I have big dreams--those that have taken up permanent residence in my mind and heart. One has been my companion since my earliest memories. Others came at different points in my life and seemed to be triggered by major events, but the "newcomers" hold no less passion for me than the one I feel is part of my DNA. I was born to make that dream my reality.
I will get more specific about each of my dreams in a future post, but today, I would like my readers to look at the photo at the top of this blog.
See that fork in the path? Place yourself in that picture. See yourself looking at each path, and feel yourself wondering which one you should take. Each path is only visible for a short distance before disappearing into the woods.
What lies beyond the bend? Do you wonder if it leads somewhere that will bring a happy surprise, or turn into a disappointing dead end?
There are times you get to choose your path and other times, your path is chosen for you through no control of your own. The latter tends to bring some big challenges, testing your faith in the Dream Giver and teaching you exactly what you need to learn (and master) before you may move forward.
I can hear a collective gasp at the thought of "no control". No control equals fear and being forced to live outside of one's comfort zone. We do love our comfort, especially in American culture. We Americans are spoiled rotten by our ease and comfort, and unless you have been outside this great country's borders and have seen what this life has brought to other cultures, you will remain as one who wears blinders. But I digress......that is also for a future post.
This week, I moved down the path toward the dream that never sleeps--my inexhaustible desire to be with horses. I had not been around these lovely animals for 2 years and could hardly stand to wait any longer.
My very generous friends and acquaintances at Union Hill Polo Club welcomed me and my husband, Leland, to the polo grounds on Sunday to watch a match and take photographs. Afterward, my very sweet and generous friend, Tina, offered me the opportunity to cool down her mare, Tobi. I gladly wore Tina's sweaty helmet and hopped on Tobi to walk her around for her cooldown. I have long admired this fearless polo pony and was very happy to just walk her around the arena.
The club owner, Eric, then kindly allowed me to ride one of his horses, Nicki (sorry if I have misspelled her name). Nicki is the most laid back horse I have ever sat on--what we in the equestrian community call "bomb proof". Not only does she possess a wonderful temperment, but she is a dream to ride, with smooth, comfortable gaits. I happily rode Nicki around the arena, walking, trotting, and then into a canter. I felt as though I had never stopped riding, thanks to Nicki's easy gaits.
Just one word sums up time in the saddle--bliss.
Then it happened. I felt a tug in my back and I knew this was not a good sign. At that moment, life took me down the fork in the path that I never would have chosen of my own accord.
A day and a half later, I found myself with terrible back pain, in the chiropractor's office. I lay there with my back muscles in spasms, in tears, due not only to the pain, but the maddening halt to pursuing this desire of my heart to ride. I had to ask God, "Why?" And I wondered how in the world I could have done any damage riding such easy horses. It wasn't as though I was careening down the arena, leaning off my horse while taking swipes at the ball with a mallet.
Along my journey, I have learned a few simple facts: There is a reason for everything, and the timing of the realization of dreams is not ours, but God's. As a result, there is peace in the pain. And while I am not the most patient person on this planet (gross understatement there), learning this has taught me to release my outcomes and to actually trust God for my dreams. Yes, that means loosening the white-knuckle grip I have on them and surrendering all of my dreams entirely to His will. Since He gave them to me, it should be up to Him to determine how they show up, or whether they show up.
Now I know, whatever the outcome, it's all good when I believe, and am grateful, that He has what is best for me in His heart, and really does want me to be happy. That state of being is the receiving mode for all blessings.
Dear Reader, it is my hope that these words will encourage your heart today.