Sunday, 10 January 2016

Since Jesus came into my heart

There is a season for everything (Ecclesiastes 3:1) and all things will come together for good at the right time for those who believe and trust in God (Romans 8:28)

When I was a child I was attacked by a dog, which as you would expect was a very frightening experience. The dog was so angry that not even my mom could stop him from attacking me. As you can imagine this left me with a fear and a dislike of dogs. This incident was never really a problem for me until I gave birth to my daughter and son. I realised that as they grew older that my fear of dogs was affecting them. They also had a fear of dogs as a result of learned behaviour and the example that I had been setting them. 

Eighteen years ago after many lengthy discussions with my husband we both decided to buy our daughter a puppy, at the time she was 11 years old. She chose a King Charles spaniel and she named him Trigger. My daughter loved her dog so much however I experienced real problems accepting this tiny, vulnerable puppy into my home and life. At this time I was a Roman Catholic and I believed in God with all my heart and I prayed really hard to accept this dog as part of our family. At the time I never really understood the work of the Holy Spirit and how He could set me free from this bondage and fear that I had towards dogs. It became extremely difficult for me to be comfortable in my home with Trigger living in it. I thought about finding Trigger a new home but my real problem was that my daughter adored him and so did my son and husband. I prayed really hard to God asking for help, I even paid to see a councillor to try to find a way that I could accept Trigger. It would take too long to explain the reasons in this blog however I decided that Trigger had to go. Finding the courage and the words to tell my daughter was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. As you can imagine she was heartbroken and she sobbed and sobbed and sobbed for what seemed like forever. 

My daughter is now 29 years old and she still has a box with Trigger's favourite things in it. Trigger went to a good home where he lived with a hairdresser who had his own business so he was with people who loved him all day long. The new owner agreed for my daughter to visit whenever she wanted however when she did go and visit him it was always so painful for her to say goodbye. 

Approximately 7 years ago (11 years after Trigger) my family again begged me to take on a puppy. The owner of the puppies was a drug dealer and the puppies were being neglected. My heart felt so sad for the puppies but I still said no, never ever, not after the last experience. Unknown to me at this point in time I was not the same person I was when we had Trigger, the big difference was that about 8 years after letting Trigger go I gave my life to the Lord. I was a new creation and the old Tina had gone; 2 Corinthians 5:17 ‘Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come; the old has gone, the new is here!’ and Psalm 107: 13-14 ‘Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. He brought them out of darkness, the utter darkness, and broke away their chains. The Word of God told me that the Holy Spirit living in me would be my strength in my time of weakness 2 Corinthians 12:10 ‘That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong’. The word of God also taught me to Trust in God and lean not on my own understanding Proverbs 3:5 ‘Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding’.

Source: Own
My family would not let it go and they repeatedly asked me to take on one of the puppies. I sought the council of a Godly person who said that I would be ok this time and that the Holy Spirit would help me learn to love the little puppy. In my carnal self I was really scared that I would hurt the people I loved all over again. After much prayer and fasting I agreed to take one of the puppies. I was so nervous on the day that this little trembling, vulnerable wreck of a puppy arrived to become a part of our family. My daughter named him Prince. Prince left his mother 4 weeks early because we were afraid that he would die if he remained where he was. My daughter was overjoyed with this tiny bundle cradled in her loving arms. She immediately went off to the pet shop to buy him the best of everything. I prayed so hard to God, I was practically begging him to help me learn to love this little life. God answered those prayers and ever so slowly my heart started to love him. It was a joy to watch Prince playing happily in the garden with everyone and to watch my daughter love him so much. Prince could never replace Trigger but the blessing of Prince has helped to heal us all, Praise God.

Prince as a puppy - Source: Own
It is really hard to put into words and explain how God has blessed my life through Prince. I love him so much. Prince’s unconditional love for everyone just blows me away. I am not the best dog owner in the world and I always seem to be telling Prince off for one thing or another, but his love for me never ever changes. He is so full of life and he just makes me so happy. Prince can be very naughty on his walks he is not very friendly with other dogs. I do discipline him but I just cannot stay cross with him for long. In Princes’ mind I suspect that he thinks he is protecting me from any danger because it is my anxiety towards other dogs that he is picking up on. 

I wrote this blog so I could share how good and amazing God is and it is only because of the power of the Holy Spirit living in me that I could learn to love Prince. I believe with all my heart that I am protected every day by the full armour of God (Ephesians 6:10-18). Having Trigger and then giving him up was a very sad and painful time for my family, pain that on one level I feel that I caused to the people I love. If I knew the Holy Spirit at that time the way I know him now I believe that Trigger would have stayed. God’s perfect love would have cast out all my fears at that time 1 John 4:18 ‘There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love’.

A few months after having Prince I went back to see Trigger. I went back to see him for me not for him. I wanted to somehow let him know I was sorry, even though I knew as a dog he would not understand. When I got there his owner told me that he had passed away a few months earlier. My heart felt sad that I had missed the opportunity to see him but I could hear God’s words comforting me and telling me that there is a season for everything (Ecclesiastes 3:1) and all things will come together for good at the right time for those who Believe and Trust in God (Romans 8:28)

God Is Good All The Time AMEN. 

Author: Christina O’Neill 

May God bless and enrich your life

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