What I learned about trust from my dog

My dog barks at shoe polish.

You read that right. He growls and barks and his hair stands up when he sees shoe polish.

A few months ago, I was cleaning a closet in our apartment and sorting things out. I left my husband’s shoe polishing kit on the floor. When our sweet, but skittish dog Pudge saw it there later that day, he barked at it.

But it wasn’t just that. He barked once when he saw a towel wadded up on the floor and when we moved to a new house he barked at a huge bouncy ball that the neighbor’s kid accidentally kicked over.

We’re a neat family and super organized so everything has a place in the house, and we began to notice that Pudge barked when things were out of place.

The shoe polish.

A towel on the floor.

A ball that wasn’t his.

And I realized two things. 1. My dog is strange. 2. I think I do it too.

I’ve sat in job interviews where I just knew something wasn’t right, that the job wasn’t for me. I’ve been asked to step outside the bar and I knew I shouldn’t. Something raised an alarm in me.

This is about trusting yourself because you are stronger and smarter than you think. Trust your fears to tell you what you need to be wary of and trust your gut to tell you when to go for it.

The best part of this is we have a God who promises to guide our heads and hearts if we ask it. I have to ask it everyday.

People might think you’re crazy sometimes because you want to pursue acting and not a law degree or you want to volunteer in Africa instead of go to graduate school. God has blessed your heart and head. Trust in that.

Ladies, this next part is for you. Men can be smooth. Believe me, I’ve been there. But that doesn’t mean they overcome your ability to think for yourself. Have faith in your gut when it tells you something isn’t right about the guys around you. I had a friend tell me once she walked out of a man’s apartment when something “clicked” in her head that something wasn’t right. She didn’t say goodbye. She didn’t wave. She told me she would never forget the look of surprise on his face as the door shut.

God has blessed us with strength and skills and he’s constantly directing our hearts. Maybe you’ve heard his voice echo in your ears before. Maybe you feel like he wasn’t loud enough before.

I’ve been there, too. I’ve pushed on broken relationships and wondered why God didn’t stop me before I made a fool of myself. But then I heard him to tell me to let those things go. And I heard him telling me to forgive. And I heard him telling me to try again.

It’s OK to be cautious and skeptical. Question the things that don’t feel right and don’t stop trusting yourself.

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