Most people know by now that I adopted a dog this past February. If you don’t know, we haven’t talked since February because I have become one of those people. You know the ones I’m talking about- you can’t have a conversation with them without their dog coming up, and it seems like they have a specific formula for how many people pictures they can post on Instagram before they put another one up of their dog. (Friend pic, sunset, random object, dog, repeat.) I didn’t think that would happen to me, but I honestly can’t control myself. I mean, look at her… Can you blame me?
There are some downsides to having a dog for sure. Having to take them outside while you’re sick is hands down the worst. But I have been constantly surprised by how much I have learned since bringing her home. (Her name is Riah, btw. As in Mariah without the “ma”.) I have gained a lot more patience than I ever thought possible; I know that I definitely don’t want a kid for at least 10+ years; and just because they make something for a dog doesn’t mean your dog is going to like it. Besides all these wonderful lessons, I think the biggest lesson I’ve learned from Riah comes from the way she handles storms.
You see, she HATES storms, and I mean, really hates them.
As soon as she hears thunder, she comes running to me to get as close as she possibly can without suffocating me. It could be 3 p.m. or 3 a.m., this dog does. not. care. All she wants when a storm comes is to be near me. Literally on top of me.
I was thinking about this the last time we had a big storm, and something struck me (lightning pun intended) about this behavior of hers. How different would my life look if I drew close when storms came? In case you’re not following, I’ve moved on to talking about metaphorical storms here. Because here’s my usual chain of events when some storm comes my way:
- Avoid thinking about it as much as possible
- Maybe watch a couple of episodes on Netflix
- Ignore any incoming texts
- Respond a day later to previous texts with a “sorry! yesterday was crazy.”
- Make plans a week out to actually see people (this is where the storm starts to fade)
- Resume life as normal
I know what you’re thinking- this girl is super unhealthy. And in this case, you would be right. When bad things happen or I get stressed, I don’t like to draw close to people. I like to avoid them. I don’t like them to see the messy parts of my life because I can’t help but think that after seeing it, they might now want to see the good stuff either.
This is where Riah comes in- she ALWAYS draws close. Not just during big storms, but during EVERY storm. Because she knows I’ll be there for her. That I’m a safe place to come to. That I won’t get mad and think less of her. I’ve proven that to her over and over again in the last six months. So this is what I’m working on: when storms come my way, I’m going to draw close and not avoid.
I have people in my life who have proven they’ll be there for me, and by not drawing close, I’m stealing an opportunity for them to be Jesus away from them. That’s so selfish of me, and just so I can avoid the small discomfort of being vulnerable.
So here’s to not being selfish. Here’s to drawing close.