Above my desk I have a sign that had hung in the original office before the hurricane, it was high enough we were able to save it, and it reads:

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. ~ James 4:8

I’m a visual person so when I read this sign I envision myself literally being brought into an embrace by God. The picture to the left reminds me of what this might be like. There have certainly been moments in my life that I all I could do was draw near.

Some might question, “But why do we have to draw near first? Why can’t He just be with us?” And I don’t think I would’ve been able to honestly answer this question unless God hadn’t given me a visual with our new rescue dog – Foxy. She was left on December 31st near the local high school. She is a 6lb Chihuahua/Terrier mix and would have literally frozen to death. I’m assuming by God’s grace she ended up in our family, though it was the last thing I felt we needed when we still don’t have a home to live in!

At any rate this dog apparently was beaten quite often because every time we go to pick her up she backs away. The only way we can get to her is if she comes close to us otherwise it’s a game of chase and we don’t have time for that.

In many ways we can be like Foxy. So beaten up from our past that we protect ourselves by backing away from God. We don’t trust what His plan is for us, or that He will keep us safe, or even grant us our greatest desires, so we hesitate and often back away to where it’s difficult for Him to bring us in to hold.

To know that safety, comfort, and security we need to draw near to God so He is able to draw near to us.

Trust me, I know that when we have gone through so much in life it is so hard to let it go and receive His promise that He will bring a greater good. But it is HIS PROMISE that happens to be what keeps me going. He has taken my past and made diamonds out of the dust. Over and over again He has shown me that He is good on His promise, therefore, there is not need for me to doubt it this time.

His promise is what has kept me sane in these past 14 months. His promise is what allows me to write this blog the day after my sweet 3 1/2 year old Weimaraner, Millie, passed away in my arms. She was a gift from God during a very difficult time of my life. For three years she gave me love when I felt unlovable. She forced me out of bed to take her for walks which kept me from being stagnant and falling into depression. She was a 70lb lap dog that had to be on me at all times or at least next to me which forced me to learn to give affection, not just to dogs but to my own husband. I never understood what an emotional support pet was until she came into my life before I realized the sufferings I’d be dealt.

For Millie to have been diagnosed with Lymphoma, with it already spread throughout her liver and spleen, on January 30th was a shock. The fact that she faded before my eyes in less than two weeks was bewildering. And for her to die, of her own accord, on my bed yesterday was a blessing – a difficult one to receive.

Now it is time for me to take what she has taught me and to move forward showing the love, energy, and care she forced me to give to those around me and to myself. No longer will I back away, instead I will draw near.



Learn more about Shannon in her two books EXPOSED and REDEEMED available on Amazon.