ramblings, burning bushes, and my hopeless opus

Sunday, March 6, 2016

It's a strange thing.

Being somewhat lost and not all the way found, caught somewhere between striving for a purpose and feeling blank and hopeless.

The root cause isn't anything in particular. Nothing solid to put my finger on, no pulse, no inhalation.

Just me.


Not really here, here, but not really anywhere else either.

Nothing is wrong. But my skin wants to crawl and my bones want to ache with the weight of things I thought I would have done by now, but never really found the opportunity for.

Life is good.

Great, actually.

The last six months of veterinary appointments for Amadeus have come to an end. He's fine. Better than fine. I have a sweet, baby colt who grows bigger and stronger every single day. I have so many things to be grateful for. I am thankful. And yet, it all feels completely weird and dreamy and unrealistic.

I do so many things on a daily basis, but none of them seem to matter in the grand scheme of things.

I made a vision board several months ago. Hung up all the pictures of the things I wanted to do or have one day. National dressage competitions, a sable German Shepherd, encouraging scriptures.

I look at it.

So what?” My mind whispers.

A motivational post pops up on my newsfeed. I want to be inspired, but a sigh comes instead.

I feel jaded. Confused. For no reason at all.

God brought me through one of the worst seasons of my life. He set my feet on higher ground.

So, why, why, why do I feel so low?

There was a time when I opened my eyes every morning feeling like the Holy Spirit came down and kissed me on the eyelids. So, so warm. Tangible. Buoyant.

Now, I wake searching and come up empty.

Everybody goes through dry seasons. I know. I get that.

But may I confess something?

I hate it.

Like, what even?

I feel like a Hebrew child, wandering about in the wilderness, except there's no cloud or pillar of fire. There's not even a burning bush.

Ugh, I wish there was a burning bush.

You see, I've spent the past two years living the same day, over and over and over.

I wake up. I work out. I go to the barn. I ride my horse. I come home. I walk the dogs. I entertain myself until I go to bed. Lather, rinse, and repeat.

And it's all so completely and utterly pointless.

Or it feels like it anyway.

There are so many people doing such amazing things for our Abba. Things that seem to matter, to make a difference. Would I feel better if God had called me to be a missionary in an inaccessible jungle, dodging death and smuggling Bibles?

Well, He didn't.

He called me to be a horse trainer.

I remember what He told me last summer when I didn't even have that to go on and cried out in frustration,

“I don't know where I'm going!”

I know where you're going. Just wait.

He still knows where I'm going. I just suck at waiting.

I suck at it because I'm walking through a desert with no map and I'm pretty sure I've passed the same rock a dozen times and I dropped my backpack into a ravine and there are blisters on my feet and what I really want to do is sit down under a cactus and refuse to move until I have some less enigmatic answers.

I suck at it because I've spent most of my life waiting for the other forsaken shoe to drop and when challenges come, I'm sure this must be it. But it never is. Somehow, I always end up on the other side, eyes blinking wide with wonder, in awe of this God who won't give up on me, even when I'm convinced that He has or even when I'm sort of wanting Him to.

Even when I cry myself to sleep because those anxious thoughts hiss and gurgle and threaten to tear me apart.

Even when I'm so nervous that I can barely breathe, please don't expect me to function, I'm just surviving here. Out of order sign on my heart.

Even when He goes from feeling unbelievably close to incredibly far away.

Even then.

He's still here.

Right here, in my bones, in my bloodstream, in every breath that I take.

Every thump of my heart, every cell in my body carries the DNA of the Divine.

I want my life to mean something, impact someone.

It means something because He gave me this life. Not a life of someone else. This one.

I sometimes feel so ashamed because I have such fanciful ambitions and some people don't even have food. I feel selfish for not wanting to just pay bills and die when some people wish they could do exactly that. My Western lifestyle doesn't feel pious enough.

But God has a good plan for the little girl in India and that is why He placed her there.

A good plan for the refugees fleeing a war-torn country.

A good plan for the one losing their life for the Gospel.

A good plan for the orphan.

A good plan for the saint.

A good plan for the sinner.

A good plan...even for me.

Because whether you have many possessions or none at all, every last person on earth needs nothing more than Jesus.

The existence of darkness does not stop Him from bringing forth light. It only amplifies it.

So, yeah. I'm a horse-crazy control freak who can't do this life without Him.

I don't get taken seriously because a 20-year old who has no show record isn't significant enough to have an opinion worth listening to yet.

I'm soul filled with wanderlust who can't seem to move outside the borders of this state.

But I know I can't give up because of that otherworldly pain I get when I see horses who have owners who believe that every move they make is a fight for dominance.

Horses who don't stand a chance because the pursuit of glory and popularity took precedence over their welfare.

I recognize myself in the kids who would do anything to be near a horse.

The girl on the scruffy off-bred mutt who keeps her head held high amongst the snickers of those who seem to think horses care what breed they are.

I remember that life isn't made meaningful by how much you do, but by how much you love.

Tomorrow, I may be scared of the future again. I may feel lost, dazed, confused, alone, and hopeless.

But I can remind myself of this:

The other shoe will not drop because there are no shoes.

There's just this breath.

And the next one.

What will happen tomorrow?

There's no telling.

But I don't have to know what is in all of my tomorrows because I know Who is.

I don't have to fear this moment or the next because He is not there, He is here.

Wrapped up in the strands of my hair, the flash of my teeth.

In the golden hues of my horse's eyes, his breath on my cheek.

To quote that Imagine Dragons song, it's not a picture perfect life, not what I had in mind.

But it's going to be just fine.

Yes, I'm in the wilderness right now, but I know that only leads to the Promised Land.

One of my favorite verses is Joshua 14:12 and it starts out like this:

“So give me the hill country that the Lord promised me...”

Joshua wandered the desert for forty years. Four decades of nothing, but wilderness, surrounded by the groaning of people who had long forgotten about Egypt and the Red Sea. But Joshua remembered what the Lord had promised and he kept his eye on the prize. In the end, the hill country was his.

When the daily grind gets hard and my hope starts to leave; when burning bushes are scarce and I just want to flee. When it feels pointless to ask, but something is telling me to trust, I lift my eyes toward heaven and whisper,

Lord, give me the hill country.”


  1. Oh man, do I relate to this. So very much. This is the most beautiful thing I've read in a while. My Western lifestyle doesn't feel pious enough, either, but on the rare occasion that I stop and listen, I, too, hear that quiet voice:

    "I know where you're going. Just wait."

    Thank you for this.

    1. Thank you so much for your sweet comment! It made my heart swell with happy! <3 The waiting can be so hard, can't it? I still struggle with the trusting bit, but I can say that God has brought me farther than I ever thought possible!


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