Here I go again on my own. Traveling down the only road I’ve ever known.
“Whitesnake,” the 80’s rock band had it all wrong, though I love that song.
Some days, it may feel like I’m walking alone, but deep down, I know I’m not.
I have many, many reminders over the years.
I’d been on a long distance call with her dad for several minutes before I actually noticed my 3 year old daughter wasn’t on the porch with me anymore.
Going back in the house and looking all over, I couldn’t find her anywhere.
Over the slam of the screen door, I heard the dog’s relentless barking.
Bingo was her nam-o.
I wasn’t a farmer, but we lived on a ranch about 17 miles outside of town.
I was the big city girl who did the big city bail out and knew nothing about ranches, though there were certain things the locals taught me immediately.
Important things like, “If you see a gate open, you leave it open. If it’s closed, close it.”
And, “Always carry a gun or a very big stick when you’re out walking.”
I didn’t have either. But I did learn to make some pretty tasty homemade jam.
Following the echo of the bark, I went out again to the front porch and looked down the dusty red dirt road that led to our little cottage.
There she was!
Oh! Thank God!
What a good dog to keep her from falling into the cattle guard openings, I thought to myself.
As I was running down the road, I yelled, “Good girl, Bingo!” but as I came up on the scene, the barking got louder and louder.
I hadn’t even noticed the real danger until it was almost too late.
She was standing in defense position, right between my happy baby girl, and a really ticked off rattlesnake.
My heart dropped into my chest as my body froze at the same time.
I had to purposely stop myself from racing to grab her and began to move very, very slowly towards my little girl.
Bingo was dodging the striking rattlesnake as I swooped Natalie up and jumped back several yards.
The tail rattled.
A chill went up my spine.
Tragedy, diverted by a Rat Terrier.
And an awesome God.
I do not walk alone.
“Fear not, for I am with you,” he says.
He’s been with me every step of the way.
He’s been with me in the miry pit, and also on those beautiful red dirt roads.
He walks with me everywhere, everyday….and carries a very large stick for my protection.
I don’t always see the danger, but He sees it all.
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