Posted by: karanoel | June 15, 2022

More fully you

Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. Ephesians 1:4 NLT

My mini sheepadoodle, Sunny, recently had a terrible ear infection. The vet had to put her under general anesthesia to clean out her ear and diagnose the problem, which turned out to be a foxtail that had somehow managed to lodge itself deep in her ear canal. He retrieved the weed and cleared out all signs of infection, sending us home with a healthy dog, a hearty bill and medication to reduce the inflammation. 

Two changes occurred as a result of the three-week round of steroids. The first was that Sunny’s notoriously picky eating habits and grazing style gave way to the ravenous horking down of anything we set before her. The second was that her energy dwindled dramatically, taking with it her need for puppy playdates, her constant demands to play frisbee and her bad habit of jumping on guests. This lazy ball of fur was our dream dog!

Except not really. I mean, we thought that’s what we wanted… a mellow, behaved dog. But Chase and I decided that while this version of Sunny was decidedly easier, we missed our dog. The one with the spunk and the joy; the one that challenges us and makes us laugh. Don’t get me wrong. I am beyond grateful for the mellowing that has happened since her boundlessly spastic days as a young puppy and for the improvements she’s made in her behavior, and I anticipate the future will hold more such maturing. But the joyful exuberance that vents in some unwanted ways is the very thing I love best about her and as it turns out, I wouldn’t be willing to trade it in for an easier time. 

I sent my brother a video of Sunny’s dog beach antics this week, commenting that she had gotten her spunk back and he thought it was hilarious that we had considered her downswing “boring instead of calm.” We chatted a wee bit on the topic of our newfound appreciation for her personality and then moved on with our day. What I didn’t realize was that I would walk away with a newfound appreciation for my own personality as well.

I was a hard kid. There were some good traits tucked in there, but they were heavily affected by my very headstrong and often selfish nature. Definitely not the kind of sweet, compliant kind a parent dreams of or that most anybody wants to be. Fortunately, my parents loved and appreciated me anyway, but I always resented myself for the way I made life so much harder for everyone, including myself.

When I became a Christian, I assumed it meant all my negative traits would become so whitewashed that God and the people around me would be gifted with a demure, well-behaved version of me… you know, kind of like drugged Sunny. Would I lose my spunk? Probably. But better than being destructive, right? It was a worthwhile cost, I figured, for being “good.”

Except that’s never what God wanted from me or expected me to be. Sure, maybe I would be an easier kid, but He would miss me – the passionate, determined me that He dreamed up before the foundations of the world. Even in the thick of my worst behaviors, he knew that the same traits that let off steam in destructive ways were going to be just the thing needed to bring Him joy and glory on this earth. Rather than muting or severing them, He longs to breathe life into them and train them into fulfilling their much-needed purpose. This seems like a daunting task to me, but fortunately I serve a God who is not only up to the challenge but enjoys nothing more. I mean, what better way to show His love and power than to take someone with such “difficulties” as me to delight in and use as a messenger of hope to a needy world?

In light of this, I want to encourage you to set aside any assessments or you’ve made about your identity, worth, usefulness or lovability based on something so trivial as your bad habits or behaviors. God delights in you! You bring Him joy! He has no interest in dumbing you down or making you more like someone else who is better behaved. Set those lies aside. He wants to breathe life into you and make you fully you. The bad habits won’t stay when your heart is released into the freedom of being loved as you are, but what you won’t do is so minor a point compared to what you will do as you begin to walk in the fulness of this Love. He has the ability. He has the patience. And trust me when I say He is not going to settle for anything less.

A video of Sunny in motion….

Sunny in motion 🙂

Responses

  1. Thanks for being you. 🧡

    >

    • Aww thanks Uncle Joe! And thanks for being you 💗


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