following God into an animal shelter
by not one sparrow on Monday, February 9, 2009 at 10:40pm ·
not one sparrow's Notes
The following is the first of two parts from a testimonial graciously submitted by MeLissa
Notes About Me Webber, about how God wouldn't give up on bringing her ever deeper into the life and work
of a shelter:
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Report I am privileged to work in the animal welfare field, more specifically: animal sheltering. The
shelter where I work is in Southern California, and sees over 5000 animals a year. Because
we have city contracts to perform animal control services, we are an open admission
shelter. This is a shelter which takes in any stray animal that comes to its doors.
Regardless of age, breed, shape or size we take it in, and we give it a name, bed, blankets,
food and respect.
I came to the shelter as a volunteer dog walker. I had been working with the same
corporation for six years and was becoming restless. There was a job opening up at the
shelter, but unfortunately I didn't get it. Another position became available a few months
later, and even though I felt the Lord’s nudging, I decided not to apply. I'd already begun
making arrangements to move two hours north, closer to my parents, and my pride still
stung a bit from not getting the first position. Despite my decision, God kept putting it on
my heart to apply. And finally, I acquiesced.
Nothing moves quickly in the world of non-profit. It took two months for me to go through
the interview process and for the job to be offered to me. And in that time God was rapidly
changing my life. My constant companion and the love of my life Karma, a Rottweiler mix,
passed away. And doors were slamming shut at the corporation where I'd had a spotless
career. When the job offer first came, I balked a bit at the money. They said they would
see what they could do and get back to me. But when they called with a number a week
later, I didn’t even care. I knew I was supposed to take the job.
I began my employment with the shelter as the volunteer coordinator. It was actually a
perfect fit as I'd begun volunteering pretty regularly after Hurricane Katrina. I think it’s
something we should all do, give of our time. Nothing will make you feel better than to
serve, but I’m off topic. I was the volunteer coordinator for several months when the
position that I’d originally applied for became available, director of operations. I didn’t
think anything of it at first. I didn't get the job the first time around, at least so I believe,
because I didn’t have any experience in the animal welfare field and they wanted somebody
“bigger,” or somebody with a degree perhaps.
One morning during my time with God He laid out almost perfectly the path I was to take to
get the job, down to what I was supposed to say when I approached the executive director
and told her why she should consider me. But once again, I talked myself out of it. Oh,
what God could do with me if only I could learn to listen the first time ... Still, God had a
plan and He didn’t need my help. The next day my executive director asked if I would
consider reapplying for the position. And boy, would I!
I share my story so you can see how I came to be in the animal welfare world. That is where
God wanted me, and where He put me. And I am blessed. My life is such that many
mornings when I'm driving to work, I just can’t believe how blessed I am to do what I do.
And then I get to work.
to be continued ...
(post and photos courtesy and copyright MeLissa Webber)