There it was, my favorite chair stool sitting in my closet that I sit in every day….to pray, to think, to listen to the quiet.  That chair has been a place that has become kind of a retreat for me, from the noise of life.  I always place my face in my hands and rest on the arms of the little chair when I pray.  And without skipping a beat there is a nudge….a wet nose that wedges it’s way in between my hands to make sure I am ok.  Sweet Holly….always there, always my prayer buddy, always there through every emotion I have felt….sitting in that chair, making sure I was ok.  But today it was just me, no nudge, no checking to see if I was ok….no Holly.  I always told Holly when I was sitting with her, she could never leave.  I would not be able to make it without her there.  And somehow this past week….her look was different.  It was as if she knew what was ahead.  As if to say, “of course you can make it without me!” And as I sat there today in the quiet….the words of Amazing grace kept playing over and over in my mind.  Grace…..God’s amazing grace.  I have felt that grace more this week than I can even describe.  God truly gives in proportion to our need just when we need it.  And to be honest this week I have needed bucketsful.  

I love the story that Corrie ten Boom talks about with her father when she was upset thinking about him dying someday. 

As was his habit, he sat down at the edge of her bed to tuck her in.

“Corrie,” he began gently, “when you and I go to Amsterdam – when do I give you your ticket?”

Corrie sniffed a few times, “Why, just before we get on the train.” 

“Exactly. And our wise Father in heaven knows when we’re going to need things, too. Don’t rush ahead of Him. When the time comes…you will look into your heart and find the strength you need – just in time.”

I love that story and often think about that ticket in my own life.  Jumping ahead on the “what if’s in life only cause anxiety.  I have learned to never say never, because when God’s grace is present, that “never” can be changed into something wonderful and full of miracles. 

The day I dreaded for years….my goodbye with Holly was one I could not even talk about without bursting in to tears, but when the time came this week, God handed me the ticket of grace that would carry me through.  I have never felt such grace at a moment where pain was so palpable.  It was sustaining, it was beautiful.  And today as I sat quietly in my prayer closet, sitting on my little chair asking for God’s grace to be there with me because I missed Holly so much, I felt him nudge my heart and say “Open your eyes Lisa…..Grace was there all the time.”  And as I opened my eyes there was my Gracie, literally…my Golden Retriever Gracie…..her full name “Lisa’s golden jewel of Grace”….nudging my hand with her paw, as if to say, “it’s ok mom….I can take it from here”. Grace was there all the time.  Literally and spiritually.  God knows what we need when we need it.  He holds the ticket that guarantees we will never be alone, and will always have the Grace we need. When we see the least….remember God sees the most.  His grace is truly sufficient.  

2 Corinthians 12:9