He sure did love my ears!
Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, “For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.” For Jon and I, a season of grieving coincided with a two seasons of raccoons.
It’s hard when dreams die. Jon and I wanted children of our own, and God said no. Hurting, I blurted out to Him, “But God, I really want to be a mom – to have babies in my care who need me. Kids who look a lot like Jon, and a little like me!” I punctuated this prayer with a firm stomp of my foot.
Not long after this plea, God sent a little raccoon we named Fearless. For three years, God taught us about Himself and His creation through the time spent loving and being loved this little guy.
Many dreams die hard, and shortly after letting it go forever and stepping quietly into acceptance, God sent five more little raccoons into our lives in answer to our niece’s prayer. I love to tell the story of how my heavenly Father answered a little girl’s prayer (and He did!), but He was still in the process of answering the defeated cry of my heart.
Fearless came to us as a toddler. The five came to us as newborns. We “parented” all six with grateful hearts, until it was time to release them.
They kept us busy, which helped us focus on something besides the emptiness, and through them, God communicated something else to us: He was trusting us to care for five orphaned wild ones we believe He created specifically to comfort us. As He did that, He also showed us that He wanted us to use infertility to bring Him glory.
We loved the tender part and accepted the tough part knowing we could not fully understand the God who not only created the stars, but named them. I know this is true because His Word says so.
Psalm 33:6 (NLT)
The Lord merely spoke, and the heavens were created. He breathed the word, and all the stars were born.
Psalm 147:3-5 (NLT)
He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds. He counts the stars and calls them all by name.
How great is our Lord! His power is absolute! His understanding is beyond comprehension!
We chose to believe in God’s rock solid goodness and wisdom.
I am not able to completely describe to you how it felt when a raccoon willing reached for us, and then wrapped his or her front paws around our necks, all the while purring loudly. Or knowing we could trust them to sniff our morning breath the way a mother checks her child’s forehead for a fever. Or watching them fall asleep, upside down in our arms. Or the moment they saw us and ran to us as if they could hardly wait to hug us – which was true.
I remember standing in the kennel one very cold winter morning, holding Chatter, and feeling God’s quiet presence in her hug. Then laughing as Lucy climbed my legs to join in the love. And, to complete my delight the three little boys were churring and climbing the gate calling me to come and see them too.
It was then that I started to get a glimpse of God’s healing. In nurturing these wild ones I was being cared for by our mutual Creator. By accepting them, I received His gift – them. Yes, I’d have to let them go – the same way I had to release the dream – but their time in our lives was not an accident. It was personal. It was from God.
It took a while longer, but one day I realized God was using our dashed dreams, and that they were bringing Him glory. I have to tell you – that’s not because we are great, but because He is!
You can depend on God to keep His Word – maybe not the way we want or understand it, but according to His great goodness. And, testify to you that Psalm 34:18 is true.
Psalm 34:18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.
Until Next Time,