My testimony in life shows a dark past. The relationships I was involved in only brought pain, misery, self-loathing, anxiety, turmoil, and depression. I can’t think of one relationship I had in my former life which did not end in these characteristics. I desired marriage and a family, I prayed for it, but never found the right one or should say I KNOW now I wasn’t the right one either. My magnet was to draw in the narcissists, for some reason, they were the common lust in my life. Those who did not care a lick about me, I could be lying stranded in a ditch and they would be the last ones to show up, and probably wouldn’t show up at all. But these were the types my sinful brain was insanely attracted to. I would then play the helpless victim to my friends and family, “whoa is me”. But here I was inviting evil into my life and then asking “why are they so mean?”…I would go from one narcissist to another….I was chasing a pathetic dream of misery and sadness…such a sad prideful former life!
In 2012, God did some purging and pruning in my life! I had just been reborn by Him a few months earlier and realized first hand how He works. He just ended the last narcissistic relationship in my life and I felt relieved for the first time. In April of 2012, I went to my sister’s home who had just purchased a new golden retriever puppy named Dakota. This was my niece and nephew’s first dog, so I decided to help them train him. I had owned a dog previously, but I do confess was NOT a good owner. I basically pawned him off to my Mom so I could party with my friends, and be free to do what I want when I want, and see him when I chose to, speaking to that rather sad pathetic former life.
As I was training the puppy Dakota, all those thoughts came rushing in about how terrible an owner I was with my former dog. But Dakota didn’t seem to mind, he listened and was getting my commands right away. So I left their house thinking and thinking, I need a puppy like that! Granted, I was not at all prepared for one, and considering my past life, the outside job I had, I doubted if I was up to this task. But the thoughts were consuming, so I got home turned on the computer and searched for Gordon Setter puppies, a breed I originally wanted. A breeder was listed, I called, and it just so happened he had a litter being being born on the coming Wednesday, told me to send $100 to hold one, and I did. My life had just changed and I didn’t even know it yet.
Now speaking to God’s providence in this? Gordon Setters are a rare breed, the waiting list is 2-3 years long at times for a puppy which is not always guaranteed, and it was that miraculous timing I just found one instantly!
There was much turmoil in my life at the time, financial dealings which were being rectified, an outside job which was demanding, and relationships which were being pruned and/or terminated. So along came Leo! A new puppy who changed my life for the good. God had put him there to show me many things. Firstly, that irresponsibility would not be tolerated by Him. I was to be all in or not at all. Secondly, to show me that dogs show us many things some humans do not do. Unconditional love, forgiveness, adapting, acceptance, self-control, peace, joy, etc. they give freely. He had replaced the human garbage in my life with Leo!
I do get scoffing from unbelievers mainly how focused I am in Scripture and following Jesus Christ, how then I can use Leo as a symbol of this growth. But it is true! Leo, is the symbol of my new life in Christ, a blessing granted by God to help me grow and mature in Him. It was now not all about me, I had to look beyond myself and be committed in doing so, God would not tolerate failure in this. Leo has been a great companion, he has patiently endured my book writing and waiting to go for his walks while I witness to the lost. He is gentle, kind, and very intelligent, always willing to learn and listen, traits God was showing me I now possessed as well.
I know and realize the time with Leo is short, so I do not take any day with him for granted. Some are perplexed as to why I don’t seek their enjoyment of the world anymore, but I am perfectly content in this life with him with the time I have been granted. And I have grown each day Leo has been around as God is still preparing me for His purpose of which I gladly and whole heartedly serve!
God can and will use ANYONE or ANYTHING to help us grow. It might or might not be a new puppy, it could be anything, just LOOK to see how He works in your life. It could be a new job, a move to a new community, a new friend, a new co-worker, a new hobby. Just look around and see His hand working to grow you, to sanctify you! If you are not growing or maturing, you are just like I was in my former life, it is all about you! When you are in Christ, it is ALL about Him! Including the things He blesses you with from the small to the large, all things, not just somethings. Thank Him for these blessings!