Guide Dog Tales Vol.14


By Carolyn Dale Newell

Wide sidewalks bustling with excitement were once frightening. Since Iva guides me, I love them. Our first road trip with Iva was a weekend in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. She learned multiple routes in a short time. We began with the hotel and church in Johnson City where we had the women’s conference. Afterward, we drove to Gatlinburg. Iva learned a second hotel route plus the way to the trashcan. Next, Iva walked from the hotel to the convention center. It’s been six weeks, and we are in Gatlinburg again. We love East Tennessee. Rain pours down outside our balcony door as the mountains fade out of sight with the setting sun. Six weeks later, Iva still remembers: the hotel, the convention center, and even some of the rest areas we stopped at today.

This afternoon, Iva and I showed my husband, Timmy, how we navigate these big city sidewalks. It reminds me of White Plains, New York, where we trained during my time at Guiding Eyes for the Blind. I am amazed how well I am getting around the hotel without Timmy. That is how sheltered my life was before Iva. Always waiting on Timmy, never leaving his side. Of course, last time, I did get confused when it was dark, on the way to the trashcan. I called Timmy to help us. When he found us, we were right at the trash can where we were supposed to be. How comforting to know that Iva knows where to go, even when I am unsure.

I had no idea how to get out of the maze in a ladies room today, but Iva knew. Our Christian lives work similarly. We don’t understand why trials happen. We don’t know what lies ahead, but God knows. I have learned I can depend on Iva. Haven’t we learned we can depend on God? Of course! Really?

Why do we still fear? Why are we anxious? God’s got this.

The problem lies within us. We doubt God, even though we may not admit it. We start with faith, trusting Him. Along the way, faith wains, and doubt slips in.

Every time, Iva shows me how intelligent she is, I am going to remember God. It will remind me God is my divine guide. He has all wisdom and control of what may appear as my out-of-control life.

What can your reminder be? May I make a suggestion? Recently, I set a reminder on my phone . Every day at noon, my iPhone dings and voice over reads a Bible verse. After a week, I have memorized the verse. Here is a great Scripture to stretch our faith:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. Prov. 3:5-6 NKJV

We must trust! And we must trust whole heartedly, leaving no room for doubt. When we rely on our own understanding, we are setting ourselves up for something much worse than not finding the trashcan at the hotel. Wouldn’t our lives be better with God directing our paths? That is why we must trust.

Iva and I are a team, and it is important for me to know where we are going. However, God needs no co-pilot. We may not understand which direction our lives are headed, but God knows. Let’s enjoy the journey as God pilots our ships.


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