Thursday, March 17, 2011

Dream Big

Hi my friends! Is there still anyone reading this blog? LOL. I know my attempts to keep up with this have been pitiful. I hope to remedy that somewhat as I should have more interesting bloggy material in the days to come. However, I can make no promises. :)

Several months ago I started a post that I never finished. It was basically complaining about the stage of life in which I found myself and how intensely frustrated I was with the seeming lack of plan and purpose when I ought to be old enough to have done something more meaningful with my life by now. I wrote how I feel more confused and unsure of the future now than I did at 18. How I wish God would just tell me what He wants me to do specifically, complete with written directions! I am the only one who feels this way, right? ;)

Now as I look back from the threshold of an open door, I must testify to you that my God is faithful, regardless of the circumstances. He is good, whether I receive the desires of my heart or not. He says, Delight yourself in Me, and I will give you the desires of your heart. I believe that when we make it our pursuit to delight in God, He becomes our greatest desire. And I know that is the one desire that is guaranteed to be fulfilled. "You will seek Me, and find me, when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, says the Lord." Jer. 29:13,14
"I will" He says.... it is God's will and pleasure to be found by you and me! He created us different from all the rest of creation, that we might be conscious of Him and seek Him for intimacy. And even as my long held frustrations and impatient distresses fall by the wayside in the wake of a new adventure, God is working a new grace in my soul to seek and to find the real treasure in Himself. After years of wandering and thirsting in the desert of head knowledge, after coming up empty in my relationship with God, the Living Word has dawned on my heart and I am beginning to know Him in a new way, as the Living Bread and Water to sustain my spirit. Perhaps I tasted of this as a young teen, when I discovered a new and maturing hunger for the Scriptures. But now, since I have seen what is really inside me and have tangled with the thorns choking my soil and sucked desperately at the polluted trickle of my self-dug wells.....Jesus Christ has brought me back to Himself and invited me to come to the waters where true satisfaction springs forth. He has opened my eyes to reality, to understand that losing my life means I must lay down my "pitcher" filled with the water that never satisfies me, and come to Him to drink. And I'm seeing that there is life in Him to make my spirit stronger and give me power to overcome the evil one and know that I have everything I need regardless of what I lack in this world's goods or definition of success. This isn't what I meant to write about but it's just so amazing I had to share it! I hope it means something to you, that it doesn't just sound like a lot of abstract, poetic stuff. I'm not sure I can express exactly what is happening, but I just know that it's real, and that no matter where I go in life from here, I'm going after the Living One with all I've got!

Now, to cap it off, I have to share about the incredible door Father has opened for me! For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to be a cowgirl. I was blessed to be around horses a good bit while growing up, riding with friends, volunteering at a therapeutic riding center, etc. But I never owned a horse or took formal lessons or got beyond the basics. Still, I've never lost the desire to somehow have horses in my life and work extensively with them, possibly in ministry. Several years ago I read a book called Bridge of Hope by Kim Meeder. Kim experienced terrible hurts in her childhood, but God called her to Himself and has worked so much healing in her life, and horses are a big part of what He used to do it. So she started a ranch to help kids like her. She rescues abused and abandoned horses as well. Her books are filled with incredible stories of some of these kids and horses and how they have found healing together. That book touched me and gave me a vision to be a part of something like that. But I didn't really pursue it then, and the dream has been tucked away in my heart ever since.
Last fall I found out about a ranch in Missouri that started because the owners caught the vision of Kim Meeder's ranch. It is a small, nonprofit, family run ministry with limited resources and big dreams. The person who gave me the information encouraged me to look into it, and I did. That resulted in taking a weekend trip to visit and help with a fundraiser at the ranch. I left knowing I wanted to spend more time there, but I didn't have big hopes for anything more than a short-term volunteer thing. My deeper hope, though, was that I could have a paid staff position and be there long term. How exciting to imagine getting into a place like that, where I could start with my limited knowledge and learn everything horse while working and being involved in a purposeful ministry to kids with all kinds of needs! Imagine getting to do what I really want to do, without going to an expensive school. Imagine being able to combine my love of horses with the special place God has developed in my heart for needy kids, especially those with mental and physical challenges.

Long story short, I've spent the last several months praying and planning to give part of the summer to volunteering at His Ranch. Imagine my joy when Father surprised me with an email on my birthday.... an email offering me an indefinite staff position at the ranch! I've gone through a mix of thoughts and emotions these past few weeks as I prepare to pull up stakes at home and step into a new chapter of my life for an unknown time period. But I must return to the truth that my God is faithful and He does have a good purpose for my life and He does not give us random desires that He never means to fulfill. My greatest prayer is that wherever God allows me to be, it is the place where I can best get closer to Him. And whatever happens, it is for the purpose of knowing Him more intimately and being conformed to the image of Jesus.

May we all be inspired to seek harder after God and dream as big as we can, because our God has no limits!

Coming from His Ranch!