Monday morning. The first day of the week brings fresh hopes and dreams. I imagine better, clearer ways to be true, to give the Gift entrusted to me.

But there’s always something.

I live on a mini-ranch. Letting the horses out to graze reveals leg injuries. The gelding—who wasn’t supposed to mount the mare in heat—DID. Kicks…torn ligaments… blood…limping.

An urgent call to the vet brings a “No—I’ve got three emergencies right here. You live too far away.”

Double. Crisis.

The only solution? A long trip in the horse trailer for the gelding. Not enough money for both horses to be stitched up. The mare winces in pain and stands trembling on three legs, favoring her fourth.

Seeing her in pain wrenches my stomach.

Something always seems to dash dreams…to injure one’s heart. Over a lifetime, accumulated pain and disappointments can bring complete shut down. It’s simply too illogical, too risky to dream, to desire anything anymore. We are tempted to seek safety. No more surprises, OK, God? I’ve had my share. I just want sameness, predictability. Please, God, haven’t I earned it?

 The book I’m reading expresses my predicament:

How do I wake up to joy and grace and beauty and all that is the fullest life when I must stay numb to losses and crushed dreams and all that empties me out?

– Ann Voskamp

One Thousand Gifts: A dare to live fully right where you are

 Safety, predictability, and numbness…do not a fully alive heart make.

I sit with this reality. Wait.

Another reality floats up:

My ability to dream, to imagine a better future for myself and others is not

-dependent on my cleverly honed imagination

-based on a learned positive outlook.

-a practiced technique to jettison suffering or keep my thoughts in the present.

A bright future comes from a dare:

The dare to believe that God is all Love and all Goodness. He CAN and WILL and IS using every single last thing to pull me up—higher into the realm where He is. He uses life—good, bad and indifferent—to awaken me to the spiritual being I am created to be.  Every circumstance is an invitation to grow in faith, hope and love…to join God in the greater work of healing human hearts, including my own.

God remixes the disappointments of my past to bring good from them. This is the basis on which I can envision a brighter future.

 It’s as simple as that.

 I review my life. I know I’ve become:

-More humble, able to see myself as a card-carrying member of the human race, not less or more than another member

-More in tune with my own heart and its true desires. I recognize trivial pursuits for what they are—trivial

-A little more others-oriented. God and people appear on my radar screen more clearly than before

-More dependent on God now. His wisdom and direction?  Requirements, not options.

I have much on which to base a brighter future.

More faith.

More hope.

More love.

More God.

I imagine better, clearer ways to be true, to give the Gift entrusted to me.


 The gelding returns home…sporting a fancy bandage. To ensure he heals properly, we’ll email photos of the stitches to the vet.

We hope to ride him again in four months.

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photo credit: Coen Dijkman (creative commons)

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