Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. – Matthew 16:24
The past two months was really a journey in following this verse for me. Our minister preached about this concept somewhere in mid October, and I prayed with all my heart that Jesus would give me the strength to do exactly this. That I would do it, come Hell or high water… and that’s pretty much what happened.
So lots of bad stuff happened:
- Olive came down with a neurological virus, possibly herpes. She was very very sick and had to be quarantined and intensively nursed.
- Milady then got strangles, followed by Exavior, Titan, and Destiny.
- Because we now had TWO outbreaks at the yard, we had to shut the whole thing down for two weeks. Yep, no lessons for two weeks. That was a financial kick in the guts.
- A friend kind of turned on me. Personal stuff, but it always leaks into the yard when my emotional state isn’t perfect.
- We had a massive hailstorm and the lightning damaged our gate, borehole pump, and power supply.
- I lost the ride on my beautiful Nell.
- Magic colicked. Again.
What’s God’s own stableyard to do faced with such catastrophes? Well, pray and trust Him. And well… Romans 8:28.
- Olive recovered beautifully and not a single other horse contracted her thing. As a result, we’re tightening our vaccination program and have instituted a quarantine period for all new horses. Olive and my mom also developed an amazing bond, which is so great for the floof because she never really connected with me.
- Not only did all the strangles horses recover without any abscesses bursting, Milady’s 5-day-old foal didn’t get it! Also I am probably going to pass the illnesses section in my exam, which I had been worried about…
- My mom and dad told our yard mascot cookie lady prayer warrior awesomeness about the financial whack of losing two weeks’ lessons. She declared that we would get the money back and went straight to battle on her knees. Shortly thereafter, a client that had been owing us for months paid. Mom called to tell her that she’d overpaid a little – turned out she’d paid us by “accident”. I don’t believe in accidents.
- The outbreak and all its drama drew me closer and closer to God; without the strength I gained from that, I doubt there’s any way I could have coped with the personal stuff.
- The hailstorm brought with it the best rain we’ve had in three years. Now we’re up to our eyeballs in grass for the cows and horses.
- I thought Nell’s new owner was some spoilt rich kid until I spoke to her mom. She’s a special needs teenager, someone who needs a beautiful, loving horse even more than I do. Nell is going to be an instrument of God’s power in her life – just as she was in mine. Nell’s price is also letting her retired owner replace his wrecked vehicle and is helping towards his medical bills.
- Gutted about Nell, without a good dressage horse, my future career seemingly in tatters, I prayed: “Lord Jesus, if it’s not Your will for me to compete extensively myself, if I should conserve those resources for the kids, then please don’t let me ever have a good horse again. But if it’s Your will, please, send me one.” I prayed this ready to face the fact that I would never go up the levels: I just don’t have the money to build up the yard for everyone that needs it and own a good dressage horse, and I know which one I’m choosing. Hours later, Nell’s owner called: in return for schooling Nell, he wanted to pay me a commission. I couldn’t bear to accept money for the blessing Nell has been, so I refused it. “Okay,” he said. “Then you can come and pick out any young mare you like to train and show.” I hesitated; I didn’t know if I wanted to go through this heartache again so soon. “No, you don’t understand,” he said. “This one will be yours. In your name. You keep her.” Then I just cried, out of gratitude to him, out of awe of the dynamic and real power of God and His plan in our lives.
- Magic’s colic was so bad we had to box him and take him to Witbos, the vets that fixed him last time. On the way there, I desperately called on everyone I know and a bunch of people on Facebook that I don’t to pray for him. We all prayed, and when we unloaded him, that horse was fine. The rather puzzled vets scanned his healthy guts, kept him under observation for two hours, and sent him home because there was nothing wrong with him.
We will praise God no matter what the storm. Because our God is faithful, our God is powerful, and our God is in charge.
The condition for a miracle is difficulty. The condition for a great miracle is impossibility. And that’s exactly what we have seen.
Glory to the King.