Everyone loves their dog. Us dog lovers post our pictures on #NationalDogDay just to prove how awesome we think our best friends are. And they are awesome! We all know that dogs are precious because of the way they love unconditionally and make us smile each and every day. My dog Jelicus was no different.
You're probably re-reading that name like, "What? How do I even say that?" I know it's weird. I came up with the name when I was a toddler. I had imaginary dog named Angelicus. I walked her around on a leash (actually a seamstress tape measure) and taught her tricks. We were the best of friends. One day, my mom was getting her hair done at the salon and my dad decided to take me and my sister to the nearby pet store. I walked into that store and saw a litter of black lab puppies. I pointed and said "Dad look! It’s Jelicus! You can see her now!" He didn't have any intention to bring home a dog that day, but I'm so glad we did. And that's where it all began, a moment meant to be for a friendship to last a lifetime.
We grew up together, we even moved her across the country on a plane when we came from California to North Carolina. I would give her my leftover bread crust from my morning toast, and she would sit with me while I did my homework. When I was auditioning for the school musical I would sing her my audition song and she would listen. And when friends left me behind she was there for me to let me cry into her silky fur. I told her about everything, and every day she waited patiently at the end of the driveway waiting for the bus to bring me home from school. We understood each other; I could look into her eyes and tell what she was thinking.
Losing Jelicus was the hardest thing I have ever been through. I comforted her and told her she was a "good girl" until her last breath here on earth. I rested in the comfort of knowing that we would meet in heaven one day, but it hurt so much to not have her with me to love on me when I got home and eat the leftover crust from my toast. But losing her taught me to rely more on my family for the love that I received from Jelicus every day, and our family grew closer by sharing in our heartbreak.
Two years later, I was doing my morning devotions and I was thinking about Jelicus. The Holy Spirit spoke to me "I gave you Jelicus to show you the love of Jesus." Tears flooded my eyes as I thought of how amazing my God was to predestine this gift of a dog to a girl that didn't even know she needed one. The name Angelicus was first put into my mind by my loving God who wanted to send me and angel in the form of a dog. What a story he has written.
I want to love like Jesus loved. And I can imagine that you do too. Sometimes it can be hard to love others and to serve, but Jelicus showed me how. Greet people with joy, listen to what they need to say, care for them by comforting them, and make them laugh by being yourself. Love like Jesus. Love like Jelicus.
If you would like to hear more stories from me, please follow me on Odyssey.