Wednesday, May 25, 2011

First Ride .... Sense April 24, 2010

This is me, on Raychel, in 2006 at Million Pines; long hair, and sweating like crazy in mid-April. I was riding lots then lots and lots, almost entirely consumed by competing and training. But that being said, we loved it! Raychel loves to compete, she's great at endurance and she loves to go - even though sometime you couldn't tell when we load in a trailer and go - but she still loves it. Sometime in 2008, this became a job a thing I had to do something that I was suppose to do instead of something that I wanted to do and love to do, and so I ebbed away from competing. Then with a little riding (yes to those of you reading this who were riding with me in 2008 and 2009 a little riding is what it was), I competed in two limited distance rides (thats under 35 miles). I thought for a moment that I was moving toward the rider/competitor and I was working toward a productive ride year with a friend in 2010 when our life changed; and so did my riding drive.

It's been a year since the life change, my friend and I did go and volunteer for the AERC(American Endurance Riding Commission) Nat'l Championship Ride in October. It gave me the bug to ride, the want to ride, and eventually that bug has come to fruition. After some himming and haaahing, my friend and I decided to do a ride (short ride) this weekend and we have been somewhat steady in our training over the past week and a half (not near enough to compete). Why the sudden interest....endurance - a word I thought I knew the meaning of until last night.
Endurance, by definition from Merrian Webster, is "the ability to withstand hardship or adversity...the ability to sustain a prolonged effort or activity". Paul describes and talks about endurance too; 2 Cor. 6:4 "in great endurance, in troubles, hardships, and distress." 1Thess 1:3 "...your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in Christ." I think its funny odd that Merrian Webster defined endurance first as the ability to withstand hardship or adversity, I have never read this definition before, never knew that this was the definition of endurance, and why did I look it up today? Because of the way Paul used the word endurance in the scriptures that I found prompted me to look up the definition. I always associated endurance with the ability to compete well, not to withstand harships.

Paul talks repeatedly of endurance and getting through sufferings, difficulties, sorrow, pain, hardship with hope, not on my own. I am still going through hardships, suffering and sorrow, pain and hurt and I am not doing this alone, but with a wonderful husband and daughters and friends who know and understand and with God, whom I am sometimes still upset with, confused about His plan, and off and on angry with but still with hope in Him. And now, training again, with a plan, I realize that the first and second part of the definition is me and Raychel as one. She carries me anywhere I point her, she sustains the prolonged activity with very little to no complaining, with her ears forward and continuing with her heart. And like endurance she has sustained through hardships and adversity standing in a pasture waiting for me to get through my hardships, waiting with a hope that one day I'd bring her back to the thing she loves to do with me, ride and compete with endurance. Endurance to complete and finish a set distance, endurance to get through a hardship that was not known, endurance to be one unit again and someday, with a hope of being out of the hardship, with scars attached but feeling joyful ... once again.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Back On Writing

Well I guess I can say that my goal of writing every day this year is totally destroyed; not unusual for me but I was trying to accomplish a goal. The change came when I was asked by a friend to contact a mother, a mother who a short few days before had lost her son in a car accident. This is a poor excuse, I know, but the reason behind my delay nonetheless. And along with this delay in writing/posting/blogging came a subsiding in my want/need to talk to God. Believe it or not, this blog site has encouraged me daily to try to communicate with Him, that too was delayed. I haven't been on here in 1 month and 2 days; I haven't read or talked to God in 1 month and 1 day, not a good record. So why today? I really don't know except that last night I realized that I had been fighting tears again, fighting the pain that I am good at hiding, subduing, and putting on hold, and out of nowhere I started talking to Him. And I fell asleep, peacefully, without sleep aid and slept, really slept, probably the first time in a couple weeks.
This morning I got up, got coffee and a cup of water, turned on the boob-tube, and opened up facebook, my regular routine. Except this morning, there was a post, from a woman, a nurse at Womack AMC, talking about a great legacy of her son. I am not friends with this woman and only saw this post because a ride buddy works with her and commented on her post. I won't share much, mostly because it's painful, but she writes "so proud of my awesome son, double lunge transplant to one donor, kidneys to two separate people....might muscles and bones to those who need them...we love you Zachie for giving your all even to the end..." I know briefly of this woman, my ride buddy told us of her son's accident and how he was in ICU with brain injuries but seemed to be moving along with hope of recovery. This post was a tribute to the fight that her son fought and the pain that she felt through a decision she and her husband had to make to allow Zach to go, to fight no more. This prompted me to avoid my Streams in the Desert book at first and then pick it up to today; of course I had to find today because I haven't been reading or looking thru this book of mine for some time. And I found something that was hidden the pages before today, most of May is dedicated to suffering, fighting, failing faint in faith, struggling, searching, and not knowing if God really cares or knows how this life feels.
Daniel 3:25 Walking in the midst of the fire. "The comfort of Christ's revelation is not emancipation from sorrow, but emancipation through sorrow...Oh my Go, teach me, when the shadows have gathered that I am only in a tunnel....Tell me I am only forced to clim because Thy house is on a hill!"
Psalms 27:13 I had fainted unless... "How the soul sinks, the heart grows sick, and the faith staggers under the keen trials and testings which come into our lives in times of special bereavement and suffering.....It is so when we are tempted to faint under affliciton. God's message to us is not "Be strong and of good courage," for He knows our strength and courage have fled away. But it is that sweet word "Be still and know that I am God."
I wonder if these 2 women, far off acquaintances that I have come in contact with, know that it is ok not to be strong? I wonder if they, like me, were out front and strong thru this time and hiding in the bedroom or bathroom crying? I wonder if those who leave messages for them saying "we are praying for you" or "God bless you" strike a cord of pain now but one day will be words that mean much more? I wonder if these women know that God is standing with them, crying with them, and they are not alone? I wonder if they know one day they are going to help someone, someone whom they don't know and never knew before, someone who, like them, is beginning their walk thru the fire and feeling faint?