A couple of weeks ago, my nieces found a puppy wandering in a busy street by the bowling alley their parents own. They found the owner who ended up giving them another puppy that was kept in a cage. The puppy was a German/shepherd mix. They named her Alley. She had never been around people before and was very timid. She was dirty and was sleeping in a waste filled cage. My nieces convinced my sister Penny and brother-in-law, John to keep her. John had to bathe her four times to get her clean. They brought her home. I took her for the weekend due to their schedules. They are never home on the weekends and their other two dogs were not doing well with her. I brought her home and she never left!
The first few days, she would not allow anyone to come near her. She came to us on her terms. She was skittish. She was timid and scared. And she was/is stubborn. She refused to walk with the leash. She sees it as punishment and not as a thing that will save her life. But as I have loved on her, she began to trust me more; I began to see glimpses of her personality and her playfulness. She has never messed in the house, is incredibly smart, and sleeps through the night (with me of course). The first Sunday that I had her I was in church worshipping and praying and God began to show me how I am a lot like Alley. That was when I changed her name from Alley to Gracie. I am always a recipient of God’s grace. Like Gracie, I don’t always recognize when God has my best interests at heart. Sometimes I do not like what HE is doing at all in me. It is scary and painful. And it is hard to trust. Grace is God’s favor towards us. It is being counted in when we should be counted out. When the world thinks we are not much, God’s grace shows us that He thinks much of us. It says in Deuteronomy that in a barren and howling wasteland, He found us. And He regards us as the apple of His eye. Gracie was found in a barren wasteland. In a cage full of her own (literally) crap and that of her family. How many can relate?
Last week, I had to take her to the vet’s office to get her checked out. She was scared and did not want to go into the examining room. I had to carry her. I discovered she really was a mess. She had 2 kinds of worms and a bacteria I had never heard of, she was malnourished and to top it off, she was flea infested! She really was a piece of work. The vet tech came in and said to me “Gracie sure is a mess.” I got a little indignant, though I knew it was true. I said “that is why I changed her name to Gracie. We are all messes like her, from the inside out but God loves us, fleas and all.” And He paid a price to so that we can be straightened out like I was straightening Gracie out.
God has used Gracie to teach me a lot over the past couple of weeks. I am a lot like Gracie. WE are a lot like Gracie. We have been wounded by life. Some of us have made messes of our lives. And we cower and our afraid to let God help us. We think He is going to hurt us or punish us. Sometimes we have a hard time believing that He really is good and gentle and loving. We would rather stay in our messes because it’s safe. It’s what we know. All I want for Gracie is to live the way God created her to live. She has a fun personality. She has a lot of love to give. And slowly over the past few weeks, she has begun to do that. She really loves me. And God wants me to live the way He created me to live. He wants me to trust Him. He wants me to allow Him to love me and bring healing to the areas of my life that have been hurt through simply living life. And He wants me to let others know that He is that good and loving. He wants us to know that He will come into our messes with us and get us out. And He will carry us like I had to carry Gracie into the Vet’s office because she couldn’t do it herself. And He will love me even when I am afraid to receive it and cower from Him and just cannot believe He has my best interests at heart. And He know how much I love Him though I always don’t show it perfectly.
I have never been attached to a dog so quickly in my life. Gracie has been exactly what I needed. But I know I cannot keep her. Neither can my family. My friend, Beth, from high school is going to take her from me in two weeks. I am so excited for her family and Gracie. Gracie has a lot of love and joy to give to their family. And I know Beth has what Gracie needs. God reminded me last night as I was on the phone with my sister that the Grace of God is not something that I am supposed to keep and hoard for myself. It is something that I am supposed to give to others. So it is fitting that I have to give Gracie away. God wouldn’t want it any other way!