We can meet God in the most unusual and unexpected places. Frankly, to me, that’s what makes God so great. When you least expect it, He can offer you the biggest hope and the biggest rewards even when you don’t yet realize that’s what you need.
My journey to that end began 21 years ago, to be exact.
It began when I was looking for a horse to adopt. I ended up finding so much more than that. Little did I know that God was orchestrating the whole thing.
I never really considered myself a religious person growing up. I attended church regularly with my family but could never honestly say that I knew who God was other than a man or spirit that lived somewhere in Heaven. I also knew I could pray to him if I needed something.
What I didn’t realize until much later is that knowing God is all about building a relationship with Him.
The church I attended talked about God and read Scriptures, but I don’t remember a single time when I got the message that my life would change if I had a personal relationship with God. I felt a void but I didn’t know why. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
As I child, I always had a love for horses. One of my favorite TV shows was about a palomino horse named Mr. Ed. You may remember the story of the talking horse who only talked to his owner, Wilbur, because of their special relationship.
My family couldn’t afford to buy me a horse because we struggled financially. My two brothers and I grew up in a small southern town. Our parents were hardworking individuals but always had difficulties keeping our family afloat.
I knew my dreams of owning a horse would never come true as a child, but that didn’t prevent me from hoping that one day my dream would become a reality.
When I reached adulthood and felt ready to pursue my dream, I contacted a ranch owner and asked to see her horses. By this time, I had a strong feeling that I wanted a paint horse, not a palomino like Mr. Ed. However, I was certain that it had to be a gelding (neutered male) and not a mare (female).
The ranch owner had a black and white paint horse gelding that seemed perfect at first glance. However, when a veterinarian conducted an exam he failed because of some potential medical issues. I made the decision to pass on adopting him and went home saddened by the decision I had to make.
Later on, I changed my mind and called back to say that I would take the horse after all. It was too late. Someone else had scooped him up and he was gone.
I went to bed that night feeling dejected. I had let something so important slip through my fingers and there was nothing I could do.
I began to dream about horses. I felt a sense of calm as I watched several horses running around in a pasture. These were horses that I had never seen. In my dream also was a man wearing a cowboy hat and the name “Bob” was revealed.
When I awoke from my dream, I called a horse trainer friend of mine that had been helping me locate a horse. I told her about the dream and asked her if she knew anyone named Bob. She didn’t.
A couple of nights later, I had another dream which was much more vivid than my previous dream about the cowboy named Bob.
In my dream, I saw myself lying face down in my bed. I soon realized that I was somehow watching myself in the dream.
Looking down at my back, I saw green vines and red flowers painted on my body. I felt such great peace.
Suddenly, I saw myself sit up abruptly in the bed and a distinct voice said, “Something better is coming for you.” The dream ended and I was left wide awake.
Instantly, I knew that I had heard God’s voice.
I wasn’t exactly sure what He was trying to tell me but I knew instantly that it was ok that I had passed on the previous horse and I believed that something better was coming.
That same morning, I began excitedly calling around to different ranches hoping that I would find the horse that God had promised me.
I called one ranch and was told that the only paint they had was a paint mare. I thanked the man on the phone and told him that I wasn’t interested in purchasing a mare.
After hanging up, I began to have a sinking feeling. I remembered passing on the previous paint gelding only to be told that he was no longer available when I called back to claim him.
I immediately picked up the phone and called the man back. I asked him if I could come out to his ranch and perhaps look at other horses he had for sale. I wanted to be open to all breeds of horses at this point.
We agreed that my husband and I would come around lunchtime to take a look.
When we drove up to the ranch, the man that I had spoken to on the phone was waiting out front. He ran over to us and introduced himself.
As I began to ask him where the horses were that he had for sale, he interrupted me and started talking about the paint horse mare. He said I have something to tell you about the mare.
I thought to myself, “I’m not interested in the mare. I thought I had made that clear.” “Are you going to tell me she has three legs?” I chuckled slightly to myself and then became a little irritated because I only had a short time for lunch and didn’t want to spend it discussing a horse I wasn’t interested in buying.
God, however, had other plans and wanted to get my attention in a big way.
In the next breath, the man said something that would forever change my life. He said again, “I need to tell you something about the mare. I named her Bob because I wanted a boy.”
At that moment, I felt my knees begin to buckle and I thought I might actually fall down. I didn’t know if I was still dreaming or if I had really heard what the man said.
I looked over at my husband in order to get my bearings. He was looking back at me, grinning from ear to ear.
Not wanting to tip the man off about my dream, I found my footing and began to walk with him toward the mare. When I saw her, I knew that God had orchestrated the entire meeting and I was in awe of Him.
I ended up taking Bob home the next day. My years with her have been some of the most God-filled years that I can remember.
When I first adopted Bob, I was a beginner at riding and she was a horse that needed an advanced rider. Because of this, we had to grow in our relationship together.
I had to learn to trust her and she had to learn to trust me which meant that I had to let go and put my trust in something bigger than myself. The thought of doing that scared me to death.
That simple act of learning to trust something bigger than myself started me down the path of learning to trust in an omnipotent God.
God knew that in order for me to learn to trust Him, our introduction would have to begin in the most extraordinary way through a beautiful paint horse mare named Bob.