From my first memories as a child I remember loving horses. I thought about them all the time. During the day I pretended I was a horse or that I owned horses, I drew horses, I read books about horses, my room was always plastered with posters of horses, and at night I dreamt about horses. When I was a little girl these were my dreams: to own and care for horses, to marry my Prince Charming and be a Mom. Many days of the week I pause and look around at how God has made those dreams come true. Sometimes he catches me in the middle of a tiny moment, like when I sling a halter over my shoulder to go get my horse and suddenly I am 7 years old again dreaming of what it would be like to sling a halter over my shoulder to go catch my horse, but in reality it was just a dog leash. Or those first few seconds on my horse's back and I remember as a kid how I looked forward to every Saturday morning's lessons and how for an hour I was an Olympic equestrian in the making. The Olympic equestrian dream did not come true, well, not yet. But so many of my childhood dreams have come true...but not without some heartache in the pursuit of them.
Over the Labor Day weekend we lost one of our beloved horses to the dreaded horseman's nightmare of colic. And in the 13 hours of medicating, walking, trailering, vet visits, praying, pleading and more walking, I feel like I watched a little part of a dream die. Roger was a dream horse. He was horse perfection in my eyes. A beautiful pure bred Arabian, sound, healthy, well trained, sweet and loving disposition, the list could go on and on. The guy even loved to chase a cow! He was the rock of our equine assisted ABA therapy program, and when he was in a session you could tell he knew his job was just as important as the therapist's. Roger just always kind of "knew". If I had to list a flaw the only one I could ever find, is he liked to give one small buck when you asked him to move into a canter. After awhile I actually just came to find it kind of cute about him. I've been experiencing a lot of grief about the loss of Roger, not just in my own heart, but in the hearts of all the others, especially our little kiddos who loved Roger. He was many people's dream horse. He was the star lesson horse that many a beginner started their love affair of horses with. This week I have found myself asking God, "what now?" How do you fill that spot? I relied on Roger and trusted him with many a precious cargo in therapy and lessons. In the herd he was my most reliable member. How do you find that again? I am still waiting on God's reply to that question. But through my worry about that it has me bringing to God the loss of dreams within our dreams. How we love to cling to our dreams...even when they are not ours to cling to. Roger came into my life right when God intended to start using my dream of owning horses to help people. He must have known we needed a dream horse to get started. He was God's horse from the beginning...I mean really how else do you land a horse like Roger for just $500?
Laying a dream to rest....is something God calls us all to do, even though it is our very human and sinful nature to cling to dreams. We find love, connection and belonging, sometimes even our identity, in our dreams. But God instructs us in His word to cling to Him first, and He will make all of our dreams come true. I woke up early this morning struggling with some discontent. As I wrestled with the details of each of my dreams that I did not see working out lately to my expectations, God reminded me that He asks me to be content in any and every situation. To me Roger is my reminder today that just like my Prince Charming and my beautiful children, they are His first, and by clinging to my Heavenly Father and not to them, I can then be all His dreams for me require me to be.
His teaching cues.....
What are those dreams you are clinging to? Is God asking you to take a look at them with Him, reevaluate their priority, or even lay them to rest?
Can you trust that He has your best dreams in His plans for you?
Can you bring Him today the details of your dreams and thank Him for the grace He gives you through every last detail of them?
"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be as well."
~ Matthew 6: 19-21
"No one can serve two masters. Either she will hate the one and love the other, or he will devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money."
~ Matthew 6:24
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! . . . I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.
~ Philippians 4:4, 12
Last hours with Roger