Last week, I celebrated my birthday while driving a truck and trailer for over 8 hours through the mountains. Doesn't sound like fun to you? I did almost cry several times, but not because I was sad about traveling apart from my family or stressed about turning another year older. I felt an overwhelming amount of joy because I was able to see a culmination of a life-long dream to have horses on my own property and the fulfillment of a God-given vision for Bright Side.
As you may have noted in previous blogs, I've spent quite a bit of time around horses and in various aspects of the equine world, and while I've managed other stables and cared for numerous horses for many years, I've never had them in my own backyard. And, as a startup nonprofit that just obtained a 501(c)3 status a little over 6 months ago, I was ready to celebrate the ability to bring on the very first two horses for the ranch.
These precious Angels in Horsehair are the foundation of all that God has in store for restoration, healing, and hope at Bright Side, and being able to pick them up myself, drive them home, and turn them out in the field was a blessing that truly took my breath away.
I remember struggling through birthdays before, longing for God to hear the cries of my heart and wondering when this dream would come true - if it would ever come true. I may have been impatient and at time short-sighted for all that God was doing in my own heart, but those feelings and even doubts were very real. Now, I look out from my porch, see those beautiful creatures and know that God had not forgotten me at all. He was carefully planning and orchestrating and waiting for me to be bold enough to trust Him and step forward in faith.
And, those sweet horses are here because of so many others responding to His prompting. Countless hours of sweat placing fences and clearing ground, numerous prayer partners lifting us up and encouraging us forward, and so many faithful givers believing in the mission of Bright Side and in God who can bring it to pass - those are the amazing partners in ministry who have enabled the Ranch to gallop forward.
I am another year older, and I could very well find dissatisfaction in the fact that I'm not as young as I used to be or often think I am. But, this year's number is a reminder of all the blessings God has poured out and continues to pour out on my life and on Bright Side. I am extremely grateful and believe this was my best birthday yet!
Here are a few pictures of the new additions to the Ranch (their stories are coming soon!):