Not healing the old – growing the new

She come bounding out of the van, running with arms open to hug, excitedly telling us that she has heard – we will be her new best friends and so will a special horse. Her eyes were full of life and ready to begin her time at the ranch.

The picture did not match what I knew of her. She had been abused. Her body had been used over and over and over again by those who just wanted to satisfy their own flesh. She had been a slave.

As I tried to make some sense of this picture, I could not until – until my heart was reminded that she had been set free. Lydia was not here to heal her old self; she was here to grow her new self. Her excited free self. Her joyful free self. Her Jesus’ freed self.

With the chores done, it was time to go observe and meet the horses. Stepping into the pasture through our outdoor arena gate she looked up and immediately stated – I know. I know which horse I will pick.

In bringing her mind back to the activity – she kept that horse on her mind.

Now it was time for the horse selection and Lydia went right to the one that got her attention. This horse was an in-charge type of horse. This horse looked commanding. This horse was beautiful and caught Lydia’s eye. This horse ignored her as she approached. This horse walked away as Lydia tried to rub her shoulder. This horse caught the challenge of Lydia’s mind. Lydia wanted a horse who seemed like her – so she could learn, by experience, with this horse how to help herself. Lydia was a little disappointed by the response of this horse – but this horse’s response lured her challenged mind even more.

Then we gathered to talk. What was Destiny doing? Destiny, another horse in our herd, would not leave Lydia alone. She followed her, she turned her head way around to hug Lydia and really pushed Lydia into her shoulder. She parked herself shoulder to shoulder by Lydia. Destiny’s pursuit of Lydia caused a “new-self” heart to feel and this heart could only spill out of wondering and confused eyes. Lydia shared that she knew right form the first glance what horse she wanted because she felt that horse could really help her. But now what? Was this horse chosen to help her? Did Lydia not need to help herself? She did not know how to accept being chosen. She could only cry.

I encouraged her in this seemingly confusing place. Did she want to go forward with the horse that caught her mind – the one who she was sure would help her because she was just like her old self? Or – was she willing to go forward with the horse that would not leave her side. The horse that touched her new self.

To me this decision seemed obvious. But I do not know what God has for her to walk through at this ranch. Lydia has to make this decision.

In the tack room, changing out of her boots and journaling, Lydia was still questioning this decision. But I saw soft eyes rather than excited eyes. I saw her struggle from head to heart. I saw her new self growing.

Her Destiny was pursuing her – – –

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Pardner –

I love the title. So many times, focus is placed on fixing or healing, forgetting that Jesus gives us a new heart and fills us with His spirit. It’s so hard with our new found faith (or dormant) to not push forward with that “can do” plan of making ourselves into His image, rather than to trust and rest in knowing He created us that way. For Lydia to be chosen without cost is probably hard for her to conceive. To go with the horse that caught her eye, or the one who caught her heart. Thanks for sharing with me and letting me a part of what God is doing.

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