts that she shared that were lies, were eventually exposed (yes, it took YEARS). GOD HATES SIN no matter who the culprit is.
You cannot step over your mess in hot pursuit of pointing out someone else’s (Matthew 7:5). You cannot set your own faults aside to deal with how someone else is handling your faults. Your pursuit should be to live above reproach and a life worthy of your calling. With clean hands though, you can plead mercy, especially if others can be hurt. Yes, all of us have been lied on, and someone bearing false witness is a different topic. Here I am referring to when you KNOW you have done wrong, but choose not to take responsibility, all the while, playing victim, angry and upset that someone shared it.
The next time someone gossips about you, before becoming indignant, repent for whatever TRUTH there is in what they are saying, next become resolved that you will not give the enemy anything else to work with, and finally, ask that the truth of the matter be exposed and any lies dispelled. I learned this SOOOO early in my walk with Christ. And I will teach here that you CANNOT be a mature christian without understanding this fundamental element of integrity.
Sometimes if you don’t start none, there won’t be none….. (improper use of english language noted).

Doggy Tales of the Enemy’s Strategy

I want to share something about “false threats”.
I have a 5lb. chihuahua named Christian and boy does he think he’s hot stuff. I think the lion (hair) cut he sports has him really believing he’s Mufasa. Even one of my neighbors who happens to have a large dog that is afraid of Christian, commented to me once that my dog is the “king of the complex”. At five pounds, that is far from true, but what makes it so convincing is that he believes it and, therefore, projects it!
 
Lately, as many of God’s children are awaiting instruction and marching orders, the enemy has been creating smoke screens and whispering threats of failure, “trouble hearing”, and missed opportunities. If we aren’t careful, the bark of the enemy can cause us to become disoriented and disillusioned, but fortunately, it is a bark much bigger than his bite when he has been denied access to your life and territory.
 
Just today, my mother’s neighbor came to her door and her dog was on a leash. Of course my ill behaved chihuahua runs through my legs and out of the door. I watched, prayed and yelled as the older lady fought to keep her balance as her (rather large) dog jumped and howled in an effort to start a mad dash. I was baffled. It reminded me of the time we were at a pet store and Christian (I know, I know, sometimes he doesn’t live up to his name) began tormenting a full grown german shepherd. Eventually, the owner got my attention and asked me to pull Christian closer to me, because her dog was extremely frightened and was becoming unmanageable. I was BAFFLED that time as well. Christian could literally fit in the german shepherd’s stomach, but because the dog didn’t know her own strength, she was intimidated by a dog who had no ability to harm her.
 
German Shepherds are trained watch dogs, elite in the sense that they are chosen for police work, and here was one who had no clue about her lineage and ability. Sound familiar?
 
Many of us need to get back into the Word, become reacquainted with who God says we are and shut the enemy DOWN!!! When you live in obedience to what God has spoken, you have the authority to speak peace, protection and provision.
 
Here are two more doggy stories that will preach:
 
One day I was walking Christian on the bay trail and there were some children playing on the grass with their new [baby] chihuahua puppy. When they saw Christian, they became excited (as most children do) and Christian began to bask in the attention while staying very close to the puppy (he’s very protective). Soon a large dog approached with its owners who were walking him. Christian sprung into action, growling and barking and before I knew it, had jumped on the dog’s back and was trying to bite his neck. Guess what the dog did? NOTHING! Obviously, the dog knew Christian posed no real threat and being secure in what he was, remained unfazed as I YANKED Christian away for fear he would be eaten alive. What I want you to pay attention to is the fact that Christian was on a leash and was pulled off of the dog. Satan is on a leash too (please hold, while I get up and dance).
 
Okay, I’m back. On a sad note, here’s the last story. My father used to have a Boerboel. These dogs look a lot like Bull Mastiffs. After adopting Christian, I brought him to my parents’ home for the first time and we all went into the backyard to make the introduction. I made my dad come with me in case his dog tried to kill mine. Christian barked and growled, but Marley just stared at him like he was a little peon. Christian came closer and finally enough was enough! Next thing I knew, I heard myself screaming, because Christian was in Marley’s mouth. My father commanded, “Oh, put him down!” Marley flung Christian across the patio and when Christian finished sliding, I noticed his shirt was torn and everything. I was livid and began to scold Marley (from behind my dad of course) and before I knew it Christian was right back in Marley’s face snapping and barking. Christian’s anger was at an entirely new level. My dad just shook his head and said, “That’s one dumb dog.” I grabbed Christian and ran in the house. My point, Marley knew her territory and the rights she had within it. There was only so much yapping she was going to tolerate.
 
Now for the sad part. After my dad’s passing, Marley tailspun into grief. The dog who picked up my dog with her mouth, literally slapped Christian around with her paw anytime Christian got out of line, had suddenly forgotten who she was and who’s she was. Her territory didn’t matter anymore and Christian took full advantage. For the rest of Marley’s days, I had to stop Christian from terrorizing her. All Christian could do was bite her legs and jump up to bite her stomach and she would let him. She had no more fight in her.
 
You want the moral of the doggy post? I want to remind you that you have a Master who will NEVER leave you. You will always have the companionship of the One you serve. As long as you authentically represent Him, you will always have His backing. No matter what or who comes and goes, He will always be the author and the finisher of your faith, so no devil can place a period where God intends for there to be a comma. Often times, because of stress or emotional despair, the enemy’s bark becomes disorienting and we just want God to silence it. We must realize that often times, God just wants us to become unfazed by it, and be able to tune it out and work around and despite it, knowing that no matter how loud it is, it just better stay over THERE.
 
Pray this prayer with me: Father help me. I yield as I ask you to infuse me with strength. I am adopting complete confidence in your ability to protect and provide for me. I no longer want to be intimidated by a bark whose bite has no power to harm me. Reveal to me what you have placed in me. I KNOW WHOSE I AM! In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.