The Bright Side: Doubt, dogs and divine intervention

Published 2:25 pm Monday, November 21, 2022

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I can’t say I believe in coincidences anymore. Too many things have occurred at “just the right time” for me to sit here and say they were by chance. I believe that even the most unlikely and absurd of circumstances are not simply happenstance, but caused by the work of someone much, much greater than I. And the funny thing is that these events seem to happen for me in times of extreme doubt.

What is the one thing that would make you happier if you had more of it? The large majority of the population would agree that the answer is money, financial security, etc. Well that’s something I struggle with regularly, the desire for abundance. Yes, I do water my money tree regularly just to try and help boost the bank account. But I often doubt that I’ll ever be in a place where I can afford to buy my parents a house, let alone myself. I pray every day that God will take care of us, but some days it’s hard to see through the thick cloud of doubt.

I was having one of those “down days” earlier in the year while walking my dog with my fiancé, Eric.

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“I just wish we didn’t have to worry so much about the finances when it comes to the wedding,” I was saying to Eric when my dog suddenly tugged us to the left side of the road. I was just about to discipline my pup for the out of character movement when I caught a glimpse of what he was so intently sniffing. It was none other than a $20 bill. Yup. Right there on the side of the road. I looked around to see if someone had been walking around or if there was a wallet nearby, but there was no sign of someone looking for lost cash. I looked at Eric, who looked back at me and we both started laughing. What are the odds?

We kept walking for a few more feet and my dog, again, went to sniff something. Another $20! I can’t make this up. I was in shock. I looked up at the sky in that moment and thanked God. This was much more than simple serendipity.

During the summer, I had the opportunity to take a class to continue my studies in healing. I truly felt God calling me to take this class, but it was a fair amount of money and with the uncertain times, I couldn’t put up the funds. There was no way I was going to take this class unless I was granted a miracle.

In the spring, I had leased a new vehicle after trading mine in. The monthly payments were about the same as they had been on my old car and I had firmed everything up with Toyota about a month prior to when this class was starting. It was a normal Thursday afternoon, I had just finished calling a client about a home they had wanted to see the next day. I walked down to the mailbox, took the envelopes out, sorted through them all and placed them on the kitchen table. “More bills, as usual,” I said to myself while exhaling deeply. I couldn’t open up the stack just then. Things were tight and the last thing I needed was to be reminded of what I owed.

Monday morning rolled around and I looked at the untouched stack once again. I picked up one envelope from Toyota, figuring it was my monthly statement, and opened it. To my incredible disbelief, it was a check. The note stated I had overpaid on the down payment for my car. What led me to fall down on my knees was the fact that the check was for the exact amount that my class was.

Tears streamed down my face. I called Toyota to make sure they had not made a mistake, but they ensured the check was intended to compensate me for what I had overpaid. Coincidence? Not a chance.

These are only two of the countless examples I have of when God reminded me not to doubt.

Don’t overlook the small (or big) happenstances: You go to pay at the coffee shop and you’re $.20 short, but a quarter just so happens to show up in your pocket or wallet. The friend you randomly had your mind the day before calls you out of nowhere. You find someone who shares your vision of a conceptualized business plan just as you were looking for an investor or needed a partner. That intense craving for a pizza nags at you all day long up until your husband walks in the front door with a pizza box in his hand. Are these all some crazy chance occurrence or is there a greater force at work here?

Here’s what I will leave you with: Pray. Constantly. It’s no coincidence (haha) that every time I open up my Bible to a random page it lands on the parable of the persistent widow. Don’t lose faith; it’s okay to have times of doubt, but it shouldn’t take divine intervention to remind you that God is so, so good to us. Look for the small things in every hour of every day that remind you of what He has done for you. Seek Him and if there is something you desire, ask for it!

And before you discipline your dog for tugging you in a direction you weren’t headed, make sure you stop to look at what’s caught his attention.

Danielle Puleo is a staff writer for The Coastland Times. Reach her at