When I Lay My Isaac Down

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It was the news we’d been eagerly anticipating yet anxiously dreading, for we knew it would change our lives in so many ways. It wasn’t good. Not good at all. But after two extensive DNA tests, the results could not be denied—Barnabas is a pitbull/boxer mix. That may not sound like a life-altering revelation to you, but for us, it means we cannot take him with us to Wales, for pitbulls are among the banned breeds in the UK.

After all the time and hard work we’ve invested in our pup to gain his trust and assure him we have his best interest at heart, now we have a difficult decision to make. Barnabas needs a new home. He needs a family who will love him as a child, welcome him despite his sometimes temperamental nature, and enjoy the lovable personality he brings to the mix. The question is, when? When should this change take place? With Jason and I traveling more and more for deputation, it makes sense to re-home Barnabas sooner rather than later, but I don’t think either of us is ready to say “Goodbye.” All of our pets have been “till death do us part” pets. We’ve never had to give one away, and it’s heartbreaking.

At the same time, we know God wants us in Wales, so we must go. We want to go. We just don’t want to have to leave Barnabas behind. In this moment, I have an inkling of how Abraham must have felt when God commanded him to sacrifice his son, Isaac. Isaac was the promised son, the one Abraham waited on for so long. Why would God give him his heart’s desire then ask him to give it up? It seems cruel. But as we know, God’s ways are not our ways, and He had His reasons for asking such a thing of Abraham. Fortunately, Abraham obeyed, but at the last minute, God stayed his hand.

God gave us Barnabas about a year and a half ago, and in that time, we’ve developed a great bond. Our wary pup has come so far, learned so much, and given such love. But now, for whatever reason, God is asking us to give him up, and there’s no promise that God will swoop in at the last minute and make everything right. Nevertheless, we must follow Abraham’s example and obey. We’ll lay our Isaac down. It breaks our hearts, and we don’t understand, but after all God has done for us, it’s the least we can do.

Please, please help us pray for guidance at this time. We need to determine the right time to find our lovable mutt a new home and find the perfect family who will accept him as he is because he is certainly one of a kind, and I say that in a good way.