We believe we encountered a miracle yesterday!

Our twin girls had our two Maltese puppies, Bella and Sophie, out in the backyard. We recently had a fence put in for a number of reasons, one of them being so the puppies could enjoy running freely outside. They absolutely love it and get extremely excited when we say, “Do you want to go outside?” They run around the house from room to room until we open the door. When we do, they bolt outside and run as fast as they can to get to the main part of the yard! They run as if it was the race of the century!

One of the things people love to do around here in Missouri and Illinois is visit Eckert’s Orchard and pick peaches, strawberries, apples or pumpkins, depending on which time of the year you go. They have lots of other family-friendly activities there as well, including pig races. Those little pigs are so stinkin’ cute. The way Bella and Sophie bolt out the door reminds me of those pigs bolting out of the starting gate as they race each other to the finish line. Ha – I bet Bella and Sophie could give them a run for their money too!

When installing the type of fence we purchased the company has to install them a little bit off the ground, but not enough for a puppy to get out… in most cases. We just happen to have a few places under the fence where we have extra deep dips in our yard. We knew we needed to do something about this potential problem so Bella and Sophie wouldn’t try to get out, but we hadn’t got to that project yet. Our girls always stay out in the yard with Bella and Sophie anyway because our Veterinarian said they are small enough that there is a chance they could be picked up by a hawk. NOT HAPPENING!

Even though we have had our puppies out in the back yard quite a bit over this past month and they hadn’t even attempted to escape underneath the fence, yesterday they decided to be extra adventurous during a very short period of time when our girls, Angel and Starr, were looking in the other direction. They got out.

I heard the girls yelling their names over and over again and quickly ran outside to see what was going on. Clearly the puppies were not in the yard, but we didn’t know exactly which part of the fence they had escaped under; therefore, we didn’t have a clue where to start searching. Our house backs up to woods on two sides which can make finding two 7 pound puppies even more complicated.

Even though the situation was serious and we needed to get out there and start searching, instead of just launching out in our own efforts I said to the girls, let’s stop right now, pray and ask God for help. We have an opportunity here to trust in Him.

Proverbs 3:5-6 says, 

5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
    do not depend on your own understanding.
6 Seek His will in all you do,
    and He will show you which path to take(NLT)

Can you believe it says that? He will show you which path to take! Wow. I got so excited when I looked up this verse tonight and saw that phrase. That’s exactly what we needed God to do for us yesterday and that’s exactly what we all need God to do for us every single day. And He will when we trust in Him, depend on Him, refuse to lean on our own understanding and seek His will instead of our own.

The emotional part of us three girls wanted to run out there and find our puppies and we wanted to do it immediately, but I’m so thankful to the Holy Spirit for prompting me to stop, pray and believe God.

We headed out the side gate and walked back into the woods and started searching all around that area. We called “Bella”…”Sophie” over and over again. Nothing. We were each looking in different areas because we had no idea where they could be.

The possibilities were so numerous: By this time they could be lost in the woods either behind our house or lost in the even larger area of woods (one acre) on the left side of our home. For all we knew they could have even made their way to the front yard and been close to the road that runs in front of our house, made their way to our neighbors property on our right or the large neighborhood that is close by.

While searching, I walked by a sewer and knew I couldn’t entertain the lie the devil tried to convince me of right then. What if they fell down that sewer? If they did, they’ll be dead for sure. I purposely ignored him and kept walking.

I’ll never forget what my pastor, Jeff Perry, said at Friday night church several years ago. He said, “Faith is just reliance on how good God is.” This is what was going through my mind during the search and what I was encouraging my girls to remember as well.

Instead of imagining the worst case scenario, especially after 10 minutes had gone by and we still hadn’t found Bella and Sophie, I just kept praying in the Spirit and saying, God, You know where they’re at. Thank you for helping us. Thank you for watching over our puppies.

I was screaming from across several yards to the girls every so often and reminding them, “I know this doesn’t look good at this point, but keep believing. Don’t worry. Trust God. He will help us find them!”

Thankfully, Starr finally found Bella at the entrance of the woods and then about 5 minutes later Angel found Sophie down this hill in the woods laying right next to another sewer. If she had just a little bit more time to be a little more curious, Sophie could have fallen into that sewer… but she didn’t.

Either puppy could have been picked up by a hawk, but they weren’t.

Any number of animals could have attacked them, but they didn’t.

They could have been bitten by a snake, but that wasn’t the case.

They could have made their way to the front yard, ran out into the road and been hit by a car and killed, but that didn’t happen.

We definitely don’t credit ourselves for rescuing our puppies. We credit God for showing us which path to take and for keeping them safe in the meantime!

Here’s the most recent picture of our Sophie Bear and Bella Cakes, as Starr and Angel have so lovingly nicknamed them!

If you have not yet made Jesus your Savior and received the wonderful joy that His finished work on the cross has provided for you to live in, please visit my page here titled Jesus In The Driver’s Seat. On this page I explain the good news of the gospel and you will have the opportunity to pray a prayer of salvation, making Jesus your Savior! Jesus loves you and His arms are wide open!

Sandra McCollom

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