Lessons learned from a Guinea Pig

Vanilla and Butterscotch

Butterscotch and Vanilla. No, they are not flavors; they are the names of two guinea pigs I own. Vanilla is very vocal, he squeals whenever the refrigerator opens because he thinks I am going to get him carrots. He also loves to be petted and purrs loudly whenever I do so.

Butterscotch on the other hand is a very quiet pig. He looks around with inquisitive pink eyes and never lets his guard down. I can count on one hand how many times he has purred for me (and they were very quiet purrs).

As I was petting them one day, I realized something: how such small creatures had such different personalities. And it made me think of God. God could have made the whole world with only a few varieties of animals and we would never have known. But no, he created a vast amount of life, each unique.

Then I thought about how God could have given each animal a bland personality. You know, all dogs the same, all horses the same, all mice the same. But instead, he infused each animal with its own personality and quirks.  He placed his fingertip on each one and left it unique and special, all for his glory.

I stopped petting Butterscotch and Vanilla. Butterscotch looked at me inquisitively while Vanilla tried to position his body under my hand again.  I looked at them and felt such awe at a God who is so connected with his creation. Even the smallest detail never escapes his eye.

Amazing how God used two little guinea pigs to reveal Himself to me 🙂

In Darkness there is Light

This is not only a tagline for the kind of fiction I write; it is a tagline for my life. When my husband was laid off and went almost a year without work, there was light. When my son became so ill he stopped breathing and had to be lifeflighted to Portland, there was light. When a lump the size of a golf ball was found in my breast, there was light.

It wasn’t a blazing light; it wasn’t a burst of sunshine. The darkness that filled my life during those times felt so overbearing that I felt I would be crushed beneath it. Save for that light. A single, solitary light, like the flicker of a flame above a small candle.

That light in my life was Jesus.

Perhaps it took such dark circumstances for me to see him. It can be hard to see a candle in broad daylight. Perhaps it took turning everything dark around me for me to finally see him, much like a candle in a dark room has a way of grabbing our eye.

But I finally saw the one who in His word says I am the Light of the World. Jesus became more to me than just a quick five-minute devotion time or a prayer thrown up in haste before I went out the door. He became more than dressing up in my best for Sunday or begrudgingly giving time to watch kids in Sunday school.

He became real. And so did I.

Those first few nights after my husband was laid off, I finally told God how I felt. I was real with him. I told him I was scared, angry, alone. And when my son stopped breathing in my arms, I screamed to God I needed a miracle. And when faced with the possibility of cancer not once but twice in my life, I realized how limited life is and nothing but people can leave this world with me.

During the darkest times in my life, I finally saw Jesus as more than an icon for a religion or a distant Sunday school story. The knowledge of him I carried around in my head for years finally sunk down into my heart. Now I can say I finally know God, or at least on the path to knowing him more fully.

There is a lot of darkness out there. But in darkness there is light. And his name is Jesus Christ.

In Darkness there is Light

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