Playtime usually erupts when I am busy in the kitchen. Jake peeks his face around the corner, big brown eyes staring through me. A corner full of purposeful dog toys, he chooses my “just walked in” sock to antagonize me.

Why do dogs love to play tug of war?

Back and forth we go with my sock, his mouth and my hands, clutching. It’s silly fun and no one really wins. I try to be “dog like” and get on his level but he refuses to let go. Sometimes I have to pry my hands between his teeth to release the sock so it doesn’t rip! Eventually, he gives up, hopefully happier to have had some of my attention.

How many times have I done this with God? I’ve asked for Him. I needed His time and attention, then I play tug of war.

Spring 2006, I purchased a used German car. It was sporty and fun. I didn’t have peace about the payments but I drove away telling myself I deserved it. I figured I would keep it for two years. Two years turned into seven. After two years, maintenance and repairs tore into my credit and I was in a mountain of debt. I didn’t pray about the purchase. I had no idea I was supposed to.

Finally, when my mechanic told me the car was not worth repairing after a second engine block leak, I knew it was time to let it go.  This time I did pray. I had no idea how I was going to get a new car with no down payment.

Days turned into months and I left many dealers feeling rejected and defeated.

It was hard to let go of this car, but I felt fear every time I drove it.  In the season of its purchase, it represented a new state of being free and independent. I loved the moonroof!

Prayers were answered and a generous gift appeared for a down payment.

I left church on Sunday with courage and confidence. I drove straight to a car dealer. It was no coincidence that I met a car salesman who attended Discovery Church. We had much to share while the wheeling and dealing took place.

God took care of me in a big way that day. A deal was made only He could orchestrate.

I had no idea humbling myself in this conservative car would save me a ton of money on gas, maintenance, and inconvenience.

Each time I have to let go of something, I realize God’s replacement is better than what I had before. There’s more to His plan than I can possibly know.

Where are you holding on? Why not give up your tug of war with God and let the Almighty have His way in your life. His plans far outweigh ours. He’s got something great for you this year!

Nicole Santapola

About Nicole Santapola

Nicole Santapola began her relationship with Christ after 30 years of religion being a mainstay in her upbringing. Experiencing a divorce, Nicole found herself a single woman leaning on God's promises and learning both His faithfulness and love. She calls Discovery Church home. She began attending in 2002 and through bible studies, women's events, and restoration counseling, she was baptized at East Campus in 2006. Nicole has a passion to share God's love and encouragement to others particularly in the area of health and wellness. She has followed holistic health and nutrition and through education and cooking classes, she teaches and shares this with others. She loves to cook and bake mostly plant-based dishes in her home and visit local vegetarian establishments. Her walk began with Romans 12:2, "Do not conform any longer to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind".

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