When I woke up this morning, I struggled to get out of bed, like I usually do. I am not a morning person, so crawling out of bed is a major accomplishment. This morning though, while I did struggle, I also was inspired. It was a bright gray morning with the air filled with blowing snow flurries. The thought popped into my head that said, "Karen, get up and write. Right this down." I went about my normal Monday morning routine of getting the boys ready for school.
Now, I haven't been inspired, or even wanted to pick up a pencil and start to write in six very long years. I've written some little things here and there, but I haven't really written. That is until this morning. I'm not finished with my writing from this morning, so instead I will share about my weekend.
This past weekend I went on a Women's Retreat with my church. It was a completely new experience for me since I haven't been away without my husband in the (nearly) 12 years we've been married. I've been in the hospital a few times, but that doesn't count. I went with my sister-in-law and my niece. It was a fabulous time! There were some issues that I've been working on in my personal life that was definitely affecting my family life. I needed a change. I needed a break from life. This weekend was just what I needed!
At the retreat, I met so many wonderful women, shed a lot of tears, had some deep belly laughs and even was able to overcome a fear of heights - and horses! The horse fear is quite strange to me since I love horses and even spent a week at horsemanship camp back in my senior year of high school. That one really threw me a curve ball.
I signed up for horseback riding because I have been wanting to get back on a horse again for a long time. I was scared, just outright scared and shaking. I was determined that I would face these fears and overcome them. I prayed a lot for courage and strength.
The women were all very encouraging. The horse they wanted me to ride was named Goliath. What else could he be but tall? I felt sick to my stomach when I saw him. I knew he was tall because of his name, but to actually see him? I had to face this fear and move past it. I couldn't just stand there staring at the horse. If I couldn't even get up in the saddle, how in the world would I face this fear. I stepped up on the block, held onto the saddle like I was told, took a deep breath and closed my eyes. The nearly overwhelming desire to step back off the block was the only thought in my mind.
"No! I am bigger than this fear. God will give me what I need." I told myself. I took another deep breath, put my foot in the saddle and.... after a slight pause, pulled myself up, swung my leg over the horse and was in the saddle. I held the reins just like I was told and listened to the instructions. I was shaking like a leaf in a windstorm.
"Okay, Karen," I started telling myself. "You can do this. You're on the horse now. God will give me what I need."
I asked the girl if I would be able to get off the horse if I was too scared. She was so nice and encouraging to me. She told me that she would meet me on the other side of the barn and if I was still too scared once I got there, she'd get me down.
I was scared and shaking by the time I got there. I didn't want to quit. God is bigger than my fears and I knew that He would give me what I need, when I need it. I told the girl that "good or bad, I'm going for it!" and off we went.
We started on the trail and I was thinking, "WHAT IN THE WORLD AM I DOING?!?!?!?!" I tried my best to relax in the saddle and enjoy the beauty of my surroundings. The other girls were enjoying themselves and so could I. Couldn't I?
I scolded myself. "You are not a quitter! You can do this. God has been giving you the strength and courage to get this far and you will hate yourself if you don't keep going. Now, ya big scaredy - RELAX!"
The trail wound through the trees and looking around, I could see the beauty that God has given us to enjoy on our ride. It was a cold day, but beautiful. The trail was muddy but I liked it. A muddy trail winding through the trees just like our life.
We don't go through life on a completely straight and perfectly paved path. We have our own muddy trails that we find ourselves struggling down. God gives us the strength and the ability to continue on with one foot in front of the other. I believe that God puts the people we need into our lives at exactly the time we need them. God gives us what we need but not always in the ways or the forms that we think we need it, or are even looking for.
While I struggled with my fears on this muddy trail in the woods, God had given me what I needed in the form of the women I was on the trail with. They looked so secure and confident that I thought I can do that! They gave me encouragement with their words that uplifted me and gave me some much needed confidence that I had the strength to overcome these fears.
God bless those women!
Long story, um.... long, I made it back to the stables! I was able to relax and enjoy the ride. I enjoyed being on horseback, feeling Goliath's strength and his gentleness. I enjoyed the beauty of the woods as we rode through the trees. I don't enjoy the slight pain in my backside, but it is so worth it.
Goes to show that when you put your mind to something, believe that you have the ability to do it, and the trust that God will see you through it and even help you enjoy it, you can do it! You can face your fears and overcome them, with God's help. He will never leave your side and is watching over you. He looks out for you, wants the best for you and always will.
Deuteronomy 31:6 says, " Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you."
This past weekend was just what I needed. God knows my needs and has taken care of me to give me what I need. He will do the same for you! He knows exactly what you need and would dearly love for you to reach out your hand and give Him your trust so He can take care of you. He is right there, waiting for you.
I have defeated my "Goliath" with God right there beside me. I have overcome a huge stumbling block in my life. You can call me....
David was a young boy when he came up against Goliath. Goliath was the enemy giant who had come to defeat David's people. Everyone was afraid. The only one brave enough to go up against this mountain of a man was this young boy.
Step by step, David approached the giant; his slingshot in his hand. In his other hand were five smooth stones from the stream. Stones against a giant? I know what you are thinking. David can't defeat Goliath with five stones thrown from a slingshot. Here is where you are wrong. You are forgetting that God was with David.
Goliath taunted this young boy. "Am I a dog that you come at me with sticks?" (I Samuel 17:43) David responded to his taunts, "You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I will strike you down."
As you can imagine, Goliath did not like hearing this. As he moved forward to attack David, David slipped a stone into the slingshot. He swung it around and around and let the stone fly. The stone struck Goliath on the head and sunk deep into his forehead. A young boy and a stone is all it took to kill a giant. A young boy with God on his side.
I hope that you will look at the day and find the beauty that God has created for you, His child. The sun is shining outside my window, the blue sky has but few puffy, white clouds. It is still a cold, windy day, but to look out my window and see this beautiful day, I realized that I have been blessed with the miracle of a new day. It's a new beginning. God has given me a bucket that is filled with His mercy and His grace, which is refilled each day.
Find the beauty in your life and focus on it. It is not always easy but focus on the good and pray about the bad. Put it all in God's hands for He wants to handle it for you. You are His child and He wants to love you and already does. He already knows you inside and out and still He loves you. Unconditionally, He loves you.
May your day be blessed.
May your life be filled with the beauty of hope, love, mercy and grace.
May you choose to accept Jesus into your heart so He can truly care for you.
If you have any interest in learning more about God and His undying love, check back for more. I don't promise to have a new post each week, but as I am inspired to write. Feel free to leave any comments, good or bad. I promise to not get mad.
God bless you this day and keep you in His loving embrace.