Hooray, it’s Friday! Every Friday, I join a special group of writers to write for FIVE MINUTES on a one-word prompt. No editing. No revising. Just WRITE. This week, the word is LOYAL! Go!
“ Oh Jesus, Please! I need to sleep.” But sleep would allude* me. I kept hearing sounds. Imaginary voices of intruders, once again prowling the halls and violating our spaces. It was terrifying. No, they hadn’t hurt us. Yes, they only took “stuff.” But we were definitely changed, forever, never again to go back to that place of simple innocence.
Enter Bella, a high-strung, Jack Russell puppy who needed much love and attention. Given to us by some South African friends, she was the perfect distraction from the trauma. Feeding, caring, training… I was busier than ever.
I NEVER wanted a dog. No time or energy for one more need. But my need for security became louder than my need for space.
“Oh Jesus, I need sleep.”
I even went for counseling to help with the nightmares. (You see, the robbers had come in while we were asleep, right into our rooms. Thank God, we never woke up.)
On September 4th everything changed, for it was the moment when I knew that someone other than my sleeping husband would be able to protect me. A friend of ours had come to fetch his daughter from a birthday party. I was holding Bella when he reached to pet her. Before I could blink, Bella bit him.
I was mortified and delighted all in one fleeting moment. (Sooo sorry, Zoon.) This crazy dog that I didn’t even want in the first place had become my defender.
And that night, I slept.
This brief free-write represents six months of recovery from the time of the robbery in February 2009 to this unexpected moment of breakthrough. It was an intense time for our family of discovering what we truly believe about God, and determining in our hearts to not abandon our calling because of the trauma.
Bella was God’s gift to me. She has continued to be my Loyal Shadow for all of the years that we’ve lived here in South Africa. She follows me everywhere and faithfully protects us from ‘evil’ birds and ‘scary’ postmen. She’s caught lizards and mice, cheeky pigeons who attack me in my kitchen, and the biggest rat I’ve ever seen. She’s stopped at least 5 or 6 home intrusions that we know of, never mind all of the times when we weren’t home. She has chewed through fences and squeezed through gates in order to chase random pedestrians down the street (how embarassing!), but I KNOW that the kids will be safe at home if Bella is with them.
And although I am still mortified when she treats my friends like the enemy, I am sooo grateful that God answered my prayer for security and sleep with this crazy little dog.
* Haha! So, playing by the rules is “hard on the pride.” I know I misspelled ELUDE and wrote ALLUDE instead, but that’s part of the FMF agreement. No rewrites. Eish! Does anyone else struggle with the intense desire to self-edit after?
For more information on Five Minute Friday, check out Kate Motaung’s site!