Guide Dog Tales Vol. 13



By Carolyn Dale Newell

In March, our church made a trip to the Annual Maple Festival in Monterey, Virginia. Iva did great. I’ve never seen a crowd she cannot cut through. They had tables set up in a food court area. Iva could not fit under the tiny table. With the crowd, she could not even lay down without being stepped on. She sat beside me, watching me devour some maple goody. I kept one hand on her back, more for her safety. Several times, I felt her muscles jump as if she was restraining herself from lunging after my delicacy. She controlled herself better than I could have.

The last weekend in March, we attended Iva’s first women’s conference. A ministry I write for has several women’s events annually. In order to have a successful day, we brought Iva to the church on Friday to learn routes from my book signing table to the restroom and prayer room.

We made several trips in and out of the hotel that evening. There was a step, a landing, three steps, and a landing three more stairs and a landing, another step and another landing and then one more. I failed to stop at each set of steps to praise or treat Iva because they were numerous. If only I had made the time to praise her for showing me each step, I could have avoided an accident. On one of the landings, Iva veered left, and took the step without stopping, and I fell. I didn’t get hurt, and we realized iva saw some kittens on the left. The kitten distraction with my failure to stop and praise made a nasty combination.

Our women’s conference went great. Of course, everyone was interested in Iva. She is a great conversation starter, giving me a chance to share my testimony. The women from Grace Fellowship in Johnson City Tennessee went above and beyond to show kindness toward me. Their church was hosting the event. Kindness is a quality we all can afford to share.

A few weeks later, while near home, I fell again. This time, it was neither my fault nor Iva’s. A tree root had pushed the sidewalk up and it was one of those places where you may trip, but only fall if you hit it just right. After two falls, I became very cautious walking. I guess I lost some of my confidence in Iva. I knew she would pick up on that, so I worked through it. The next time Iva came to the place where I had fallen, she stopped several times. She may always remember it.

When life throws something at us , we react in the same manner. We get a bit leery of what will happen. We find ourselves lacking trust in God. It’s not God who lets us down. It can be our own choices, or just life. Yes, He allows it, but we must trust Him more, not less.

I’m not sure what would transpire if I lacked trust in Iva. Nothing good, I am sure. That is true with God. A lack of trust is sinful. I can’t imagine doing life without a complete confidence that God has my back and everything else. A life with trust is greater than a life with terror.

Have you ever experienced what it is like to lose someone’s trust? Imagine how God feels when our faith wains. I can almost see it from His view, thanks to Iva. Let’s not fail to trust our guides and our God.

Copyright 2017 Carolyn Dale Newell.


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