The Day The Barn Went Quiet

I believe that God is always working in my life. Usually it is in His still, small voice however there have been a few times when God has worked so powerfully in my life that I could literally feel His hand upon me. Today happens to be the anniversary of one of those times and each year I remember and it is always as if I am living thru it all over again. It was without a doubt the saddest, hardest day of my life and yet after the initial mourning and sorrow it was the beginning of my life.

I was living on a small farm in Western Kentucky not far from where I live now. My ex- husband and I were starting a small horse breeding operation. He worked out-of-town and would not come home for a couple of months at a time. My job was running the farm and caring for our herd of twenty-three horses, three of which were studs. I loved caring for the horses, but without any help or even a tractor, the work had become too much for me to handle by myself. I asked him repeatedly to find a job close to home but there was always some excuse as to why that was not possible. Finally a week before Thanksgiving, he passed thru town to let me know he wouldn’t be coming back anymore. He had been living with another woman and they had a child. I remember when he told me, the very first thing I thought about was my horses. On my own and without a paying job, how would I be able to afford to feed and provide for all their needs? I’d like to say that I started praying that night, but I cannot tell you that. After he left, I laid on the couch and started to cry and I don’t really remember when I stopped.

After the news broke, my friends all rallied and immediately secured a job for me working at a local bank as a teller. Since it was close, I could do barn chores and feed the horses before work, come home at lunch and tidy up the house and then finish the barn chores and feed the horses again after work. It didn’t take long however for me to realize that my income did not even come close to meeting all the monthly bills. I took on any extra work I could to make extra money but there still was never enough. Over the next several weeks the bills fell further behind and the horse feed and hay were running dangerously low with means to replace them. One night as I lay in bed trying to find sleep, I was reminded by a still small voice of a promise I had made many years ago when I bought my first horse. I promised that if I ever found myself unable to take care of any horse that I owned, I would let someone have them that could. I could deny no longer that it was time to make good on that promise.

I discussed the matter with my attorney and she advised me that since I was not yet legally divorced I could only place the horses with mutually agreed upon owners. After she took the matter up with the other attorney, I was told that I had two choices; sell all of them to a man who was a horse trader and personal friend of my soon to be ex or watch them starve. So I really only had one option. The arrangements were made and on the appointed date I was to get them all up in the barn for breakfast and help load them on the trailer. That was where I put my foot down. I would get them up but there was no way I could help load them.

I got up out of bed before dawn on the dreaded morning. I got up and sat in the dark in what I called my worrying rocker praying to God for some solution that I had over looked. I sobbed, I pleaded, I begged not to have to do this horrible thing. But the more I pleaded, the more I could hear God’s voice telling me that I had to do this, it was the only way for not only me but the horses. Finally I dressed and walked down the hill to the barn where I could see all the horses waiting for me. As usual once they saw me they started nickering. I opened the gates and got all of them in their stalls and walked to the door to leave. I stopped and turned around and looked at all those sweet faces, many of which I saw for the first time the moment they were born. Theses horse are my family, my friends, my life. I just stood there. I wanted to remember everything about this moment, how the barn smelled, how it looked how it sounded for it would never be this way again. I knew I needed to leave because I knew the trucks and trailers would soon arrive, but I couldn’t make myself move. I remember sobbing and saying please God, help me. I can’t do this. Suddenly I literally felt as if someone picked me up and set me outside the barn where I proceeded to run up the hill to my house. I don’t know if I took a breath until I was back in the house sitting in my rocker. Then I just sat and listened. For what seemed like a long time all I heard was the clock tick but then I heard the trucks and trailers arrive.

Then I listened as the horses feet pounded on the trailer floor as each was loaded and then the trailer doors were latched and then the trucks pulled away. The entire time I wanted to run back down the hill screaming stop, I made a mistake, but I couldn’t move. It was as if I was glued to the chair. I listened until I could hear the trucks no more and then I began to sob. It was done and I felt like I had sold my soul to the devil.

After that day, things slowly did get better in my life. I was never mad at God about all that had happened, I knew He had a reason. However that didn’t stop me from asking many, many times why it did have to happen. It took a while but in time I was able to look back and see why things needed to work out as they did for me to be where I was. True something did break in me that day and I lost a piece of me that I will never get back. And yes, all these years later thinking back on that day still makes me cry, but the truth is God had a plan for me greater than I could ever imagine. But in order for me to get there I had to travel up the road and down the hill to place I now call home.

Until we meet here again, I pray God bless you and keep your loved ones safe.