I was chatting to a member recently and at the end of our conversation she sweetly enquired of me ‘What news of your horse?’ It was so lovely that she was interested – and just in case you are too, here’s my news. And if you aren’t interested that’s fine, but there are some lessons of course in my story that you might find useful to your dating journey!
So after no less than 18 months of solid searching, a new horse finally arrived at home on 10th February. In the end (as is often the way) finding this particular horse couldn’t have been easier – but the road there was long and windy. I ride with a friend whose sister in law had recently gone to Ireland (capital of the horse producing world around here) and successfully found a horse that she was really liking and enjoying. Why don’t you try it too Katharine she suggested. I had always steered clear from going to Ireland because I had not heard good things about Irish dealers. But she gave me some contacts and one thing led to another. I had to move quickly as I was told about a horse that would sell fast. Thanks to Ryanair I found a cheap flight to Dublin and decided to grab the bull by the horns and go straight over. Just before I left another contact rang to say he could recommend 2 other horses to try. They weren’t close together and we had only decided to go for one day but we thought we would try and squeeze them all in. Long story short, it was an incredibly exhausting day – from 5.30am to 12 midnight, with flights and 6 and a half hours driving – and all in all not the cheapest day out I’ve had. But I loved two of the horses and I bought the second I tried. A real whizzy little thing that I felt great on straight away and considering we jumped around a cross country track in the near dark, he was pretty amazing – and I didn’t feel the need to go back out to Ireland to try him again. He has been with me now only a short time but so far he is everything his previous owner told me about him. My instructor loves him and thinks we are going to have a lot of fun together.
It was only recently that I realised he was a very different stamp of horse to what I thought I had been looking for. He’s only 15.2 hands in height for a start – much smaller than I thought I wanted/needed. He also has no breeding which was not something I would have considered before. But yet again, just like my husband, it appears that I have found something that is just right for me and not at all like what I thought I wanted. (Think here what I am always saying about ‘ditching your list’ in the early stages of dating).
I have been reflecting on why God took so long to answer my prayers. Assuming he is interested in one of my heart’s desires (debatable I know for some people), why did I have to wait 18 months to find the right horse. And spend 18 months of frustration, expense and wonderment about what God was saying to me.
But as I dashed off to church last Sunday – leaving behind a lovely lunch party – which I might not have done 18 months ago – I realised that in the last 18 months I have found a fabulous new church, begun to get rooted there, joined a fabulous home group and my faith has taken another significant step forward. I know if I had had a horse this last 18 months, this journey of faith quite probably would not have happened. God knew what he was doing! I do believe he has answered my prayer for a horse, but first and foremost he was drawing me closer to himself – answering other prayers in that direction – which is ultimately the only thing that matters in life. It’s easy to look back now and see what he was doing – just so hard as one is going through it.
So I want to encourage you on your dating journey. God knows your heart – he knows what you want. He is listening to your prayers – and his timing is perfect. Perhaps he is doing something else in your life that needs to come first. Perhaps he is doing a work in you that needs to come first. Perhaps he is doing a work in your future partner that you will be so glad has been done by the time you meet them. Who knows? God does.
Whilst you wait, remember my lessons here:
- Ditch your criteria – consider everyone possible. You may find your partner is totally different to what you thought you wanted.
- Take every possible opportunity to meet other people – even if it involves huge effort (I was more tired and exhausted after our day in Ireland than I have been for a long time and it took me a while to recover) and expense.
- And lastly keep going. There were so many times when I nearly gave up. Good Christian friends even told me to give up – to give my horse search a break for a while – but I knew this wasn’t right for me. Perseverance does always lead to success and I encourage you to keep going.
- Trust God too. Even when he is silent and you are frustrated, you are his child, he is your loving father and he will bless you.