Raindrops, Part Two
It started when I received a call from my Mom. I was out camping with my dad, sisters and brothers when Dad told me Mom had called and wanted to talk to me.
"Emily, the neighbor called me." Silence. I knew something was wrong. "She can't keep Bodie anymore. Something's happened."
It was like a bomb had gone off in my perfect life and nothing I did could fix it. In one phone call my dream about keeping Rylee at my neighbor's house was gone, vanished. My idea of working both horses whenever I wanted had been kicked out the door. My poor neighbor, it wasn't even her fault. She was in a crisis and all I could do was watch.
Bodie was taken up to the barn I was part of, as my neighbor trusted my barn manager to take care of him for her. My instructor promised that she'd care for Bodie as long as she could, but my neighbor needed to decide what she wanted done with him come Spring.
"We'll take care of him until Spring, but after that you need to decide what Bodie's future will be."
Imagine how I felt when she told the instructor, "I want Emily to have the first choice of owning Bodie."
A typical Bodie move. He's always doing something goofy.
Bodie? Bodie the horse I've known since I was ten? The escape artist, the trouble maker? Sure, I'd retrained him pretty well, I could ride him. That was a huge achievement. But Bodie was-well, Bodie. He was ornery, he was goofy, he had a mind of his own. I could manage him (sort of) and I knew him well, but I wanted Rylee, not Bodie! Rylee did everything I asked, he loved me. Bodie was my friend, I didn't want him as my horse.
I was told the decision didn't have to be made until Spring, to which I was glad. I liked Bodie but I had my heart set on Rylee.
That wasn't God's plan.
I can't go into details of what happened, but through a very hard experience I realized I would never really have been able to own Rylee. It was heartbreaking. First I was sad, then angry, and then sad again. I couldn't go to church, I was so upset. Now I'd lost Rylee and I'd lost Bodie, I had said I didn't want him. I still didn't really, I thought he was nice but I wanted Rylee. and I couldn't have him.
God has a wonderful way of working things out for the best, in ways I still can't comprehend. My wonderful mother called the neighbor up and told her of the incident. Imagine my shock when I receive a call from my neighbor asking my mom and I to come down to see her.
"Emily," she said when we'd sat down. "I want you to have Bodie. I'm bringing him back to live on my property until Spring, and if you want him you can have him. I don't want you to feel pressured to take him, I just want you to figure it out for yourself. It's your choice."
I was speechless, and I must admit, I cried. My wonderful neighbor was bringing her horse back for me, to give me another chance to know if I wanted him or not.
I can't say exactly when my heart shifted towards the huge quarter horse gelding. I don't even remember how it happened. I remember feeling afraid I was making the wrong choice, I was afraid that perhaps if I took Bodie, suddenly Rylee would be available and I wouldn't be able to own him. But God had bigger plans for me.
It's Spring now. Summer is just around the corner. A month ago I went to my neighbor and told her, "I want Bodie as my very own horse."
What happened to the girl who wanted Rylee so bad? Who liked Bodie as a friend, but never would have considered owning him?
Two things. God chose Bodie for me, and Bodie needed me as much as I needed him. He needed someone who could keep up with his antics, someone who loved to play and have adventures as much as he did.
Bodie changed my perspective on horsemanship. He's not my horse, he's my partner. He refuses to let me think of myself as his "master." I'm his friend. If I get too controlling he'll usually buck and tell me I'm taking things way too seriously. He wants to have fun and he wants me to have fun.
One of our "adventures." He looks 'really' scared, doesn't he? ;)
I love adventure. I always have. And God knew that Bodie would be the horse who could take me on those adventures I never could have taken Rylee on. My beautiful quarter horse is fearless, we can cross water and climb hills, jump logs and ride next to the train tracks. He isn't afraid of anything. Which leads to trouble when he tries to take down the hot-wire on his own, or when he takes off with a tarp in his mouth!
Through Bodie, God's taught me a lot of things I never would have known. Would you believe me if I told you my dear and wonderful neighbor had decided three years ago she wanted me to have Bodie? She knew before I did we were the right match. I balance Bodie's wildness, and he balances my "training mentality." We complement each other in every way. I couldn't see that, I was blinded by what I wanted. My brother, a young man who doesn't know very much about horses, told me that. My sister who didn't know about horses told me that. Everyone but me saw it. And God knew, he knew what I needed. He knew what Bodie needed.
I am now the proud owner of a huge, 16.2 hand high quarter horse. I can't even imagine my life without him. He's blessed me in so many ways, and he keeps me laughing. (He also drives me crazy, but that's what friends do!)
What I'd thought I needed was wrong. God knew better and he chose my horse for me. Believe God's word when he says, "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." -Jeremiah 29:11
God's got a plan for you. And it will always be better than what you think you need or want. Sometimes you just have to endure the raindrops to find the rainbow. It's worth the pain.
Bodie and I.
Here's a special video I made for all you blog readers. I hope it shows how God helped me along my journey, even when I didn't know what his plans were. From when I was young and wanting to be a cowgirl, to horse sitting and beginning to learn to ride, and then on to training horses, you'll find my entire horse journey in pictures. Special thanks to my entire family, who took all the photos. :)