Back home in Malaysia, I've got two furry friends, Dixie and her baby Lilac who's turning one in human years.

Mum and I took Dixie off the streets as a puppy, and she's been with us for seven years. But that wild, free-ranger spirit of hers still comes through even today. And apparently, Lilac has inherited it even though she was born in our home.

Now, being Pariah dogs (free-ranging), they absolutely HATE baths. Or being clean for that matter.

In fact, when I bring out the dog shampoo, they smell it and try to run away. I have to put our Dingo-crossed-Jack Russell-looking doggies on a leash during and after their baths or they'll try to go roll in dirt again!

But while the water's filling up a bucket, I give the dogs a good cuddle and belly rub and coo "It's okay, I'm here brave girl" over and over until their shivers ebb away. And for the rest of the bath, they're pressed up against my belly where they know it's safe.

And they know it's safe because I'm right there, getting soapy and wet with them. They are not alone because we are sharing that very "horrific" experience.

Sometimes, I feel exactly like a Pariah dog going for a bath. Dreaded family crises, nasty colleagues, and massive Uni assessments are unavoidable - but honestly, at times I'm very much afraid to face them. Afraid because I don't know if I can handle them.

What's amazing, though, is that I can so simply ask God to just "be with me", and with faith, that fear will ebb away. Praying for God to BE in the room implies that He has gone away, but that is far from the truth.

God is always there, always ready to be comforter, father, and friend. In fact, asking Him to be with me is more asking Him to help me be aware of His presence.

Because God is in the process.

He wrote my life story and knows my wildest dreams and deepest fears. And when we become aware of His presence in our everyday, it becomes so much easier to rely on a good God who is always ready to help us be people that overcome, people that conquer, people that build up the kingdom.

Blessings, Mabel