By Becky Payne
I am a Doodle Mom! (For those who don’t know, a doodle is a poodle mixed with another breed of dog). I adopted Winnie the Doodle, a 3 year old goldendoodle in June 2018 from our local shelter, and last weekend I adopted Whoopie Doodle, a 13 month old aussiedoodle who was rescued from a puppy mill.
Puppy mill dogs have had little to no socialization, and are often abused and neglected. They are only good for breeding. Their life consists of being locked up in kennels which are often in deplorable conditions. There are many who rescue these dogs from these environments; however the dogs do not know how to be a dog. They may be rescued from these situations; but it can take months or years for them to truly experience freedom. They are no longer stuck in kennels without human contact, yet they still act and respond as if they are. They often carry such terror, anxiety, and distrust.
These two dogs have taught me so much about God and His love for us. My dogs struggle with fear and distrust, though Winnie has made great strides in over a year. They both are working to overcome these fears and fully accept my love, though they often revert back to their past behaviors.
Christine Caine in her study entitled Unashamed talks about the difference between deliverance and freedom as she refers to the Israelites enslavement in Egypt. The Lord delivered them from slavery; however they were not truly free until they entered the Promised Land. The journey to the Promised Land should have only taken eleven days; yet it took forty years. They could have been free in less than two weeks, but God knew the Israelites would never be truly free until they changed their mindset...until they let go of the slavery mentality.
In Exodus 14:10-12, we see this mindset as they had left Egypt and before they crossed the Red Sea. They were terrified and wanted to go back to slavery because they were more comfortable as slaves than they were of the unknown freedom ahead.
The next 40 years God was not keeping them from the good things in life. Instead He was preparing them to fully enjoy their freedom whenever they arrived in the Promised Land. They were stuck in a slavery mindset which said they were better off working as slaves instead of receiving God’s best for them. If they would have continued living with this mindset, they would never have been able to experience true freedom. They would always be driven by fear instead of by the God who is greater than their fears.
As we celebrate July 4th, are you free? Has God delivered you from bondage only to find you going back to your old way of life? Are you holding on to what is safe and comfortable or are you trusting God to bring you true freedom? Wherever you are on this journey, allow Him to mold and shape you so you can be free. It will be uncomfortable and even scary, but it will totally be worth it!!