Before Jackie and I married I had a farm of my own. At about twenty acres it wasn't big and fancy but it was mine and it had a barn. Most important of all, I had a dream and big plans for that little place I called mine. Despite the fact I moved to the farm before my divorce, I in my heart I always thought of it as mine because my ex-husband never lived there and his fingerprint was not to be found anywhere. For a long time after my divorce that little farm, my dream and my animals were what kept me going and gave me a reason to live. It is where I believed my future lay. But as I would eventually come to find out, often God has other plans for our lives.
I had for a long time been a strong proponent of the use of horses for therapeutic purposes particularly in children and teenagers. I had thru my years of working with horses frequently observed the benefits myself and would challenge anyone who questioned or doubted the ability of these amazing animals. After an experience I had with one of my own horses who had suffered abuse at the hands of his previous owners and a child afflicted with a terminal disease I began to dream of one day owning a therapeutic riding center for children and teens. This little farm which I called home would allow me to one day turn the dream into a reality. However there was much work to be done before that could happen and much money to be made before I could fund such a project.
Making ends meet was never easy but by the grace of God I always managed to stay afloat somehow. There were many hard decisions I had to make along the way, one of which was saying good-bye to all my horses when I realized I wouldn't be able to keep up with the feed bill much longer. Seemed as if the harder I worked and the more I did without the more I believed one day I would open my riding center. All my disposable income went to paying the mortgage on the farm and keeping the lights and heat on. What little was left over I used to buy me some coffee and Ramen noodles and buy a bag of food for the dogs and cats.
Then one morning several years later I laid in bed after the alarm clock went off and I realized I couldn't do it anymore. I couldn't keep working the hours I had been. Couldn't keep going without sleeping and eating. Life was no fun and I spent it all alone. My little truck which was my only form of transportation had no heat, no a/c and was on borrowed time. Then as I got up to make a pot of coffee I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and I didn't recognize the face of the old woman looking back at me. That's when I heard God tell me it was time to let go. It was time to sell the farm. Where the next chapter of life would take me I didn't know and honestly I was too tired to be afraid.
I went to work that morning feeling as if a huge burden had been taken from me and that in and of itself brought me much relief. I didn't have any plans or specific direction in which I wanted to go and under normal circumstances I would have been wound up like a seven day clock, but I found myself calm and peaceful. Later that morning, a customer came into work and while we chatted I asked him to keep his ears open for anyone who might be interested in buying my farm. He perked up and asked me if I was selling and I said I was. A big smile broke out over his face and he said he had wanted my farm ever since the previous owner, his brother had passed away. He told me to name my price, which I had not even thought about, and he would make it happen. I gave him a price, we shook hands and he left. I was in total disbelief! Then it hit me, I didn't have anywhere to go.
Later that afternoon when Jackie stopped in to see me on his way to work, I told him of everything which had transpired that morning. He just looked at me for a minute obviously dazed and more than a bit confused. We talked about it for a little bit and his reaction was not what I thought it would be. I thought he would be glad that I decided to let the farm go and find something that would be more manageable but I sensed a hesitation in his voice. Later that evening he called me on his dinner break and asked if he could stop by and talk to me on his way home from work. I asked him if he was aware that would be in the middle of the night. He said he did but he needed to talk to me and it would only take a few minutes. And in the wee hours of that spring night in 2008 Jackie asked me if I loved him enough to be his wife because the only place he wanted me and Pop moving was to his house.
The day I left my farm for the last time, I left my dream of opening a therapeutic riding facility behind as well. I lost much of me while I lived at that farm, but I found much of me as well. Sometimes in life the things we think are endings are in fact really new beginnings that God gives us. A new drive, a new purpose, a new hope that we never knew we wanted but once realized takes us to new heights of happiness we never could have imagined. It's not always easy to let go and often it is sad and scary but if we don't let go we will never know what lies ahead. All the dreams I once had which included only myself have changed and now all the dreams I have include two hearts which God joined.
Until we meet here again, I pray God bless you and keep your loved ones safe.