Listening to the trainer give instructions on how to place my hands on the reins I tell myself again, Breathe. Arms bent. Heels down. Toes up. Sit tall. I digest each instruction letting the words sink into the depths of my mind. Silence the whispering doubt looming in the back of my mind. A subtle squeeze. Movement. One step. Two step. Three Step. Four. I’m riding a horse.
We move forward, the horse and I, together step by step. I am comforted by the familiar sound of her voice, the one I’ve listened to for years, walking beside us, instructing and encouraging. I begin to relax. The horse who had intimidated me earlier in the barn, is really a gentle giant.
I am smiling. I tell myself, “You are doing this. Look at you!” Step-by-step I am silencing the doubt. The years of wishing I could ride, terrified that I was not smart enough, athletic enough or brave enough are fading away. I’m riding a horse. I smile again.
When I’m comfortable the trainer adds a new position: Two-Point. Coordination is not my strong point. I manage to get up, hands on her neck for support. Wait, I forgot to steer! This horse is smart and does what she knows to do. We walk another gentle circle along the rail. Let’s try this again. I’m beginning to understand. How to keep the weight back. I try to ignore the nagging thought that I look hilarious from my daughter’s view point.
This is what it means to trust. When you are riding on a 1000+ pound animal, with a mind and will of it’s own, you have to find trust. Learning to ride is not just about mechanics; it’s also finding the place where you and the horse have a connection.
Reflecting upon the lesson this morning, I realized, Abba decided. It is time. I need to learn again to trust.
When I know he’s speaking to me I start reading. I am amused to find a line by the Psalmist, “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.” (Psalms 20:7 KJV). I giggle at the thought: Abba is using a horse to teach me to trust.
Every year for the last 7 years he’s given me a word. This year I couldn’t settle on a word. I tumbled over a few. Simplicity. Rest. Relax. I set about to blog and could not find the words. Seven days after the new year, on the back of beautiful black horse by the name of Lea, he speaks to my heart: Learn to Trust.
This year, I will live the words of Romans 15:13 “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.(KJV).” I am both excited and scared at the same time.
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