“God will provide,” I repeat to myself as I open up this month’s vet bill.
“God will provide.” I squeeze my eyes shut to try and distract myself from the fact that this is my client’s final session with me before I send them out into the world – healing, ready… but leaving me with a hole in both my heart and my schedule.
“God. Will. Provide.” I say this through clenched teeth as I lose my beloved gelding in a freak accident – while on bed rest 8 months pregnant – and then lose my dog, my absolute best buddy, far too soon after.
I’ve always been a big believer in this mantra, but it took a bit of searching to find out what it really means. See, it doesn’t mean that if I buy a bunch of pretty ponies for fun and then sit here waiting, God’s going to just hand me the money to care for them. I need to put in the work – His work that I am called to do – and He will supply me with the opportunities necessary to provide for my herd and my family. But I still need to work hard and be brave enough to pursue those opportunities when they arise.
There have been times in my life where I learned that I was headed in the wrong direction, where doors were shut as I tried to walk through them. It was frustrating, defeating, and made me want to stop searching for the right path. Looking back now I can see how that was also God’s way of providing for me. College not working out, jobs that didn’t lead to long-term promotions, all the barns we had to move to with my business… these challenges all felt so heavy in the moment, but I wouldn’t be where I am today – helping these specific people that God has placed in my life – if they had turned out differently. It took trust, patience, and faith to get here. Although the path is still fairly new, me being only 25 and all, I have already been so blessed by the pursuit of this calling.
The correct path is not free from challenges, of course. There will always be challenges. Vet bills, difficulties with clients, losing herd members… those things definitely weigh on my heart and cause me to grow weary at times. But in those moments – knowing that if I continue to work for His Kingdom, I will want for nothing – I press on. Romans 8:28 says “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” I keep this verse close to me each day, reminding myself that this is what I’ve been called to do. I am here to serve His people with my gifts with the horses, and I will continue to do that despite the hardships I encounter… Because I know that in my time of need, I just have to reach out to Him – and He will provide.
Simply and Wildly,
About the Author
Jade Dykstra runs Lasting Strides Equine just NE of Calgary, AB. She and her husband, Phil, and their newborn son, Levi, live on a hobby farm with 19 horses, a donkey, goats, chickens… lots of animals. Jade starting Lasting Strides in 2015 and focuses on working with youth and young adults struggling with mental illness in her Equine Assisted Wellness business.