As I watched Dakota chase the ball in the backyard, I marveled she ran with abandon. I could tell that she felt free and safe, very different emotions than the one that sparked her 42-hour adventure this past weekend.
Six days ago, Dakota ran out of extreme fear. She had been enjoying all that our friends' farm had to offer: another dog to play with and several cats to chase, chickens, a rabbit, and kids to interact with. The loud crack of a falling tree spooked her, and she took off, trying to get away from whatever horrible thing she perceived was happening.
She was surrounded by the same loving people who had been taking care of her and playing with her for two days, and she was completely safe. But all rational thought left her pretty head in that moment, and all she could focus on was fleeing fear.
I see myself in Dakota.
I’d like to think I possess greater reasoning skills when faced with sudden, unforeseen, perceived danger, but often my reaction is similar to hers. RUN! FLEE! TAKE CONTROL! I can jump to a conclusion, determine a course of action, and set the wheels in motion before someone can get my attention, slow me down, and correct my perception.
This happens most often when I believe it’s all up to me. When I think that I must protect myself, that I must discern the best way through, that I must avoid failing at all costs, I forget Who I’ve trusted my life to, Who is truly in control and loves me.
Just like Dakota, I’ve bolted.
In complete hysterics, I’ve gone off on a crazy tear down some unknown country road, not knowing where I was and not knowing that until I finally stopped to catch my breath.
But it has always been the quiet Voice of the Lord that has guided me back to what I knew to be true, back to reality, back to belief.
When my dear Girlie came back from her adventure, she sniffed out the yard and rested. During this week I’ve sensed that she has become increasingly more aware that she is Home, that we are the people who deeply love her. She knows she’s safe, so she can play fetch and run. Freely.
Today, watching Dakota, I remember, too.
I can run because the Lord deeply loves me and has set my heart free.
How do you typically respond to fear? What has helped you find your way back?