Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The Rescue

This past weekend, after several years, I decided to add to my small herd and decided on a rescue. There is something to be said about rescuing an animal, generally they have a great desire to want to live, they have a sense of need but yet confidence to be alone and no real need for any human contact. Oh don't get me wrong, a rescue does in their core want human contact but the 'need' for human contact is not strong. They do not trust but tolerate and allow, they do not respond out of willingness but necessity, but somewhere in them you can see a desire to 'want' contact. Sunday, I recruited two friends, went to Erwin and loaded a mare to a trailer to haul back to my farm.  The process, planned to take all day, took most of 20 minutes. This mare, from a hoarding property, living at a rescue with 19 herd members, allowed me to coax and bring her into a metal box; without a desire to trust me or a need for human contact she allowed me to confine her. After a tense and long hour drive back to my farm, she allowed me to unload and maintain her direction on the ground. For a horse with little to no contact, no work or handling, I was impressed and hopeful, even after one friend asked her age. From the direction and information at the rescue, she was supposed to be 5-7 which was my response, my friend very skeptical, which started a series of doubt in me on the ability to use this mare for anything except a pasture ornament. My friend, just by looking at the mare, thought she was 14, and those words set off a line of fear and skepticism in me about the new addition...but not a word came out of my mouth. She was here, what was I to do now, load her back in the trailer, haul her back to the herd of 19? The day drug forward with little events in the pasture but she was pushed away from my tow mares, she wasn't allowed to be part of the herd, not unusual or unexpected, it takes time for new addition to become part of the herd. But how much time and, in the back of my mind, how old is she.

It's funny how something so little can make you think twice about something, little being an age; something so small can make you apprehensive. We do it daily, everything we come across we make an assessment of based on looks first then, after we've made out initial assessment, we find out the details. This is mostly applied to people, be honest it is, we look at someone and initially think how they will perform in whatever setting we happen to be involved in. Why? Well because for the most part we have been trained to do that, partly because a small, hidden sense of survival comes into play and we immediately assess the person as to how they will benefit the greater picture. No denying it we do this, we are programmed to do this and we do; if you are one of the few who don't do this, please message me because I want to know the secret.  I know there is one, it's very evident, it's actually right in front of us, it's forgiveness..... yes forgiveness.  You are probably thinking "this crazy woman how can it be forgiveness if we assess someone (something) by just looking at them?"It's pretty simple, forgiveness isn't about being hurt by someone/something and allowing that hurt to be forgiven (not entirely). Forgiveness is allowing release from pressure.."If anyone has caused grief, he has not so much grieved me as he has all of you, to some extent..the punishment inflicted on him by the majority is sufficient for him. Now instead you ought to forgive and comfort him so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow..I urge you to reaffirm your love for him...And what I have forgiven - if there was anything to forgive- I have forgiven in the sight of Christ." 2Cor 2:5,6,7, 10

I often wonder if my close friends really, really knew what kind of a person I was if they would  judge me know by my history instead of my appearance? I know that on the outside appear to be solid, full of ability and appearance makes a great impression but if even you knew me if you would read this blog or immediately, without knowing me, make a judgment against me? I lived that way and sometimes do still with God. I think there is no way, at all under any circumstances that He could ever really forgive me for my past, my history, my current failings. Paul when writing to the Corinthians addressed forgiveness of someone who apparently was bad mouthing him while he was away and not there, not to uncommon wouldn't you agree. Paul was doing what God had called him to do and someone was in Corinth bad mouthing him - what did they say - who knows, who cares - they said it. True or not, some of the people of Corinth were mad, some were swayed in their opinion of Paul, they made an assessment of Paul based on something someone else said...sound familiar? Paul is pretty straight forward with the followers in Corinth, he basically told them to 'grow up, why are you mad about something that didn't 'really' hurt me? why did you let him take your opinions away from you and alter your heart?' That's really what he said, believe me today that's light compared to what anyone of us would say.  Instead of getting mad Paul said "he's had enough hurt toward him no matter how much hurt he continues to drum up, forgive him and show him you love him". Hard directions to live by huh? So how to we get there, or how do I get there, is the real question. What do I need to do to forgive the original assessment I made and move on? It's really hard work, trust me, it is hard to allow something to fade away and to use love to focus on a prior assessment made of someone, and I am far from being able to do that in every situation..okay probably any situation.

Maybe that's why I have a rescue on my farm, maybe that's why I have a rescue who is not the horse I went to get-really she's not- and by my failings I trusted a person to offer the horse I went to retrieve and now I have a horse that is not what I expected. Maybe God knew exactly what He was doing when He put this older mare on the trailer, and now I need to forgive her for my assessment and find a way to get her to be part of the herd. Just like with people, sometimes circumstances are not always what they seem, and sometimes circumstances need to be forgiven to make way for love. Just like my rescue in her new herd, she is dealing with assessment from my long time mares, she is finding her way to get forgiveness for just being put in the pasture. It's been an adventure for me seeing God use my horses to teach me a lesson or get a point across, sometimes I don't like it, okay most times I don't like it but there it is plain to me that sometimes forgiveness is just allowing and accepting someone for who they are and not what I think they should be.

The song "That was then, this is now" is playing as I wrap this up, funny how things happen to fit right into place, just like my new small herd I have a place in His kingdom, and with forgiveness and love, I can make a place for others in the herd.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

"Don't take your love away from me, Don't leave my heart in misery, If you go then I'll be blue, 'Cause breaking up in hard to do..." Come on you know this song and if you don't, well then I have just let on to how old I am and that my entire family (minus my little brother) is years older than I. I really have no idea why this song came to my mind but it did and the only thing it relates to in my life is the pending break up in my future. I have to end a relationship that has been part of my life for 4 years, the relationship between me and my farrier, yes my farrier. You may giggle or you may be thinking 'what in the world, what relationship' but in reality there has been a relationship - one that occurs every 4-8 weeks when he comes to the farm to take care of my horses. If you have horses, you know that you are in a relationship with your farrier too. They comes to your property takes care of your horses for the short time they are there, they talk to you, find out how you are doing what's been happening, and somewhere in the midst of this short time you learn a lot about their lives and vice versa. From the first time they pull into the drive way, you my friend, not unlike me, are deep in a relationship. The picture above is probably an exact depiction of your relationship with your farrier, it's what mine looks like too.

It's funny this relationship we forge with these people.... we let on our farm, handle our horses, and then we pay them! Something about that just doesn't sound ....right (ha!). This friendship, sort of a forced situation, becomes something that I take time off of work for, make sure that the time is right, make certain that no matter what, the arrangement is kept, becomes a large part of my everyday life. Funny isn't it, how when you look at this relationship in that way, it takes on a life of its own...because lets face facts, if he/she was a true jerk, I probably wouldn't let them become part of my life, or would I? Don't be mistaken, I truly like the farrier I have now, it is not a personal issue to me but more of a 'business' matter. I hope that this person understands that no matter what I would refer clients to him but that our business is not working out.  This has happened only two other times in my time having horses in North Carolina, once because of time management, the farrier just couldn't make it to my barn on time, and once because the farrier was a friend and it was truly interfering in our personal friendship. When I reflected on these occurrences over the past decade of changes, it is hard not to reflect on other relationships that have ended in my life. I have had, at one time, 9 horses-yes 9, and of  those 9 I tried and created relationships with those horses some that worked out others that just didn't (if you have horses you know what I mean). Sometimes, the horse that you so desperately want to  work out is the one horse that no matter what just doesn't 'click'. The relationship failed and I was left with making a decision to remove the horse from the property. In retrospect, every decision I made was exactly the right one, each horse was perfectly placed in a relationship that was meant to be.

Isn't it wonderful when that happens? Isn't it just peaceful when that takes place? And isn't it amazing that God is using this situation of  the break up and past transitions to speak right to me. You don't believe me, I almost didn't believe it either because I went looking for one thing and found the answer in to many places. 1 Kings 8:57 "May the Lord our God be with us as He was with our fathers, may He never leave us or foresake us." Deut 31:6 "Be strong and courageous; do not be afraid or terrified because of [anything] because the Lord your God goes with you, He will never leave you or foresake you." Josh 1:5 "No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will never leave you nor foresake you." Heb 13:5 "..because God said, I will never leave you nor foresake you." Isn't it wonderful that no matter how I treat the relationship with God, angry at Him, disappointed with Him, being stubborn against Him, He is continually faithful, knowing the time when I will know exactly what He has known about this volital relationship, that He plans to stay whether or not I agree, He will hang in there.

I have to say that this was not what I was planning, not something that I had planned to find, in all truth the relationship with God has been less that friendly some days and more like a love/hate relationship than the "love/love" relationship that those who teach say it is.  And in reality in the truth, I believe that is really the relationship that I have with Him (probably you too).  And, although there is a relationship in my life that is ending this week, I know that the relationship I have with God is always going to be around, always going to be there even when I don't want it; in a strange way that is comforting. Maybe this relationship thing is going to work out, against all things, He will not leave you nor foresake you.