My day yesterday was turning out to be a better-than-average one. Shopping at Target in the morning, lunch with friends, time to myself, sunshine filled skies...you know. That kind of day.
Everything was going great.
Until my dog finished eating her dinner at 4:30 pm.
Then things started to go horribly wrong.
My daughter Lauren and I wanted to run out to a local store about five o'clock, but just as we were about to leave, Lucy, our golden retriever, was hunched over trying to cough something up. Silly dog, she ate too fast again, I thought, and I asked my son to keep an eye on her while we were out. He gave me a puzzled look as he was not too sure what he was supposed to do with a hacking dog, but agreed to watch her anyway. Lauren and I left and as we were driving out, my husband was driving in. Good, I thought. Someone to check on Lucy.
We headed to Chico's. Sale items. Could this day get any better? Laughing and shopping, I happened to check my phone as we left the store. Seeing a voicemail from my husband, I gave a listen. His voice was full of concern; he had Lucy in the van on the way to the vet - something wasn't right. She wouldn't stop choking.
As my husband tells it, he pulled in to the vet's office only to find it closed but the doctor was still there because someone in his office parking lot was stuck and needed a jump for their car. The vet agreed to take a look at our doggie, but by then she seemed to be doing fine; there were no physical symptoms present. The vet decided to send my husband and dog home but the moment they were to get back in the van, she started choking again.
Now the doctor saw what we had seen and immediately checked her out. "Something's definitely wrong," he said. "Her stomach is like a rock. You need to get her to the emergency vet services now."
That local store I was in at 5 pm? It's less than a mile from the vet. I had Lauren drive me straight there.
Once there, I hopped in the van with my husband and very sick dog and away we went, directions in hand from the vet and fear in our throats from what this night could hold. Once at the center, they took Lucy in for an exam and eventually called us back. A very kind doctor there informed us what we were facing.
Basically, our dog's life or her death.
Surgery was an option, albeit a costly one, but without it there was no hope; our precious dog would perish. Tears sprang to our eyes and our mouths went cotton dry as we were tasked with this decision. Time was of the essence and every minute we took to decide was a minute more of danger for her. We looked at each other and immediately had our answer.
Upon hearing that, the ER vet got procedures in motion. She mentioned she was amazed that we got our dog there that quickly from the time this all had started until then. I thought back through the events of the evening and realized things had aligned perfectly for us to move through the necessary steps from beginning to end swiftly; from me going on that odd shopping errand which put me almost next door to the vet's office, to my husband arriving home just as I was leaving in tag team fashion, to the vet providing a needed jump to a car in his parking lot and still being there for us after hours.
Not coincidences. God-incidences.
God showed me once again that as Christians, we aren't spared the uncomfortable, unfortunate, troubling times of life. But in them, He goes before us to pave the way to help us through them, never leaving us alone to figure it out on our own.
God knows what we need and when we need it. Even when we don't. Especially when we don't.
He used an event yesterday to blow me away at His timing, His orchestration of events, and His placement of people.
It only makes me trust Him more.