Foxy came to us nearly 10 years ago as a stray. Bob’s first thought was to shoot her because she looked like a fox and no healthy fox would get that close to people. Erego the name Foxy.
Mother’s Day weekend in 2020 was cold. Very cold indeed. We brought Foxy in Friday night. I let her out in the morning to do her business. Bob took her out noonish and thought she would follow him around while he tinkered in the garage/yard. Not that she’d do much following, she’d been pretty sedentary those days, especially since the passing of Cowboy the prior spring. The wind was frigid so Bob’s tinkering was short-lived. Foxy’s near deaf so he motioned for her to come in but she showed her disinterest by not giving up her spot by our swing in the yard. I doubt the air effected her much, her coat’s incredibly thick. Hey, the animal wanted fresh air. When she wanted to come in we’d gladly receive her.
We checked on her periodically but she still showed no interest in coming in. Then, when once again I looked out, she was gone. Just like that. Gone.
We hated to think it but wondered if she ended up in a ditch. She never was really road savvy. Bob didn’t find her there. We were bewildered as to what might have happened to her as she didn’t move fast or far. About 2 weeks after her mysterious disappearance we saw vultures circling the hillside across from the road where we live. Bob bemoaned not knowing for sure what happened to her. If she had died he had at least wanted to give her a “proper burial”.
I wrestled with her disappearance for different reasons. It had been that March, perhaps April, when I was thinking about making plans for her care as camping season would soon be upon us. Suddenly, the LORD says to me, “Things will be settled with Foxy by the end of June.” Her sudden disappearance in the middle of May was disconcerting. Disappearance is not “settling”. Did I hear the LORD right?
The days after Foxy’s disappearance plodded on. Bob had had hope, but it, like Foxy, had vanished.
Stay with me as it may seem like what I’m about to tell you next isn’t connected, but it is.
On the last day of April, we had a visiting pastor minister to us. He was preaching on waiting for promises for 5, 10, 15 years and he basically said, “In the next 30 days you are going to see the beginning of the fulfilling of those promises.”
I could go into detail about some of the promises we’ve been holding onto but now is not the time for that. Suffice it to say, we had been holding to a promise as a couple for 20 years and I had been holding on to a personal word for 30 years. “In the next 30 days . . . .” I received the word with gladness.
The girls did major bedroom cleaning in that spring. Due to covid, I guess a lot of people did. It warranted having a yard sale and, boy did we! People came by the droves just to have some semblance of normalcy. One young woman asked if she could have her picture taken with our wares so she could share “First yard sale of the season” on Facebook. That was funny. So was the woman who said her son left her somewhere because he said she could have 10 minutes but she took 15. We had a lively conversation and a lot of laughs with her.
The girls went to collect our sale sign at the sale’s end at the intersection near our home. Laura came in with an expression on her face that I’d never seen before. She scared me.
“Mum,” she said, “you’re never going to believe who we saw walking on the road!”
I was mystified. She looked like she’d seen a ghost. “Who?”
For 2 days I walked around in shock. While ruminating, I felt prompted to look at the calendar. Foxy returned to us exactly 30 days after her disappearance. Thirty days. We found out that a neighbor had taken care of her. We never saw her because she was in their backyard, across the street. Imagine, gone 30 days and she was literally on the other side of the highway. I was just as mystified by her return as I was by her disappearance. In fact, I had written in my journal that, “Foxy departed as she came, quiet and unexpected like.” But was this the “settled” that God whispered to my heart? It was only the beginning of June when she returned so I kind of thought not.
We have a departed friend who used to say that the physical realm mirrors the spiritual. In light of this I asked Mum what was the meaning of Foxy’s return. She said her first thought is that Foxy represents restoration. She was restored to her home.
“You and Bob have had a lot of things stolen from you over the years. You are going to have it restored. You are moving into a season of restoration.”
As if to reinforce her immediate thought, a friend that the girls had lost contact with nearly a year before suddenly emailed them and made plans to camp with us. Restoration.
Has God said, “‘You are healed”? Then you are healed.
Has He said, “I will supply all your need”? Then all your need is met.
Has He said, “It is well”? Then be at peace.
Has He said, “Vengeance is Mine”? Then let it go.
God who spoke cannot lie. Not won’t lie; cannot lie. Sometimes it is difficult for us to grasp the things of God because we have allowed ourselves to become too familiar with humanity. Take my husband for instance. Occasionally he sells things. Sometimes people call and say they’re coming to look, we wait, and they never come. On different occasions people have even given us cash down on the item he is selling but they never return to pay in full and pick up what they said they would purchase. Humanity has taught us that it will fail us, it will let us down, it will lie. This is the experience that we walk in everyday. God is wanting us to look past our experience with humanity and place our hope in something we can’t see, Him and His Words. And He’s asking us to hope until faith comes and we do see. This is alien to many of us. But until we grasp this we don’t get to experience what:
“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” 1 Corinthians 7:9
And He does love us, so very, very much.
And what of Foxy? She quietly passed away on a Sunday afternoon, June 28, 2020, before our first camping trip of the season. Things with Foxy were settled.
Those words that God dropped into our hearts, let’s hold on and don’t let go. They will all come to pass.