Four years ago, our family adopted a dog. We named him Louie. (pictured below) Louie comes with an interesting story…
I volunteered at a local animal shelter at the time. Our family wanted to adopt a German Shepard from this facility, so we added our name to the waiting list. Finally, after almost a year, a litter of Shepards came in. They called me and I dropped everything I was doing and went there immediately! However, even after seeing the prettiest Shepards I had probably ever seen, all I could think about was a little black dog I walked by when on my way through the facility. When they asked which Shepard I would like to see first, I asked them to hold on a second and tell me more about the little dog. When we went to his area and he got up to come to me, I noticed something was very wrong. He had an exaggerated limp and was walking on- what would be a humans elbow area- with his front leg.
Instantly, I had to know more! As I held him, they explained to me that this little guy was rescued one day away from being put down in a kill-shelter in California. A woman saved him and brought him to RI (where I was living at the time) and gave him and another dog to this non-kill shelter. As I held little Louie for the first time, he laid in my arms like a baby and nestled in on his back. What trust for an animal who had clearly seen better days! They explained to me that he was scheduled for surgery and had to get his arm and shoulder amputated from the extensive damage.
Well, obviously we adopted him right away and nursed him through this traumatic surgical experience. He was a champ through it all, which made the whole family fall in love with him even more. He fit into our family seamlessly. We nurtured him through the long recovery process and the bond we built through this experience can never be broken! (My husband still jokes that “leave it to Sarah to go to adopt a German Shepard and come home with a 3-legged Chihuahua.) LOL
This is where this story gets really good though. I love the story of Louie for so much more than simply being an addition to our family. I believe there are several lessons to be learned from him.
Most of us find our way to God (or return to Him) with bumps, bruises, major scars or what seem like missing pieces. But as soon as we are in HIS arms, we are safe. Regardless of what has happened, we can nestle in and ‘lay on our back’ in complete trust. He’s got us!! He wants us!! He actually DELIGHTS in us!! He is so proud of us for our resilience and is there to love us through our painful recovery process and beyond. (Psalm 149:4, Psalm 147:11, Psalm 145:9)
About a year ago, I had a neighbor from down the street that I had never even met, stop me when I was walking Louie one day. He asked me what my dog’s name was and what happened to his leg. After we chatted for a minute, he said, “Every time I see you walking him, it makes me smile. He still walks so proud and seems so happy. Makes me feel for a moment that if he can do it, so can I.” I was floored by that comment, this stranger’s transparency and our conversation. He looked at something that seemed broken and got strength from that, which made me so completely happy. This encounter also made me think about another aspect of my furry friend. Truth is, Louie walks confidently and even though it’s a hop, it sometimes looks more like a prance. He holds his head so high that he almost appears regal.
Please be assured, even though we have scars from our past, once we are in the care of our Heavenly Father, we are heirs to His kingdom! (Galatians 4:26-29, Romans 8:14-17) We can walk confidently and hold our heads up high in that fact. Although we are warned multiple times in the Bible to not get conceited or ‘puffed up with pride,’ confidence in being God’s children and confidence that he is right beside us at every moment is an addition in our daily walk that we most certainly want to experience and cultivate. I challenge you to allow your scars to bring you closer to the loving comfort of your Father, who sent His son to die for you because He loves you JUST THAT MUCH! (John 3:16)
Listen to this beautiful, inspiring song- "You Say" by Lauren Daigle
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