Way back in December, well maybe just two posts ago, I started processing through one of my forgotten/forsaken dreams—horses. When I began the post I had no idea how deeply embedded in me my passion for horses still was, and honestly I had little concept of it even after I’d finished writing. Three days after posting Once Upon a Dream I found out. I found out that I really do still care—deeply, and it wasn’t until I was crying so intensely that I couldn’t stand that I understood.
It all started at Intern. We (the 20 or so interns) were asked to individually pray and write down how we know God loves us. We each got up one by one to share; when it was my turn to share I became incredibly nervous (which doesn’t happen often, even in front of masses of strangers). I started sharing: “I know this will sound a little cryptic, but I’ll say it, and then explain what it means. I know God loves me because He gives me the moon with a ring around it and a star so I do not lack.” I proceeded to explain that in some of the roughest times in my life God has comforted me with stars and the moon as reminders of hope and His promises. I began sharing one of those stories—one which explains the bit about the moon with a ring—the night I decided to drop APSC (If you want to hear it, let me know and I’ll post it later). “The night that I decided to drop APSC, the decision actually came down to trusting God with horses. It then had little to do with careers or parents or grades; the last decision was all about the pretty ponies and trust. I was so afraid to let go of my hold on my passion again, afraid that it might not come back, afraid that it actually was over this time” (Once Upon a Dream). That night God whispered to me about trusting Him to do what He promises—to hold, protect, and restore my dreams.
As I began to tell my friends about that night, masses of emotion welled up from the depths of my heart. I started crying. I looked out at them as I was confused by my own emotions, saying, “I didn’t think I still cared about this.” As I finished one of the intern leaders turned to me and began sharing the heart of God with me. (Paraphrasing...) “Amanda, I believe that God wants to redeem horses; that He is going to restore them to you. I don’t know when; I don’t know how. But I believe God planted this dream in you. God loves horses too. God created horses for you.” He took a purse strap and asked me to hold it like a pair of reins; I started sobbing. He and another leader and one of my bff’s started praying for me; I collapsed wailing. (An aside: It’s funny to me that I cry more intensely as an adult than I ever did as a child.) I cried loudly and for a long time. It was good.
In the weeks following I've allowed my heart to indulge a bit in the horsey things—somewhat ironically I watched Dreamer, I started reading Seabiscuit (I'm still only through the intro and first 2 pages), I considered looking for a way to teach beginner riding lessons, I thought about emailing my old riding coach just to catch up, and I allowed myself for just a moment to imagine riding my horse again. But I'm still scared, or is it scarred, maybe both. I find myself scared of dreaming again, dreaming from the depths of who I am, and either never realizing those dreams or willfully walking away from them again. Still I feel God whispering, "Just trust."
"Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but desire fulfilled is a tree of life." (Proverbs 13:12).
“Delight yourself in the LORD; and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He will do it.” (Psalm 37: 4-5).
"In Your right hand there are pleasures forever." (Psalm 16: 11c).
"'There is a hope for your future,' declares the Lord, 'and your children will return to their own territory.'" (Jeremiah 31: 17).