If I’m being completely honest, words have been hard to come by these days. I’ve been overcome by loneliness and depression, and stress has had a hold on me more than I care to confess.
This fall has been hard. Even though this time of year is one of my favorites, it gets tainted with the sting of a husband working long harvest hours day after day. I find myself crying out for help around our little homestead, only to be met with the echo of a cold, empty house. This time of year, the helping hands that once surrounded me are now at school and involved in their own passions and activities.
Tears fall hard and fast these days. I don’t really know where I belong in all of this, in this area and this stage of life. I feel so alone and at times, abandoned by those whom I love most.
But then God sent me a beautiful gift to remind me where I belonged.
That’s gifts name is George.
George is a Nigerian Dwarf Goat and he was a last minute addition to our two bottle babies that have stolen our hearts. We never intended to add to our goat family, but when one of the babies got very sick and it appeared his end was near, we scrambled to find a playmate for the healthy baby. Goats, after all, are herd animals and need to have a friend or their loneliness and stress can overtake them. They need each other it seems.
The morning we were to pick up George, our sick baby was miraculously healed! We debated for a while but decided to still bring him home, mostly so if anything happened to one of the babies, they would have a buddy to do life with.
Or so we thought.
The moment I saw George I knew we were gonna be buddies. He was sassy and a complete goofball, and it only took about 5 minutes to realize that no one was the boss of that goat (which I secretly adored)! He promptly jumped out of the pin and continued to for days, no matter how secure we tried to made that space.
It didn’t take long to realize that George was a very social, people-loving goat. And the second he hears my voice each morning, he promptly ricochets out and comes running over to me. It doesn’t matter what I am doing, that goat is my shadow. And thanks to his healthy appetite, he even helps out and clears poison ivy and trims the trees.
And when I’m not outside, George waits for me perched up on the cat house positioned in front of our porch window. He looks so peaceful out there, actually. That goat doesn’t have a care in the world! He watches the ducks on the pond and the bald eagle pair flying overhead. Occasionally he will jump down and grab a snack or headbutt a cat, but then he’s back up on his perch looking in the window at me.
George lives to be with me.
As I watched him out the window one day I couldn’t help but wonder why he choose my presence over the companionship of the other goats. I mean he’s a goat – he belongs with other goats, doing goat things. He needs them, doesn’t he?
But George feels like he belongs with ME. And that realization hit me hard.
In my stressed out state, I had forgotten how outside of the box my Lord is. I have been trying so hard to find where I belonged and find the people that would make me feel accepted as I am. But the Lord used that goat to remind me I already do belong – walking right next to my Father.
I had forgotten that just because it seems like I should belong in a space, doesn’t mean that I do. The Lord created my heart to be free-spirited and carefree, and I had forgotten that I don’t need to belong here on earth to live that out.
I had forgotten that I belong in who I am in Jesus.
Every single day I belong in Him.
Every single minute I belong in Him.
And that changed me. My anxious heart has started to sit calmer these days. And although my loneliness still threatens to overtake me, I smile when George knocks his hoof on my door in hopes I will come out and play. And I even laugh more these days, as I am finding more joy in the everyday details of my life.
Because I am NOT alone.
And I DO belong.
And thanks to George’s example, I anxiously await the quiet time with my Father and jump when I hear his voice. I will seek Him until I find Him in my daily life. And I will patiently await until He calls my name. We may even rock on the front porch together with that crazy goat.
And who knows – I may even head-butt a cat. It does look kinda fun…