We stood there helplessly as the dog viciously mauled our little Popcorn to death. We tried to intervene but held back due to the danger that we ourselves would have been put in. The type of dog that it was, many people have been bitten and hurt seriously and so I did make every effort to do what I could but it was not enough to save her.
Seeing our precious kitty being ripped apart by our neighbor’s dog was a very painful thing to see. In the last moments before her death, a woman was passing by hearing the commotion and stopped to help. At a loss as to what to do and crying, this woman told us that she was a nurse. We took Popcorn back to the house with her barely breathing and the nurse explained to us what was happening to our Poppy. Within seconds, our loving Popcorn was gone.
For days the images of what we saw (my teenage daughter and myself) were difficult to erase. Especially painful for my daughter Daniela, age 16, who loved and played with her since she was found abandoned at four weeks of age. Daniela also had a lot of anger too. As much as she loved God, the anger would often dwell up inside of her which led to depression and sadness.
The hardest part in all of this was the question of why God would allow this to happen. However, we began to see that God was with us throughout this most difficult time and that there was a plan in the making even though we did not see it at first.
We found that Popcorn’s death was not in vain. You see, the owner of that dog was going to be a father in the coming weeks. That dog who never showed violence before would now be a huge danger to that newborn baby, so I believe what happened to Popcorn was a warning to this father. God also provided that day the nurse who walked by. She had the wisdom of understanding what was happening to Popcorn’s body and prepared us for what was going to happen. We never saw her again after that day.
Even still, the pain was hard to bear at times and so Daniela asked if we could get another kitten. That request of one kitten became two. Then the request became more detailed – needed to be one boy and one girl, with one of them being black in color.
My only answer was, “I will pray about it.” After dropping Daniela off to youth, I happened to run into the Pastor and his wife and shared with them the story of what happened to our Popcorn. They responded in shock and then shared with me that there was a woman in our church who took in feral cats and would rehabilitate them to prepare them for homes to be loved. They also said that they believed a couple of kittens were also being cared for and I should seek the woman out to learn more.
So, without telling Daniela, I called the woman to ask her more about the kittens. I was surprised at her answer. “I have one boy and one girl and one of them is black in color,” she said. God heard my daughter’s request completely. When I picked up Daniela after youth, I told her the story. She sat there with tears streaming down her face. “God really did hear me,” she said.
That day was also pivotal for Daniela. You see, she has been through a lot in her teen life and she wondered if God truly did care for her. She was starting to wonder if she should continue to follow God because why would a loving God allow her to experience such pain and sorrow. She learned that God never stopped listening and that He had a plan in place before she even asked for His help.
As a Christian teen, you may question God on why you have to endure pain and suffering. Believe it or not, if you ask the most devoted Christians if they wanted to live a life of suffering or a suffering free life, they would chose the first one. They would tell you that they grew more in their faith and trust in Him when they went through their darkest times.
If you look at Job, Esther, King David, Paul in the Bible, I bet you that not one of them would have traded their difficult and painful lives for something better. What you can trust is the plan that God has for you. You may not see the fulfillment of that plan immediately, but know this; His plans are above and beyond what we could ever hope for.
Those new plans were to give a home to Frappuccino (a type of coffee) and Gelati (which is layers of flavored water ice and your favorite ice cream in the middle – two favorite things that Daniela loves.
Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:2-4