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Goodbye, Sweet Adventure Cabin...Hello, Next Chapter (Part 3 of Finding a New Home)

Updated: Dec 31, 2021

Gonzo and I last left you with this promise from God, “Come see what’s just around the corner. I have something amazing planned JUST for you!” He always does and it always happens at the very last minute. Watch and see…

Well, God showed up brilliantly…at the very last minute!!! Just like I said He would!

On December 1st, Gonzo and I moved into our warm, new home just in the nick of time! The first real snowstorm of the New Hampshire winter moved in on us that very night, but we were snug and safe.

The wonderful Adventure Cabin (pics below) had progressively grown colder and colder and we had gotten to a point where our kerosene heater was only capable of making half the cabin livable.

But on December 1st, as the temperature dropped outside and the show blanketed our little world, Gonzo and I slept warmly and soundly. I was especially delighted to have just taken a shower across the hall from my new bedroom, rather than showering down the road at a generous friend’s house then driving home in the cold.

Let me back up to tell you the awesome ways He works…

I was at a gathering the first week of October, when a sweet couple in their 70s beckoned me to chat, as I was walking past them. The wife was very demure, quiet, and petite and the husband astounded me with the words of encouragement he had for me.

I certainly never expected to hear words like, “You have the Holy Spirit all over you and you can see the Armor of God on you” at a party. I wish I could remember all the lovely and surprising things he said, but the one thing he kept repeating was, “You have an appointment!”

He would emphasize this important appointment with a finger pointing at me. I wish I had asked if he knew what that appointment might be.

A few weeks later, this sweet, uplifting light of a man passed away unexpectedly.

I was shocked and saddened that someone who offered so much encouragement was suddenly gone. A lot of people felt the same.

We had just met, but I HAD to take something to his wife to let her know her loss mattered.

I was told she was staying with her husband’s niece, for the moment, so I contacted the niece to see if I could stop by.

I was surprised at how easy, yet involved our phone conversation was and she invited me to come over. I later found that someone from my church had recently mentioned to her that she “needed to meet my friend, Andi.” The niece was wondering if I was the same Andi.

I was.

Delivering the pie to the niece’s house seemed like a normal visit with a grieving family, to me. I guess it wasn’t.

The service was held at my church, in mid-November. Afterward, the niece’s sister came walking directly up to me very purposefully and pointedly. I thought I was in trouble.

She immediately began thanking me for bringing the pie and for what an impact my presence had on her sister.

Me: “Huh?”

Apparently, I brought some sort of peace and calm, or something, into her sister’s world. I wish I could remember exactly what she said, but I was in such shock that anyone would think of me or my presence as being peaceful or calm, that I missed most of it.

I picture myself as a tiny, annoying, bulldozer on most occasions. The picture she was painting, in my head, was of a graceful dove dropping little poops of peace on the heads of all around.

This family sure was all about encouraging people!

The next day was a Sunday and the family of the sweet man decided to join us at the church where his memorial service had been held. At the end of the church service, one of the members asked, from the pulpit…for all the world to hear…

”Andi, are you still homeless?”

Just kidding! That was just how I heard it. What he actually said was, “Andi, what does your housing situation look like?” I told the congregation I had an appointment that afternoon to look at a place in Candia (about 2 hours away.)

After the service, the niece and her sister came up to me and said, “We don’t want you to move to Candia. We want to keep you here.”

My thoughts: “Seriously? Why? You just met me. I’m pretty sure I’m not THAT cool.”

I went to Candia and quickly realized that Gonzo would happily murder the two other dogs on the property. It was a fantastic place that even had a shooting range on site, but, once again, Gonzo’s dog hatred got in the way. Gonzo’s Root of Bitterness had grown up, caused trouble, and defiled many potential homes for us. (See Hebrews 12:15 to understand how hilarious that is.)

I hate to admit it, but the positive outlook I had took a bit of a dive when the Candia place didn’t work out. It had been an unusually mild November, but how much longer would the warm weather last?

I was sad and God quickly put me in contact with a friend, who just vomited encouraging words all over me without even knowing I needed them. I am so blessed to be surrounded by so many uplifting people!

Four days later, I was praying and told God I needed a hug. I don’t usually hear long messages back from Him but did this time and wrote it all down:

“Little But Mighty! I love you so much. You are so strong. I had your mom name you “strong’ for a reason. Everything is in a name. Think of Jacob or Peter, whose name I had to change. I named you at birth. Remember? Your mom hadn’t even picked one out. I showed her the one, ‘Andrea.’”

“I knew your name before you were born and I chose you. You are mine! Tell me your heart’s desires. I will give them to you, but maybe not on this earth. There is so much more than this earth. I can’t wait to show you. You have a special place here.”

“Remember [the husband’s] words, “You have an appointment!” (He says, “hi.”) You do! You don’t see it yet, but remember what I told you. A storm is coming and you’re in My will. Hang on and hang on to me. You’re in my palm. Keep picturing my hand over your head. It’s still there. I am preparing you. I am toughening you up. You will be strong for those around you who can’t be.”

“Andrea! Strong! I named you and your name is written on my heart. I will carry you and I will save you. You are mine! Keep writing and keep sharing. That’s all I need.”

What was this appointment I kept hearing about? And what an odd word to use.

At church, three days later, I was again asked about my housing situation. I informed the church that the place in Candia did not work out, but that it wasn’t freezing yet and God always showed up for me at the very last minute. Apparently, we had a few minutes left and I was sure He had not forgotten about us.

After the service, the wife approached me. She mentioned that, since her husband passed, she was now in a big house by herself and wondered if Gonzo and I would like a place to stay with her through the winter. Guess what! She had no pets for Gonzo to terrorize!

How exciting! It looked like God was showing up again at the last minute in an amazing way!!

Gonzo and I went to visit our potential new home to see if we would be a good fit for her. Gonzo performed beautifully just by being his awesome self and the wife, the niece, the niece’s sister, and the wife’s son all fell in love with him. It’s pretty hard not to.

The home, which had been built by the husband, was so beautiful, and inviting and there weren’t any dogs even nearby for Gonzo to hate. We were blessed to be invited to live there for the winter and it has been such a win-win for everyone.

Gonzo and I are safe and warm for the winter in a beautiful home; I feel needed and have a wonderful new friend; the wife now has help with the new chores she’s suddenly been tasked with; she has someone to make sure she’s eating breakfast and dinner; she has a comfort-dog to lick her tears; the family doesn’t have to worry about the wife being alone; the son is thrilled I’m indoctrinating his mom into the world of organic and non-GMO food; and Gonzo, the people dog, doesn’t have to be alone all day and has plenty of space to roam and play and hunt chipmunks.

God kept the temperatures bearable until we moved. They immediately dropped into the teens once we were safe and warm in a place with electricity and running water.

My experience in The Adventure Cabin will be one of my favorite memories. I can’t count the number of times I walked outside of it, looked around, and prayed God would etch the images I saw into my brain forever. The striking country church across the hayfield; the looming mountains; the fog and mist that would cloak the mountains and field; the stars that would dance, seemingly so close, above the cabin at night; and the moon eerily illuminating the clouds above the cabin all created some of the most beautiful images anyone could be blessed to see.

Had I taken the easy way out and given Gonzo away for a more convenient life, like so many had suggested I do, and had I broken my promise to him to never abandon him, I never would have gotten to grow through the struggles and trials of roughing it in The Adventure Cabin. I never would have gotten to experience all the beauty and alone time with Jesus there that made those 2 months so amazing and life-changing. I never would have gotten to see how intricately God weaves seemingly random lives and events into beautiful tapestries that could not have been foreseen.

What did I tell you? God would provide something amazing for Gonzo and me at the very last minute. He did!

In an age of unprecedented uncertainty in our country and world, keep seeking God’s Kingdom first and He will provide in the same way for you. You have no need to fear, and you have the opportunity to dance into the struggle with Him leading the dance. It will be a fabulous adventure full of surprises, hidden treasures, and new escape routes at the last minute…until you’re called home.

There is so much more to write about how God is using my obedience in keeping my promise to my dog, but this is already long enough. Stay tuned to read the story of the Kai Ken connection…

Part I - Gonzo's COVIDventure Continues

Part II - What's Next? What's Just Around the Corner?

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