As my time at Parkway Veterinary Hospital draws to a close, I am left with a flood of emotions. I have never had to leave something I loved so much, but I know in my heart to do anything else with life, besides full time ministry, would be living in sin. I have been preparing to enter this new chapter for almost 3 years and there have been plenty of schemes and sidetracks meant to derail me from God’s best, but I have kept the faith, stayed the course, and fought the good fight. I have learned so many things while working in the veterinary profession, but one on the most profound realizations I found occurred while observing a pet’s outlook on life. Animals choose to live their lives to its fullest potential, and are therefore not anchored to past hurt or grief. Animals also show little concern for the future because they live in the moment. We as humans spend way too much time in our lives either trying to fix the past or avoiding the future and we spend way too much time worrying about both.
Leaving the Parkway family is truly going to be a bitter sweet occasion. Dr. Waits has treated me like I was his son and that truly made me feel loved and needed. There is no possible way I can express all he has done for me and there is no way I could ever repay his kindness or his acts of love, but I am sure he will receive his reward in heaven and I just pray that while he is here, that God anoints everything he sets his hands to and that God blesses his family abundantly for all they do and for the way they live their lives. Meeting someone who is as loving & caring as him is rare, but working for an individual with these same godly traits is even more uncommon. I will truly miss our times of fellowship and getting to see his faith and love in action. The best way I can describe Dr. Waits is love with skin on; he is truly what a Christian should be and he lives his life seeking God daily and is truly a man after the Lord’s heart. If something brings glory and honor to the Lord’s name, you will find this great man doing it. Every person at Parkway has played a vital role in preparing me for this next chapter in life and I will truly miss working with all of them. The very thought of not getting to see each of them regularly and not getting to hear what is going on in their lives is going to be one of the hardest parts of leaving.
I know the only way I can move forward to receive the many new blessings God is waiting to pour out into my life is to let go of the old because the things of our past, no matter how great they were, pale in comparison to what God is waiting to bring to fruition. The saddest part is that He is often waiting for us to just take one step of faith before we can see the awesome things He is waiting to show us. Can you imagine wanting something so bad and all you had to do was act justly, walk humbly, love mercifully, or simply take one step of faith in something God was calling you to, only to stop just before the finish line? Having run this race, I can tell you: we all have come too far to stop now! We have to stop allowing fear of the future and guilt from our past to hinder us from God’s best in our lives. God can and will use our past, present, and future when we surrender our lives to Him. He will use our past mistakes to minister to people walking through similar circumstances; He will use our current stumbling blocks in life as stepping stones to bring glory and honor to His name as we overcome them. When we trust in the Lord, our future will be bright enough to overcome any adversity. Each day, God pours out a new measure of mercy and grace to make it through anything we are struggling with. He doesn’t give us what we need to make it through tomorrow; He gives us exactly what we need to make it through today. This teaches us to rely on Him and to seek Him daily.
There were times as I was waiting for this ministry opportunity to happen that I had complicated letting my dream die and to just give up, but Hebrews 10:35 reminded me, “Do no throw away your confidence which has great reward.” We constantly miss out because we give up when things become hard or uncertain. What we must remember is that God’s timing in everything is perfect and His will for our lives is so much better than anything we could ever hope for. This principle is hard for most people to grasp. How can God know what is best? He can because He sees the end from the beginning and He knows the outcome to every choice we make, as well as the consequences they lead to. It is darkest just before the dawn, so if you are doing something you know you are called to do, I want to encourage you to just hold on a little bit longer. A brand new supply of mercy and grace is on its way and you too will soon have your reward. If you take one thing away I hope it is this: Whatever your heart longs for, you must never give up on. Keep on asking and you will receive God’s perfect will. Keep on seeking and you will find His perfect peace. Keep on knocking and the door to His kingdom will be opened to you.