It had been at least thirty years since I last visited Grant's Farm and despite the amount of time which had passed I was amazed at just how little it had changed. Annual visits to the beloved St. Louis landmark were part of my childhood and it was not uncommon for us to go more than once each summer. And although us girls were well familiar with the tour each visit presented a whole new adventure and it was if we had never been there before. But what took me by surprise when we walked thru the entrance was the flood of memories which overtook my mind transporting me back in time many, many years ago when I was just a child.
My favorite part of the visit was always the horse barn attached to the carriage house. I would stand and look at the horses and dream they were mine. In the last stall they always kept a beautiful palomino. I would stand there and look at him for as long as mom would let me. My imagination was my means of escaping and coping with my life. I would slip away in the deep recesses of my mind where my dreams lived and would take me away. I would pretend my life was lived in the country and revolved around horses. I wasn't fat in that world and I had lots of friends. Standing in that barn among all those horses I could touch and smell my dreams and they were so much more real and vivid there. Oh how I begged my parents for a horse of my own. If only I could have made them realize the difference it would have made in my life.
All these years later when I turned the corner in the carriage house and headed towards the horse stalls I was surprised when I saw that fat, lonely little girl still standing in front of the stall where the palomino lived. Then one I stood in front of all those years ago. No longer a fifty five year old woman, I was now a ten year old little girl. And the sadness that lived inside of her welled up deep within my heart as I remember just exactly how she felt. And when I made my way beside her and looked inside the stall in which she stared, there stood a beautiful palomino just like the one of long ago. Looking at that palomino my heart still yearns and breaks, but this time not for myself but rather for that sad, lonely little girl so lost and broken. She wouldn't give up or loose hope that her life would someday change, be different from what it was even when the world gave her every reason to.
It's funny how often in life we are unaware of how God is working in our lives. He has a very special plan for each of us and it is a journey which takes us to our destination. We make our way up hills and valleys to one stop, rest and enjoy for a while and then after He refreshes us it is time to begin another leg of the journey. God never promised us a life without tears and heartaches, trials and struggles. Without those elements we wouldn't enjoy the sunshine, laughter, love and happiness nearly so much. I didn't know all those years ago that God had plans for me one day to get my palomino, but I did. His name was Buck and he was a dandy. So if I have learned nothing else in life, it is to trust God amidst the tears and heartache because I know He has great plans for me just around the corner.
Until we meet here again, I pray God bless you and keep your loved ones safe.