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 a hope and a future. Then you will call to me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you.
– Jeremiah 29:11-12
My pony’s name was Sparky, and we spent a lot of time together when I was a kid. He had heard all of my secrets, and as far as I know, he never told a soul. Following our family’s divorce a couple of years ago, I was hoping my daughter would be able to spend time around horses, too, and have that same kind of comforting connection with animals. She wanted to learn to ride, so we started with traditional riding lessons. It was frustrating for us. She deals with short term memory retention and ADHD. In the group lesson setting, with different horses and trainers at each session, the opportunity to make connections, healing, or meeting individual learning needs was lost. I was frustrated and my daughter was growing more discouraged at each lesson. Paying for the lessons was a real sacrifice on my salary, and it was getting harder to maintain them. Finally, after a freezing February night when the indoor arena was overcrowded, the horses were uncooperative, and the lesson was a wash, I knew we needed something else. That night, on Monday, I prayed, “Lord, you know why we are doing this. If there’s another solution, please show me what it is.”
On Wednesday, two nights later, a friend approached me at a church event and said, “I heard of a horse program and immediately thought of your daughter.” She gave me the website for Haven Acres, a rescue ministry for both kids and horses. Turns out, they emphasized the connection between the kids and the animals, and they assigned one horse and one mentor per child. We applied, and were accepted into the program this past Summer. God was good to hear and answer that prayer so swiftly and so completely. Not only has Lara learned a ton of new skills, but her confidence and enthusiasm have soared. The program doesn’t charge us anything, and it’s run by a dedicated team of volunteers.
In her own words, “I love to have the time with the same horse. Cowboy is my friend, and he listens to me. I like to have a mentor to work with, and we have fun together.”
Did God hear my prayers that Monday night? I believe He did, and in a way that met every need we had in the matter. Trust came for me in baby steps, by experiences like this, and little by little I was able to commit more of the details of our lives to prayer and wait for an answer. There’s one young cowgirl that’s happy about that.
Has God clearly answered a prayer for you? Will you tell us about it? Knowing that He cares about the details of our lives bring peace to our souls, and your story will bring hope to someone today.
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He will fight for you.