Amarillo the Armadillo


Photo by Hector D. Astorga

Today is one of those reminiscing days.  One of those gut-wrenching lonely days.  You know, those days where no matter what you do, you just cannot seem to get out of the ‘funk’.  Yea, it’s one of those days for me for sure.  Could be because it is 5-years ago today that I first met my husband.  The intensity of missing him is something fierce today.  But it is okay.  I know I will be okay.  It’s a process. This whole grieving thing is just a process.  “Trust the process” they say.  Okay, I will, but I trust my God more.

It’s days like today, that I can look back over the last 5-months and see all of the progress I have made emotionally, and spiritually.  But it also becomes more real.

Reality becomes more real.

I can vividly see how much more I have to go in ‘this process’.  It’s so easy to get ahead of ourselves in life.  It’s so difficult, well at least for me, to just ‘be’.  To just live in this moment and in this day.  Why is that so hard?  My mind is constantly wondering and worrying.  I am constantly trying to figure out God’s big plan for my life.  Or making sure I don’t mess His plan up.  Let me stop there for a second-  I can’t mess God’s plan up.  Nope.  I am definitely not that important.  How could little old me mess up the King of the Universe’s plan?  He doesn’t love me or anyone any more or less for their actions, good or bad.  (Obviously not a free card to sin.)  But his love is not based on merits earned by good behavior.  For some reason I have needed reminding of this lately.  I feel as if a million eyes are on me and I can’t mess up for fear of failure or gossip.  Let me just say, “Ain’t nobody got time for that!”  That quick sand way of thinking is suffocating.  It will cause us more chaos even if it’s only in the depths of our own minds.

Back to reminiscing… For some reason, today I cannot stop thinking of Amarillo the Armadillo.  Let me tell you the story of Amarillo.  It was fall of 2015, Cody and I had been living in our lake house for nearly 4 months.  It was after dark and Cody was in the front yard.  He came inside with a tense look on his face.  Before I could ask him what was wrong, he said, “I think we have an armadillo.”  Me, not being from Texas had never seen an armadillo.  I was kind of excited.  He of course looked at me like I was crazy and instantly said, “that’s not a good thing”.  Having the biggest heart for literally every kind of animal- I made sure he wasn’t going to kill this armadillo.  He assured me he would not kill this creature.  The next day he set a trap for him.  We checked the trap for two days.  We would coaxingly call to this armadillo.  If you know me- the woman who names every fishing lure and fish caught with the named lures- I, of course had to give this armadillo a name… So we called him Amarillo the Armadillo. No sign of Amarillo the Armadillo.  Then one morning while I was dressing for work Cody ran in the house excitedly saying, “The trap worked!  We trapped him!”  Cody had devised the plan of loading the trap in the bed of the truck and driving down the lake road where woods were predominant and then set Amarillo free.  He was insistent I go with him.  I eagerly agreed, excited for our little morning adventure together.  (It was always an adventure with Cody.)

I hurriedly dressed and walked outside to the trap where this very ugly, but very sad looking creature named Amarillo was encaged.  My heart burst for this helpless animal.  I know what you’re thinking- I’m crazy.  But our little bushes of forest in our front yard had become Amarillo’s home.  All I could think about was how we were trapping Amarillo, ripping him from his home, and banishing him to a faraway land for him to begin again.  I felt sad for this creature.  We were the ‘master’s’ of our land- the land that he decided to dwell on.  We had the say so if he stayed or if we’d end his life, or relocate him.  We were in control.  He was just along for the ride so to speak.  He didn’t ask to be trapped, or for his life to get turned upside down.

Cody loaded the trap up carefully, while Amarillo began heaving his body back and forth.  It was obviously his defense mechanism.  But under the aggressiveness was fear.  Fear of the unknown.

Amarillo was loaded successfully.  We hopped in the truck and began our morning adventure.  We drove for a few minutes and decided on an area near a little bridge surrounded with woods.  Cody retrieved the cage and set it on the ground.  Amarillo was trembling.  I wondered if he thought we were going to hurt him.  Cody carefully and very quickly unlatched the cage.  Amarillo literally sprinted out of the cage, heading toward the woods… His new home.  But, then he did the oddest thing… Halfway to the woods, he stopped, and turned back to us.  His little body was no longer trembling.  I swear he had a look of thankfulness in his dark eyes.  As fast as Amarillo the Armadillo came into our lives, was as fast as he disappeared.
I feel like Amarillo the Armadillo.
I feel like I was in a safe dwelling place in life.  I was content.  I was safe and in my comfort zone.  Then the ‘Master’, being God, came and scooped me up out of my dwelling place (current life).  I temporarily put myself in a cage- just as Amarillo willingly entered his cage.  My cage being my emotions, grief and fear of the unknown.  When my Master comes to jingle my cage, I tremble, for fear of the unknown.  But he knows where He’s taking me- just like we knew where we were taking Amarillo.  We knew he had nothing to fear.  We knew we were taking him to a better place and a place better suited for him.
I feel like Amarillo the Armadillo.  Trusting blindly of the Master’s plan…
“But I trust in you, LORD; I say, “You are my God.”” Psalm 31:14

“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” Psalm 56:3
I Trust my God, I Trust my God, I Trust my God….

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