Our last dog was a beautiful golden retriever named Mollie. She was a rescue and was four years old when we got her. When we brought her home, I turned to her and said, “You just had your last bad day!” 

Getting to know Mollie’s quirks took some time. For four years, Mollie had been neglected and shoved in a back yard. She had no shelter from the weather. She was a captive to the heat, cold, rain, thunder, and lightening. Though safe and with us, her fears continued to play out. When Mollie went to the door to go out, we’d open it and she’d turn and run away. When we’d call her to come back, she’d run further down the hall. 

It took us a good eighteen months to understand why she was so conflicted. Though she wanted to go out, she was afraid we’d trap her outside. We tried a bunch of things but here’s what finally worked. We opened the door, stroked her, then turned our back to her so she felt no pressure from us. With the choice truly being hers, she cautiously walked outside.

Quirks can be a nuisance without love. Think of what happens while we wait for Mollie to decide whether or not to go outside. With the door open during a Georgia summer, the heat poured in the house. In the winter, the heat escaped and cold poured in ~ all because our dog needed time to make up her mind.

Each of us have a story. We come to God with triggers. Some are afraid of silence; others, of noise. Some have a fear of crowds; others, a fear of being alone. The comforting thing is that God knows us intimately. He knows how to scale the wall with just the right words and experience so that we’ll lose our shyness and trust Him. He’s not stumped by our quirks nor do they put Him off. Patiently, He works with each of us. Cajoling and encouraging, He offers Himself as a companion.

Ever feel like you’re forever imprisoned by your past? Like you’re making no progress? God has the key to steps forward. Go to the open door.  

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