A Part of Me Died Today

For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland. Isaiah 43:19 (NLT)

Sometimes the dreams we have come to what seem like an abrupt end, when in reality God is trying to point us in a whole new direction. This post is a little more personal in nature. It is an experience I wish wasn’t mine to tell, yet, one in which I cannot expect to escape me this side of heaven.

It only took me 4 years to admit I was angry at God. I wasn’t mad that he took my dad suddenly and without warning, but I realized I was mad at him for taking my dream. I was and always have been a “daddy’s girl”. He really got me. I was like him in many ways. Some things like his fiery red temper I would rather not have gotten, but he instilled in me a love, a craving for God’s Word that can never be taken from me. He was a man of prayer and there was something about his prayers that had a way of calming the storm within me. I will never forget his hands when he would lay them gently on my head and pray over me.  A peace would well up within me and I just knew everything was going to be ok.

My dad was a veterinarian, a horse doctor. This is where my sister and I got our love of horses. His passion became ours and ultimately turned into the birth of a dream. It only seemed natural after I got my degree in mental health counseling, that my family would start a Ranch for the hurting using horses.

Some of my fondest memories are of me getting to tag along with my dad in his work truck going from farm to farm. As a young child I thought magic came from his hands. He had a way with horses and it seemed as if there wasn’t any aliment he couldn’t cure. Why, when I needed him most was his life cut short? It is crazy to think that one moment in time can changed every laid out plan I had created.

He was suppose to retire soon and he told me that all he wanted to do was work on the Ranch with my sister and I. Then in a instant everything changed. I was at church and my phone rang. I just knew in my heart something was wrong. On the other line I heard the frantic voice of my mother’s best friend telling me to get to the hospital quick.

And just like that, he was gone.

The story of what transpired began to unfold. My dad had just finished leading worship at his church. He walked off stage, sat down by my mother, and no response. His sudden death left me rattled & confused. I remember thinking, “How I am going to go on without him?” Everything in me wanted to run from the ministry my family began – nothing made sense anymore.

He was the first on my list to call that morning. We had just received the news that our suburban home had finally sold (it only took 3 years) and we could now be on the look out for River of Hope’s new home. He was supposed to help us find the perfect fit – the perfect horse farm. But I never got to make that call.

It has been almost 5 years now and it was just the other day that I had a true epiphany. Crazy how long we can be blind to things we are holding onto and don’t even know it. I was reading an article about why we use horses and this paragraph grabbed hold of my heart. It said,  “If it is in your blood to love horses, you share your life with them. Our horses know our secrets; we braid our tears into their manes and whisper our hopes into their ears. A barn is a sanctuary in an unsettled world, a sheltered place where life’s true priorities are clear… Some of us need these reminders.” ~ Author unknown

I burst into tears as I realized I’d been running from the Ranch ever since my dad died. I simply didn’t want to do it without him.The barn was no longer my sanctuary and what used to feel like a sheltered place now was an ever present reminder of his absence.  But the truth is I needed a reminder of why I started doing this in the first place.

God asked me to give my dream back to Him – the dream of running this ministry with my dad by my side. It seems crazy really that I was still holding on as if he was ever coming back. Oh, it was gut-wrenching. I couldn’t believe how hard it was to let it go. I felt like I was losing my dad all over again. I had to lay it at His feet and let go of how I thought it was supposed to be so that I could embrace the path God has for me now. Once I let it go, peace flooded in and I began to see that He really was creating a path for me. He hadn’t forgotten or forsaken me. He was just waiting for me to be ready to come along.

He has called me to be a lighthouse pointing the way out of the darkness for others – a voice for the hurting. And whether he has me on a ranch with horses or some other place entirely, I will shine my light for Him! I don’t have all the answers I want yet, but I trust in the ONE lighting the way.

Maybe your dreams haven’t turned out like you thought either. Could it be you are holding onto something God is asking you to let go of so He can place in your hands a new beginning? Search your heart. Ask yourself if you too need to forgive God for things that didn’t work out as you hoped. Trust me, when we give back to Him what was never meant to be ours, He has so much more in store for us than we could ever image. It is hard, believe me – I get it. We may even feel like a part of us has died, but we have to be courageous enough to let go of our dream so that we can see the dream He has had for us all along. He has a path for you and me just waiting to be found.

Be blessed ~ Be a Light

Some of the excerpts from this post are from my new book, Shining Freely, coming in late 2017 and below is my self-therapy 🙂 book I published highlighting some of favorite prayers my father wrote and his nuggets of truth for life! My hope is his prayers will touch your heart as well.

This blog post contains affiliate links. However, this doesn’t affect what I write about, what I choose to say, or what I recommend. 🙂

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