Tonight, there are no frills. I am not at Starbucks; there is no ambience with a full glass of Sweet red. I am not even twisting my luscious locks around my pencil, watching the wind blow outside with a quizzical brow. First, I don’t have luscious locks. I am taking biotin vitamins like candy so that maybe one day I will again… And obviously I have no need for a pencil if I’m typing.
The point is, this is a tough one.
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1
By this time, it is, and if not. Surprise!, common knowledge, that I’m finding myself trekking back south. South to Alabama. I hear myself saying Alabama in this really hard to hide southern accent and cringe a bit. Not cringing because I’m moving. Just the twang that seems to erupt when I get too excited or say Alabama.
I’ve been asked so many questions that are all skipping around the real question I ask myself and assumed I would hear, “Claire, why after landing your dream job and riding better than you have in your life, after you’ve been given the ride on a phenomenal mare, are you returning South to take an accounting job after swearing off accounting last Spring? You’ve spent the past eight years crying and working your butt off to reach this point, now it’s quits?”
If my little blog can inspire anyone, maybe this will be the time.
Perhaps, I didn’t take the past few months well. Graduating, life changes, growing-up.
I’ve spent the past four years, studying very little in textbooks, but studying very much, every hour at least, some aspect of making it as a professional rider. Some of that was actual time in the saddle, but some of the time that studying involved separating myself from anything that might possibly distract me from reaching this goal. Sometimes this was friends, family, the Lord. At least, if they stepped in front of this track I knew I was destined to travel upon. Echoes of kid movies erupt, telling you to “Follow your dreams!” plays in the background.
I knew that for me, a poor girl, working the hardest and bestest, my dreams were surely to be accomplished. So that’s what I did. And isn’t that admirable? The sacrifice and long hours I must have put in?
Then, I started to realize that this race I was running, not only was it extremely lonely but it wasn’t satisfying me. Not that there was anything necessarily wrong in riding my ponies; I am confident that my girls and people I’ve met along the way were placed in my life for a reason and myself in theirs. But, each step up I’ve made, haven’t been met with joy and accomplishment, but a growing weight and uneasiness.
Surely, looking at my high-school self who bawled and bawled (spoiled child) because my Dad didn’t agree to pay my $600 entry fee, thought if I could have just one more horse show, it would enable me to become the pro I so dreamed to be. Since then, I’ve competed at those horse shows, but while I can sometimes now control the tears, if it isn’t a horse show it’s something else that I still need to do.
At some point, maybe common sense kicks in or the Lord reaches out when you’ve hit your lowest and darkest moments. This race is never going to fill my cup. The past few weeks, as I’ve realized my riding dream wasn’t filling my cup the way I’d always thought it would, I’ve struggled and still am to understand and find something that will fill me up.
As a Christian I take hold of 1 Samuel 2 which says:
My heart rejoices in the Lord; in the Lord my horn is lifted high. My mouth boasts over my enemies for I delight in your deliverance.
I take hold of this. Most of the time it’s stuffed in my pair of Tailored Sportsman breeches with the hole in the pocket, and then I can’t find it… (True story.) When the rejoicing and delight has gotten lost in my pocket, I reach out to just about anything to fill me up, to patch over wounds and give me some kind of approval.
The things I grab, may not be necessarily bad. For instance a Venti cup of coffee, an extravagant grocery trip, a Rom-Com, or a late-night text convo. with a boy. But, the Lord is a smart one and a good watchman. He knows. He knows that these things, to me, are more than just enjoying the good life; they’re my attempts to create a candied wall to prevent sadness, depression, or grief from coming back. I’ve felt those things, and I’m adamant not to go back to that place. My go-to pep talks and own actions to respond to fear and sadness are temporary.
So many times he reminds me, Claire. I am enough. Just keep looking at me. But, I’m foolish and get caught in my own cares.
So, He’s bringing me home now. I feel relieved and safe, just knowing that I don’t have to race through my life. This isn’t about how I got tired of trying for my goal and gave up. Quite the opposite. Trust me, if the Lord wants me to ride professionally, I will, and have more faith than ever that his will is supreme. My heart, though, isn’t desiring the patter of hooves. It desires a quiet and safe space nestled in God’s rest.
But.. And I feel like my next posts will discuss this as I try to pick up myself. What is my passion supposed to be now? I’ve been really good at obsessing over my riding, now that this is not my purpose what am I supposed to look forward to? A family? A new hobby? My job? I don’t know! I must sew my pants pocket so that I’m reminded of God’s purpose for my life.
There are so many things I’m unsure of now. I want to be passionate about something again.