I’d love to introduce you to the newest member of our family, Nala Doodle Dixon!
We think she’s pretty perfect, although I need to let you in on a little secret: a few weeks ago she wasn’t.
We are a goldendoodle family. Our first goldendoodle, Dixie, was the BEST family dog and we knew we would eventually get another one when Dixie passed away in 2014. So when a friend referred us to a local family that had a litter of goldendoodles this summer, we thought it might be the right time to welcome another doodle into our home.
We visited the new puppies and Thomas hand-picked the one that would come home with us in a few weeks. We named her Nala and began gathering our puppy supplies. And then the breeder called.
Nala had a heart murmur.
We knew that it was not uncommon for young puppies to develop an innocent heart murmur that would soon go away, but there was no way to know for sure. We had two choices: we could keep her and take the chance that it would go away or we could wait for a puppy from the litter planned for next year.
I talked it over with my husband and his response was this: “We’re already in love with her. If she has a health imperfection, that’s just how we roll in this family. We’ll keep her.”
I’ve thought about his response so much over the past two weeks. It spoke of his willingness to take risks on the things that he loves and it reminded me to trust God with the unknowns in my life.
The easy way out would have been to wait for a perfect puppy. But if we’re waiting for things to be perfect, we might miss out on the things that would bring us the most joy today. How many times have I wasted an opportunity for blessing because I was unwilling to deal with imperfection? If having an incurable genetic disorder has taught me anything, it’s that we can’t afford the luxury of waiting for all the pieces to fit perfectly. Life will move right along and we might miss the sweetest parts of it if we aren’t willing to get our hands dirty.
Every day, you and I wake up with things that are broken, imperfect, and ugly. If we trust Him, God promises to transform it all. He’s not just working on the broken things around us, He’s also working on the broken things in our hearts. Day after day, baby step after baby step, one divine brush stroke after another, He is redeeming and refining every detail of our story, until the day when we’ll stand perfect in His presence.
Two weeks ago, Nala’s breeder joined us in praying for her heart. We took her home on Wednesday and then took her to the vet, who happily told us there was no evidence of a heart murmur anymore. We were thrilled and so very thankful. And I can attest that this very day she is bringing us much joy.
Take the risk this week. Say the prayers. Step into the broken. Give all your imperfect things to God and trust Him to work. He’s waiting to bring you joy.