This piece is part of a six part series talking about what it looks like to live as Wild-Hearted Women. There are so many voices telling us what we have to do and who we have to be in order to have a life worth living. But the Lord has called us to something higher, He has invited us to live with a wild-hearted freedom that can only be found when our lives are hidden in Him. I’ve invited five friends to write about finding beauty and meaning in the small moments of life, and stepping into what the Lord is calling you to do today.
I do not have a relaxed life. My days are spent making sure that 49 horses stay alive and happy. On top of that I, and the three other women that I work with, are responsible for taking the young horses and preparing them to be perfectly ridable. You can come to work one day and have a horse do exactly what you ask it to. Only to feel like you’ve gone back in time the next day when they can’t seem to remember a thing. Working somewhere where progress is measured so carefully, and failure can literally kick you in the face, it can be hard to remember why I’m really here. What my true purpose is. But then, often in the moments where it feels like life is about to crush me, God will send a reminder. Sometimes in a way that stops me dead in my tracks.
When I was 17, I was spending the summer somewhere that has since become my favourite place in the whole world. However, at that moment in time, I was counting down the days until I would get to leave. I had dreamed of working with horses for years but had never been brave enough to pursue anything. And now, here I was getting the chance I’d always wanted, and I was failing. Not a single thing that I did was good enough, and I began to dread going to the barn. I started resenting horses instead of being filled with joy every time I saw one. Then one day, I was walking to the barn, bracing myself for another day of my own incompetence. When a flash of blue came shooting across the path in front of me and landed on a nearby fence post. It was a mountain bluebird. It sat with its back to me, looking over its shoulder as if to say what are you worrying about? God took Matthew 6:26-27 and dropped it into my lap:
“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?”Matthew 6:26-27
Seeing that bird made me truly smile for the first time in days, and I skipped the rest of the way to the barn. I knew at that moment that I was exactly where I was supposed to be. God had brought me here for a reason. I just needed to keep trusting him.
Not all of my problems were fixed that day. I still struggled at the barn that summer, but the next year when I went back, it was easier. I even continued working at the barn after that summer was over. My confidence grew, and I stopped wondering if I would ever be good enough to work with horses. To some people, I never will be, and that’s okay. God has brought the right people into my life that have nurtured me and helped me grow more confident in myself, even if I didn’t see it at the time. I started learning how to find God in the hard days. Whether it was a cat curled up in my lap, a kid laughing when they realized that riding a horse wasn’t so scary, or a co-worker taking the time to explain something to me without belittling me in the process. And it was this last one that helped me realize that sometimes God was using me as the bluebird in someone else’s day.
Using me to say, “Don’t worry, how much more valuable are you?”
Simply and Wildly,
About the Author
Andrea was born and raised in Calgary. Although for the last five years she’s lived in small towns throughout southern Alberta. She is currently working in Spruce Meadows breeding/training barn.