Many of my readers from the Chattanoogan.com news website are probably wondering “What happened to Jen – where did she go?”
After marrying and moving to Kentucky, I still wrote for Chattanoogan.com but a little less. For almost four years, the Chattanoogan.com has been my voice and, I hoped in a way the voice of others as I shared common things I went through and grew from. Readers have been so great to write in with emails whether they delighted in a funny story I wrote or when I bared my soul and shared what helped me through as I hoped to encourage others.
I will miss having that voice and I will miss hearing from readers. Hopefully, readers will visit my website on occasion to keep up with any writing I do ‘just because’.
It was time to move in another direction, but I will always be grateful to my family at the Chattanoogan.com. After moving to Kentucky, I didn’t really have much I could write about that may appeal to new readers of the Chattanoogan since I basically talk about Kentucky and living as a country girl after leaving Chattanooga. I had also stopped interviewing people in Chattanooga and so the writing was sort of phasing itself out. God allowed a few other things to come about which made it a great time to move on to my next venture.
I may go back to writing down the road, but for now I am pointed in a new direction and I am amazed how God works! Just when I was upset a few weeks ago and unsure of what I needed to do – God used that time to bring about some pretty good changes.
My husband and I have freed ourselves from certain obligations and everything fell in place when a horse farm up the road from us went up for sale.
We had actually talked about ‘what if’ after first seeing that place when I moved here, but we really didn’t know if it would ever be a possibility to have it. Now that it was for sale Jason told me to call and ask what the asking price was and after that – things happened so fast! That is just like God… when we don’t see answers or we have a little down time, He comes in just like the Holy Hero he is and saves the day and it comes in a WHOOSH!
For the past few weeks, we have been talking to the owner of the ranch and I have been going out and learning how the girls (who rent the house on the property) work with the horses that are boarded. The owner boards horses, trains and teaches and she has another ranch that she will be moving her business too. She will leave three of the boarders with me and the girls who rent the house (and are MSU students in Equine programs there) will stay in the house. It was the perfect situation for us.
We live a mile and a half up the road from the ranch and there are so many good things that make this an endeavor full of promise! Not only will I have my own business, but I will be around horses again! AND… when God sheds such grace on us and gives us our hearts desire, it is our desire to give it back to him. We have named it “Grace Reins Ranch.”
I have always loved the idea of Equine therapy ever since I interviewed a lady in Georgia who ran a horse ranch for special needs kids to come for therapy. And, it has also been on my heart after a terrible divorce six years ago, to encourage other women who have gone through the same thing I had to become empowered. I believe horses help.
After my divorce, I was lost. I was a coward who had lived ten years with a controlling, domineering man who did not love me. After all those years, little by little I lost myself and coming out of that, it was hard to know how to unlearn all the brainwashing I endured which made me think very little of myself. I was in need of confidence. I needed self esteem. I needed to feel worthy.
When I took my life back in my hands, I was healing and learning so much. Mostly spiritually since I had been robbed of that for years, but one of the things God placed in my life that helped me to emerge into the woman He meant for me to be… to know my worth, to respect myself and to take charge of my life – I learned from a horse.
I was privileged to take care of, ride and love a horse as my own for a new friend I met. She couldn’t go out to see her horse much and so I was there to love that horse as he loved me back. There was an immediate bond with Smokey and I wanted to buy him. When a woman learns to lead a thousand pound animal and also receives the unconditional love from a horse – it is so healing and empowering. I want that for other women.
So as God has blessed me now to soon have my own horse ranch, I want to give it back to Him and use it for His purpose. Though He brought it to us fast – we will take our time from here on out in getting familiar with it and learning the ropes. The MSU students who rent and board with us will be such a great help!
After a couple of years of keeping things the same and learning it, when God leads us to do more – we will. I am excited at the many possibilities this ranch will bring. I am excited to be around horses again.
God overwhelmed me with a cup that overfloweth just in giving me the man of my dreams – but to also allow me to have other dreams come true, it has made all those years of the ‘shaping of a diamond’… the ‘refining process’ and the ‘chipping away’ … all worth it.
I thank God for the pain I went through. I thank Him because it helped me to surrender everything, it helped me to learn that the world isn’t what I thought it was and I am responsible to take my role in it. But I cannot do that without God leading. Learning to trust the Lord more than I was and following His will became so easy. And now, I trust Him even when I have no answers. I trust Him when things don’t seem to be going too well… and He ALWAYS comes through like a Hero.