Count it All Joy?

9 Oct

Count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. (James 1:2-3)

The year is 2008, and I am in a pit so large that it consumes my every thought.  Slapped with a million dollar lawsuit against my husband and I.  Our insurance would not cover it because they had sued us as a nuisance.  We were getting $5,000 bills from our law firm that we had to pay out of our pocket.  Our savings depleted, credit cards maxed out to defend ourselves was one of the most humiliating times in my life.  I would scan the Bible and quote the verses that pertained to being unjustly tried.  Crying every morning as I read my Bible, wracked with sobs while I prayed, I could not escape this anguish.  Little did I know that this was nothing compared to the upcoming battles.

Like a tornado wreaking ravaging wind and rain, my life started to spin uncontrollably.  It started with one of my horses slowly declining in his health.  Dandy was a beautiful, proud Quarter Horse.  His majestic strength carried the weak, tired, and disabled with dignity.  He grew into the favorite horse at the farm.  His decline was awful, at times he would wobble and lose his balance, he would refuse to eat, and he would stand in the back of the pasture looking at the creek.  I knew he wanted to go home to be with the Lord.  The fateful day came on Thanksgiving of that year.  Through dried out turkey, I choked on my food with nothing but despair in my heart and mind.

Then three weeks later, my beloved Beau was found in heart failure. The students were devastated and  would gather my side.  To comfort ourselves we would tell stories of Dandy and Beau and the impact they made on our lives.

December 27 I was going out to feed the horses and noticed that Chessy, a Morab, was standing by the gate.  He was usually in his stall waiting for his feed and pawing at the ground, demanding that he be fed first.  Upon closer inspection I saw something that horrified me, his eye was shredded and a portion of his eye laid outside of his eyelids.

My vet came to only tell me that New Bolton was the only place that could fix his eye.  Two surgeries and now a new eye thanks to a corneal transplant, my horse was making rapid recovery.  Heavily dosed with antibiotics, he had to stay at the hospital so that he would not reject the transplant.  During this time, I found that this pony was a model patient.  At home, he was always distant, rejecting any loving treatment.  He was a work horse, interested in just doing his job and then being left alone was his motto.  In the hospital, he became a loving pony, gently resting his face against my chest, whinnying when he heard me, our relationship grew.  Then he came down with double pneumonia.  The vet assured me that they thought he would be out of it quickly.  I did not worry, but rested.  God knew that this horse was one of the only lesson horses left from my depleted herd.  Chessy was progressing until I got a call that would change all of that.  It was late in the afternoon and I was driving to the hospital when I got the call that Chessy had a blockage in his small intestine, this was fatal if he did not get surgery.  Instead of asking me, she told me that Chessy would die without the surgery. I was only fifteen minutes away and I would be there to talk to her in person.

With heaviness, I entered his stall, he was now in ICU and I had to change into scrubs and put my shoes, hair, and hands in protective gear.  Looking like a blueberry, I laid my hands on Chessy’s side.  I prayed with vigor, I told him that he would live and not die.  I lifted my hands in praise to God and just started to quote Psalm 23.  Then I heard the door open and I saw the vet.  My eyes were swollen from crying and my voice cracked.  I told her about Dandy and Beau and how much I needed Chessy to get better, that my students could not handle another loss.  She shook her head and said that he was comfortable and we would just give him more time.

The drive home was filled with praise.  I was going to give God praise even though I did not know what He was doing.  Who am I to question God?  I accept and always will accept God and His divine wisdom.  I told Him that the farm was His.  I will always give Him EVERYTHING, even what means the most to me.

Early the next morning the phone rang and it was the vet.  I picked it up and started to smile.  I had made peace with whatever the decision was regarding Chessy.  If he lived or passed on, it would be fine because I had handed everything over to God.  It was not mine anyway.  The vet said, “Your prayers are working.  Chessy passed not only one clump but two clumps of stool.”

I picked Chessy up from the hospital on a cool, beautiful spring day.  I medicated Chessy every three hours, it was a lovely time to spend with such a kind and sensitive horse.  His personality had blossomed through his ordeal.  His love was boundless and he has continued to pay me back for my sacrifice.  He can see out of his eye and his surgery scars remind me of a terrible cost both financially and spiritually.

God has taught me through this period that He will continue to show me His will and most importantly, His promises to me.  He will never leave me or forsake me.  Then sings my soul, How GREAT thou art!

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and give you hope, never to harm you. Jeremiah 29:11

Please be encouraged, for after this time period of great trial came great blessings.  My farm was chosen to be featured on an international TV show called the 700 Club.  I was also selected as the therapeutic carrier for the Salem County Center for Autism.  Since then I have had several speaking engagements on the radio, and in the public forum.  I believe that it is with truth and conviction that I can say trials produce your best, and that is always rewarded.

Be blessed and know that you are LOVED!!

Ever been through a trial?  How did God work it out?  Please Share!!!  I LOVE to hear from you!!



5 Responses to “Count it All Joy?”

  1. billgncs October 10, 2012 at 1:52 AM #

    what an inspiring story, so sorry for your losses, I can only imagine. Thank you for sharing it.

    • anythingforhorseandrider October 21, 2012 at 12:33 PM #

      I tell my students that the only time you change is when you are being challenged and tried. I learned the most through those dark times, and what I learned most was that God never left me, He saw me through these times by streaming hope and encouragement. Thanks for your comments, you are always so kind to me!

      • billgncs October 21, 2012 at 12:52 PM #

        I agree, growth and stepping out of our comfort zone can be uncomfortable at best and painful at worst.

        Yes, being loved by the creator has been a great comfort for me as well.

        always enjoy your posts.

  2. daerickson October 19, 2012 at 9:06 AM #

    Wow, what an amazing journey. It came at just the right time! Thanks for sharing.

    • anythingforhorseandrider October 21, 2012 at 12:32 PM #

      My only desire is to encourage others. Sometimes life has many challenges, and it is through these that we learn who we really are. GOD was evident through it all!! Thanks for your comment!

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