The Signs in the Seasons

Ever since my last medical mayhem which ended up being resolved by a pacemaker, I had been ruminating as to whether I was strong enough to handle my position as a K-9 dog handler for my churches Comfort Dog Ministry.  I enjoy working in this ministry and have had many moments where I felt God’s presence.  And Moriah is a sweet and loving dog.  While Moriah is well trained and continues to be trained by the ten of us handlers; she is, after all young, and there are times when the temptation to chase a lizard or two is just a bit more interesting than following our commands.  She is overcome by exuberant excitement and loses control of herself and her mind.  And that is where it gets a little challenging for me to get her back in focus.  Thad reminded me that Moriah is just 3 years old and still discovering the world in her sphere.  She is by all accounts a teenager.  One moment acting very adult and the next a toddler!  Ahhh so true!

With the diagnosis of osteoporosis, two hip replacements, two hip dislocations, and one fracture of my acetabulum; I might be bionic but not unbreakable.  Fear of falling became upmost in my mind. With fear came a myriad of questions.  Was there something I was doing that she felt she could take advantage of me?  Was I not holding the lead correctly, saying the right verbiage?  Was I taking chances with my health by continuing?  How did God want me to balance what I had a commitment and passion for with taking care of myself and staying healthy?

While I prayerfully considered working in this ministry I did not ask God what position I should take.  Rather, once I felt God’s approval to become involved in the ministry I jumped at being a handler because it would garner me one to one time with Moriah. And truth be told – there was a sense of pride that I could handle a dog so well; after all I have had dogs all my life.  But as my mother used to tell me “The devil wipes his butt with pride”.  Ouch!  Not nice but the message was clear.

As I continued to ruminate, I found there were times when two Handlers would go to an event and I played the role of the Ministry Partner.  I thoroughly enjoyed my time.  My team mates would often say I was a natural at it.  In fact, it was then that I began to question what my role in this wonderful ministry should be.  Was God giving me a sign?

But I had my pride to think of, right?

So there I sat with my worry, with my prayers to God about what to do and my constant ruminating day and night. “God show me what you want me to do”  “Give me a sign – even hit me over the head with a frying pan if you must”

The incidences did not go away and in the last incident I barely was able to hold onto her and not fall on the concrete walkway.  It took me five minutes to get Moriah to regain her composure and about 15 minutes for me to stop shaking.   It was then that I knew that God was indeed giving me a sign.  Not a frying pan but just as painful.  And —

God had been giving me signs all along.

God was with me and I need not be shaken.  Psalm 16:8 reads “I have set the Lord always before me; because He is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.”

I’d be damned if the devil would use my Pride against me!

I knew being a Handler was something I could have done in an earlier season in my life but I needed to accept that I was no longer in that season.

With my enthusiasm for the ministry I was so busy telling God what I should do that I failed to listen to God.  I realized it was time to see this ministry assignment differently.

I knew than that while I thought I was better suited as a Handler, God knew my role was to be a Ministry Partner. The Ministry Partners are the eyes, ears and voice to ensure that Moriah is entering a safe place.  No runaway medications on the floor, no stray tissues to ingest or the ever tempting candy being held by a child or stuffed animal she thinks is hers.  Ministry partners seek out those that may be in need of comfort, mercy and compassion or just a furry hug from a sweet dog named Moriah.  They pray, share the ministry with those they meet and pray with them for any concerns they might have.  I love people!  I love making them smile and I love helping, showing compassion and mercy.  Thanks to my involvement in The Walk to Emmaus, I am comfortable in public speaking and praying out loud.  God knew what was best for me and it just took me a while to see it.

But God is good.  He promised us that these trials would purify and shape us.  1 Peter 1:7 states “These trials will show your faith is genuine.  It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold – though your faith is far more precious than mere gold.  So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.”

My experience with this ministry is not unlike surviving medical mayhem.  We often want to jump into what we think is the solution to our medical care only to find out that a “simple fix” isn’t the cure.  Then there’s that pride again.  While we are consulting with family, friends, doctors and specialist we forget to arm ourselves with the word of God.  We forget to consult the Great Physician and ask what His message is for us.   It may indeed not be the easiest path we would choose for ourselves but it will be the one that the Lord has set out before us.  One must learn from the mayhem while still finding joy in their passions and the good amidst the not so good.  Being thankful for what we can do and not ruminate over what we cannot.

Mark 2:21-22 tells us –

“Besides, who would patch old clothing with new cloth? For the new patch would shrink and rip away from the old cloth, leaving an even bigger tear than before.

 “And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. For the wine would burst the wineskins, and the wine and the skins would both be lost. New wine calls for new wineskins.”

What is Jesus telling us?  I believe He is telling us (me) that in this season I must seek a new way of thinking, seeing and proceeding in life. Stacey Pardoe, Author of the devotional Space for Your Soul to Stretch suggests that one prays for their thoughts to become agreeable with God’s thoughts.  She asks the questions “What if this entire journey isn’t even about the way my life is unfolding?  What if it has everything to do with learning to walk with God in a step-by-step sort of way?…Is this pursuit more about trusting God than reaching a goal?” Check out her website at  Thank you, Stavry.  I needed to read that.

Seasons of great strength come and go, ebb and flow.  Those that survive it seek God, listen to God, find strength and refuge in Him and learn that each season has beauty of its own.

What season are you in?  Are you fighting against nature, physical effects of aging or disease?  How have you sought God’s wisdom in surviving and even thriving during this season?  Where did you see the signs? Where have you found the joy amidst the turmoil?  Please share so others may join in the conversation.


Thank you for reading my post.  If you have found it encouraging please consider liking, commenting or sharing it.  Feel free to even re-blog – may these words take flight!

I have additional insights I’d love to share with you found in the pages of my debut book: Surviving Medical Mayhem – Laughing When It Hurts.  To order a copy or learn more go to my website at

Blessings for Health & Wellness.


Comments (2)

  1. I love this!

    November 4, 2022 at 8:29 pm
  2. […] I recently wrote about the change of seasons in my life and the need to view the events from a different perspective.  See my post at […]

    December 2, 2022 at 5:28 am

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