After a few setbacks, Mercy and I are back in the saddle. God was dealing with me for a while, purifying my heart and humbling me. Back last November, I decided that I would let my Therapy Dogs Inc., (now Alliance Therapy Dogs) expire. I attended a Pet Partners workshop, then took the Pet Partners evaluation a month later. We passed. I saw a saying on the wall motivating me to give my life to serving God, for the evaluation actually took place in a church. I filed my paperwork, and received my credentials. I found out about the Animal Assisted care program at Inova Fairfax Hospital through the Pet Partners workshop I attended. It took a while, a few months to go through the volunteer requirements and in the meantime, no other prospects appeared to be opening up like two TB tests and a flu shot. I remember how depressed I felt as I dragged myself into the pharmacy to get the required flu shot. I was wondering, “Is this even going to work out or be worth it?” since it seems that for the last couple of years, my efforts went unrewarded. I have had so many trials and errors both in pursuing activities with Mercy and other areas of my life with roadblocks and such. I also took my fifth class in pursuing my Masters in the behavioral sciences department at Liberty University, Multicultural Competence in Counseling this past winter. It is only by God’s grace that I made it as far as I did. Even now, my computer seems to be resisting me typing up this blog. It is not how much one appears to be accomplishing on the outside, but what they have had to overcome that counts. I finally made it into the program. My first visit with Mercy to Inova Fairfax was on April 1st. We went this past Friday as well. It was so worth it. Mercy got to visit pediatric patients and get on the bed with them, wagging her tail the whole way, while the patients were overjoyed with smiles and giggles! Stacey Harris has been so helpful in initiating me into the program. Unlike some other therapy dog groups, where there seems to unspoken rules, the requirements of the Animal Assisted Care program are more explicit. I had also been invited to perform a shift at the Accessibility Conference, which took place a McLean Bible Church this past Saturday.
I am learning self-acceptance as I focus on believing that I am lovable, capable and valuable as I focus on God’s love. I depend on God’s goodness and righteousness. I shall continue to share His love with others and glorify Him as I do His bidding and pursue the highest cause in the universe, His kingdom.